Richardsons Host Annual Celebration of Life Gala


October 4, 2004

Contact: Jennifer Riordan 272 0261 office, 220-0702 cell

                Bridgid Isworth 272-1622


Twenty-five years ago, Jeff Apodaca, son of former New Mexico Governor Jerry Apodaca won the battle against a rare and malignant form of soft muscle sarcoma. Apodaca spent two years undergoing treatment at the existing University of New Mexico (UNM) Children's Hospital.

Today, Apodaca celebrates 24 yours in remission, said his mother, Clara R. Apodaca and as part of his celebration of life, he continues to build on a seven-year-old fund that has raised nearly $600,000.

Apodaca is now well on his way to raising money to extend a multi-media center to entertain and stimulate patients at the new Child Life Wing of the new Children's Hospital. Construction for the UNM Children's Hospital expansion project will begin in the fall. The original Celebration of Life Computer Center was opened in May 2003 at the existing Children's Hospital. By 2006, it will about triple in size and include the showing of first run motion pictures.

Patients making use of the current facility can use computers to email friends, access the internet and use the computers for school homework and research.

In addition to raising money for the multi-media center, the Apodaca fund also provides two $5,000 scholarships each year for young survivors of cancer to help them get a good start on their future.

UNM Children's Hospital of New Mexico, located within UNM Hospital, provides the most advanced neonatology and pediatric care available in New Mexico. Each year UNM Children's Hospital of New Mexico cares for nearly 40,000 children, more than 50 percent of whom live outside of the Albuquerque area.    

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