Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Fundraiser Helps “Beach” Breast Cancer


Hundreds came out on Saturday, June 5 to Help “Beach” Breast Cancer – the 4th Annual Joan G. Gaines Breast Cancer Fundraiser. All proceeds benefited the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Raising nearly $30,000, this event consisted of a beach barbecue, silent auction, as well as many fun activities for the whole family. The event was held at Nikki Beach Restaurant and Bar in Miami Beach.

“My goal is to obtain the support of businesses and families in our community to raise support for breast cancer research here in Miami, said Austin Gaines, the organizer of the event.

Five years ago Gaines’ mother, Joan, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the time Gaines was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah. Instead of spending the monetary gifts he received that day, the then 13-year-old took the money and established a fund for cancer research instead. But Gaines didn’t stop there. A big basketball fan, he thought of a way to boost his research fund with a charity event. So at age 14 he convinced Glen Rice, then of the Miami Heat, to help with a celebrity basketball game that successfully raised $10,000.

As a senior at Gulliver Preparatory Academy, Gaines organized his third NBA fundraiser with help from the Miami Heat and the University of Miami men’s basketball program. Over the years, Heat players Rice, Dan Marjle, Ed Pinckney, and Tim Hardaway have participated in the fundraisers.

Gaines’ philanthropic efforts over the years finally paid off last summer. Last August, he delivered a check in the amount of $21,700 to help support the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at UM/Sylvester. Since August 1999, he has coordinated three major fundraisers. With the support of local basketball stars, kids, members of his community, and generous sponsors, Gaines has raised more than $60,000 for breast cancer research. The eighteen-year-old college freshman is considered one of the newest and youngest members of the Founders’ Society at UM/Sylvester.

UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in more than 150 clinical trials and receive more than $30 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach recently opened to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This 10,000 square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from five cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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