Home » Local Teen Donates $15,000 To Help Give Children With Cancer A Second Chance
Over 2,000 copies of Second Chance have been sold to help save children’s lives in the Rio Grande Valley and help spread awareness about childhood cancer.
McALLEN, Texas (December 7, 2011) – Giancarlo Bernini was just ten years old when he was first touched by the children with cancer at the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic where his father works as one of the doctors. The faces of the children changed the young teen who enjoyed performing magic shows to help them forget about their treatments. When Giancarlo learned from his father that many of these children came from families who could not afford the cancer treatments he realized he wanted to help and turned to his talent for writing poetry as inspiration.
The young author will donate seventy-five percent of the proceeds from his first published book, Second Chance, at a check presentation ceremony on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm at the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic. Some of the thirty young patients who illustrated the book of poems will join Giancarlo as he presents the $15,000 check. The funds will be used to provide care and treatment so that no child is ever turned away for inability to pay.
More than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year world-wide and it remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. In the Rio Grande Valley, the number of children with cancer is growing rapidly. The good news is that these children can receive the best care available, without the need to leave the region, at the Vannie Cook Clinic.
“At the Vannie Cook Clinic we believe that nothing is of greater importance than caring for children with cancer,” said Dr. Juan Carlos Bernini, medical director of the Clinic. “Giancarlo is equally committed to our patients and has dedicated his life to writing Second Chance and selling thousands of the books to help in the local fight against childhood cancer. He’s a kid who is helping kids and I am so proud of him!”
Second Chance is a book of 103 poems of inspiration, wonder, humor, joy and encouragement. It was written by Giancarlo Bernini of Mission, Texas and is beautifully illustrated by children who are patients at the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic. To date, over 2000 copies have been sold to help save children’s lives in the Rio Grande Valley and help spread awareness about childhood cancer.
“Over a year ago, Second Chance was born. The project started out small, but thanks to so many in our community it has become a remarkable success and now we will be able to help pay for the treatment of cancer patients who normally wouldn’t be able to afford it. Our website, www.SecondChance2Life.com, has been visited by people from 39 states and over 50 countries!! I truly appreciate everyone’s support! YOU ARE ALL HEROES!”, remarks Giancarlo Bernini.
The mission of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic is to offer comprehensive care and treatment to children in South Texas with cancer and blood disorders. The Vannie Cook Clinic’s goal is to provide all patients with the highest quality of healthcare regardless of their financial capacity. No child is turned away due to an inability to pay. Prior to the founding of the clinic in 2001, comprehensive care for children with cancer and serious blood diseases had never been available in South Texas. Local children traveled to Corpus Christi, San Antonio, or even Houston or Dallas. Parents’ fears of having a critically ill child were magnified with the financial and emotional worries of traveling far away, leaving their homes, work, and support systems. Thanks to the clinic’s services, children from across the Rio Grande Valley now have local access to the finest comprehensive oncology care. The Clinic’s programs, which include cancer genetics, long-term survivor clinics and research, are strengthened by its collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston. Both institutions are recognized internationally for their expertise and breakthrough developments in the treatment of childhood cancer, blood disorders and many other diseases. Learn more about the Vannie Cook Children’s Clinic.
Laura Martinez Ilgun