When Partners In Health and the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center asked me to help establish a comprehensive cancer care program in Rwanda, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help. I was alarmed to think that children were suffering and ultimately dying from cancer because they didn't have access to available treatments.
At the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, we believe that no child, no matter race or nationality, should needlessly 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.
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.
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 that's just the beginning. The center is a key part of the Rwandan government's plan to offer quality cancer prevention, screening, and treatment at all levels of the healthcare 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 we can make a difference in the lives of children facing cancer at home and abroad. 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.
View photos from the inauguration and learn more about the services we provide together: