Even in its infancy, Runway To Hope has made a significant difference in the way the community is involved with the cause of pediatric cancer, and infused a new energy in the world of fundraising in Central Florida. Recognizing a true need Mark and Josie NeJame founded Runway To Hope in September 2010 with a mission to serve and provide direct support to children and families in the Central Florida community whom have been impacted by pediatric cancer.
Runway To Hope has fostered collaboration by contributing to both local pediatric cancer hospitals, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Florida Hospital for Children.
In March 2011 Runway To Hope presented its inaugural signature event, The Runway To Hope Spring Fashion Soiree. The highlight of the evening was a special fashion show featuring roughly 30 brave children, ages 2 to 18, all who are currently battling or have overcome cancer. Proceeds of $310,000 directly benefited Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Florida Hospital for Children. Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children plans to open a pediatric neuroncology department, one of few in the country today. Florida Hospital for Children will open the first bone marrow unit in Central Florida.
In less than one year, the efforts of Runway To Hope have not only financially bettered pediatric cancer care and given patients in our own backyard experiences of a lifetime, but also empowered the members of the community to make a difference. Runway To Hope’s partnership with both hospitals has sparked conversation between doctors at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Florida Hospital for Children, and collaboration is occurring where it did not before.