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Lee Health Foundation awards three Barbara’s Friends Scholarships

Lee Health Foundation awarded Barbara’s Friends Scholarships to three local high school students, one is a childhood cancer survivor and two are battling lifelong sickle cell disease. The Barbara’s Friends Scholarships are dedicated to supporting students facing hematology and oncology treatment for cancer and sickle cell disease at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Receiving this year’s Barbara’s Friends Scholarships are:

  • Cristobal Molina-Bays, 23, from Fort Myers, graduated from Riverdale High School after overcoming leukemia while in high school. His college studies were interrupted, and now he is excited to make a positive impact in environmental preservation by studying marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University.
  • Shaina Petit-Homme, 19, from Lehigh Acres, graduated from East Lee County High School and battles sickle cell disease. She hopes to use her education to create a nonprofit to help homeless families and promote underrated businesses by studying business at Bethune-Cookman University.
  • Wilkens “Chris” Sylfroid 21, from Lehigh Acres, graduated from Lehigh Senior High School and battles sickle cell disease. He is attending Keiser University to become a nurse specializing in pediatrics, using his first-hand experiences living with the challenges of sickle cell disease to connect with patients. He hopes to create positive change in health care, helping educate communities about access to medical resources and supporting patients in pain.

“These recipients of the Barbara’s Friends Scholarship, showcase remarkable resilience, determination and a commitment to academic success, despite the adversities they’ve faced,” said Dr. Emad Salman, vice president of operations and chief physician executive for Golisano Children’s Services. “We are grateful for the generosity of the community in supporting these scholarships so children we treat can fulfill their dreams.”

This marks the fourth year of the scholarships, celebrating students who exhibit exceptional resilience in their pursuit of education despite health challenges. The scholarships are administered through the Collaboratory and made possible through donations to Barbara’s Friends, Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. This is the fourth year Lexington Country Club, a long-time supporter of Barbara’s Friends, has donated one of the scholarships.

Each year, three scholarships are awarded, thanks to the generosity of donors who contribute to the Barbara’s Friends Scholarship, now endowed in memory of Frank Haskell, the founder of Barbara’s Friends. For more information or to contribute to future scholarships please visit BarbarasFriends.org.

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