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Jeff Gordon reflects on the opening of Butaro Hospital in Rwanda

A note from Jeff Gordon:

There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help when I was asked by Partners In Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to assist in the establishment of a comprehensive cancer care program in Rwanda, Africa. I was alarmed by the thought of children suffering and ultimately dying of cancer because they didn’t have access to available treatments.

At the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, we believe that no child, regardless of race or ethnicity should suffer and die from cancer.  Unfortunately, in many poor countries, a cancer diagnosis is a death sentence.  With the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence we are working to change that. 

Yesterday, I was joined by former President Bill Clinton, Partners In Health Co-Founder Paul Farmer, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and many others to inaugurate the first comprehensive cancer care center in East Africa.  (Click here to view video from the visit)

I’ve won a lot of races in my career as a NASCAR driver, but few victories can trump the pride I felt yesterday at the opening of the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Rwanda.

Since 2007, Partners In Health has worked with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center to save the lives of cancer patients and prove it’s possible to treat cancer in poor places.

Now, the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence is building on this work to offer a spectrum of diagnostic and treatment services, including chemotherapy, surgery, a pathology laboratory, counseling and palliative care.  And it’s just the beginning.  The center is a key part of the Rwandan government plan to offer quality cancer prevention, screening, and treatment at all levels of the health care system, from remote areas to cities.

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation chose this effort for its first international donation of $1.5 million.  But I know we’re not alone in believing that we can make a difference in the lives of children facing cancer domestically and internationally. As a fellow supporter of Partners In Health’s lifesaving work, I thank you for all you’ve done to make this vision a reality.

To help us continue our efforts in Rwanda, Africa please consider making a donation today.

Thank you,

Jeff Gordon

Photo credit: Dr. Vincent Degennaro, PIH.

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