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Fort Myers business helps families with critically ill children

March 5, 2013
Pine Island Eagle

Imagine your child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and your family suddenly has to be uprooted to receive treatment in another city because there are no beds available at the local children's hospital in your hometown. That is the case for many Ft. Myers children and families who are trying to cope with a devastating diagnosis. That's why Gary and Heather Nychyk, the new owners of the first Papa Murphy's of Ft. Myers, are celebrating their grand opening on Thursday, March 14, by hosting a Raining Pizzas event to raise money to help build the new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers.

"Our young nephew, Randall, was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was only five years old. Luckily, my nephew and his family were able to receive wonderful treatment, right here in Ft. Myers at the local children's hospital. But we realize that's not the case for many families," said Gary Nychyk, owner of the new Papa Murphy's of Ft. Myers. "Many families have to travel to Miami or Tampa to receive their care because there are no beds left at the current children's hospital in Ft. Myers, and it makes me want to give back in a big way. That's why we're raising money to help build the new and expanded children's hospital in Ft. Myers."

In honor of Randall, the Nychyks are donating 50 percent of their net proceeds at their new Papa Murphy's store (located at 4600 Summerlin Rd. in Ft. Myers), March 14 through March 21, to the hospital's Capital Campaign to help build the new children's hospital. All funds raised will also be matched by the hospital's namesake.

The Nychyks are kicking-off the week long donation drive by Making it RainPizzas! on Thursday, March 14! They're inviting the public to catch their dinner as it falls hundreds of feet from the sky from a hot air balloon!

"My young nephew hasn't won his battle with cancer just yet, but we know he will," says Nychyk. "Randall still receives treatment at the local children's hospital and we want to be able to help provide a new facility for our nephew and other kids like him a facility where they can receive tremendous care and can win their health battles right here in the city they call home."

Fast Facts about the Capital Campaign:

Fact Box

Raining Pizzas Event:

When: Thursday, March 14, around 6 p.m.

Where: Sam Fleishman Regional Sports Complex, 1750 Matthew Drive (Deleon) in Ft. Myers, baseball field number two.

Catch your dinner as it falls hundreds of feet from the sky! Inside each pizza box will be prizes and free pizza. A lucky few will win free pizza for a year or children's pizza party packages!

(Source: the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida)

The overall goal is to raise $100 million to build the new children's hospital.

The campaign began in early 2011. Roughly $60 million has been raised so far.

The Golisano Children's Hospital of SW Florida provides the highest level of family-centered lifesaving treatment and care 365 days a year to more than 5,000 children and grandchildren annually.

Currently, it is the only children's hospital between Tampa and Miami.

The new children's hospital will have additional beds and space, accommodations for those to stay with their children and grandchildren 24 hours a day during critical times, expand the pediatric emergency room, upgrade the neonatal intensive care unit, and much more.

Currently, the local children's hospital is located within a hospital. The new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida will be solely dedicated to children.

Ground is expected to be broken at the new hospital in Ft. Myers this fall.



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