We hope this message finds you and your loved ones well during this unprecedented and challenging time. So many of you have asked how you can help support the patients and front-line healthcare workers struggling through the dire impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our community. The outpouring of thoughtfulness, prayers, love, and charity has been very touching. As most of you already know, my wife Jessica and I, as well as an amazing group of doctors from MD Anderson Cancer Center sit on the Board of Directors of The United2Cure Children Foundation, a nonprofit social impact organization dedicated to providing availability and access to cancer treatment and therapy for underprivileged children. Currently, we believe it is an important and essential time to devote our efforts to help those affected by this invisible threat.
We are extremely fortunate to work at MD Anderson Cancer Center where our leaders continue to implement and deliver pivotal proactive measures to help reduce the risks of COVID-19 to our vulnerable patient population and front-line healthcare providers. The institution has done an amazing job thus far in protecting all of us and mitigating the continuous dissemination of the virus. Unfortunately, statistical models predict we are not out of the woods yet. The peak impact of COVID-19 in Houston will likely occur sometime in the beginning of May. If the predictive models are correct, we may soon face the same shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and test kits that many other parts of the country are facing now.
Our goal is not only to protect the population at our own institution but also to deliver supplies across our area to those in desperate need. Two of the modalities that have become the cornerstone of our fight in the COVID-19 battle include providing personal protective equipment such as N-95 masks and gowns as well as test kits for early and rapid viral detection. These would be deployed to thousands of healthcare providers and patients based on needs assessment in coordination with institutional leadership. The objective is to secure 15,000 adult and pediatric PPE (N-95 masks, earloop masks, protective gowns, and face shields) and 2,000 Abbott 5 minute test kits. To that end, we are reaching out to you as our friends and supporters of United2Cure Children as we focus our efforts to help pediatric and adult patients, as well as front-line employees. No gift is too small, together we can make a difference. So far United2Cure Children has accrued a total of $15,000 in pledges from generous friends in Houston. We encourage you to please share this email with others so we can truly have the impact we want and need to save as many lives as possible.
We will keep each of you and your families in our prayers as we continue to battle this challenging global pandemic.
Now more than ever, together we are one,
Gabriel Mena, M.D.
Professor – Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
Professor – Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor Ad Honorem
Department of Anesthesiology
Universidad de Antioquia
United2Cure Children Foundation