Karla & Pablo Karla & Pablo Katie Russell Katie Russell
“Laugh 4 Lymphoma” A Huge Success!
The first annual “Laugh for Lymphoma” event, in memory of Dr. Karla Diaz Davalos, and in honor of Katie Russell, was a huge success. Texas’s finest comedians entertained a group of about 300 people on January 30 at the Laugh Out Loud! Comedy Club in San Antonio. Over $50,000 was donated to Halo House from the event.
Dr. Karla Diaz Davalos died on July 27, 2013 at the age of 31, after a hard-fought battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma. During her first year of fellowship in the Department of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, she and her husband, Tony, were blessed with the news of her pregnancy. Being a devoted physician, Dr. Davalos continued to work tirelessly throughout her pregnancy and unknown illness at the time, which was later diagnosed as lymphoma. A miracle sent from above, her adoring baby boy, Pablo, was born on December 23, 2012, perfectly healthy. Seven months later, she lost the fight and left this world with a smile on her face as a final gesture to her family, as if to let them know she was okay. Karla was an extraordinary young woman who touched many lives, and she will be forever loved. Prior to her passing, Karla was involved in the early planning of this event and hand-picked Halo House as the charity to support.
It was an fun-filled evening with Texas’ finest comedians coming together, dining, and a toasting of the guest of honor, lymphoma survivor, Katie Russell. The very funny headliner for the evening was Aaron Aryanpur, with Jay LaFarr and Alex “Koolaid” Ansel hosting.
“Hoops” and “Dribbles” Benefit Halo House
The women’s basketball team of St. Thomas University, led by coach Mike Ricks, dedicated their February 8 game to Halo House, and donated all the game’s proceeds to be donated to Halo House. These gals are as beautiful on the inside as on the outside!
“Hearts for Halo” Dinner
Excitement was in the air at the first annual “Hearts for Halo” dinner, generously sponsored by Ray Salti and Sorrel Urban Bistro. Award-winning cuisine was combined with plenty of Houston’s very special people for an fun evening with all proceeds benefitting Halo House.
Halo House Welcomes 100th Family!
Halo House hit another milestone, welcoming our 100th family to a Halo House apartment, on December 17. Carlos and his wife, Leider, are from Caracas, Venezuela, and they have been in Houston battling Carlos’ myeloma, for over a year. Soft spoken and smiling, Carlos is determined to beat his cancer and get back home. In the meantime, we are proud to be able to help.
Once a family is offered a Halo House apartment, they can stay with us for up to three months. The average time a family must wait after applying for an apartment is 2 and 1/2 months from the time we receive their application.
To date, about 50% of the patients and caregivers we serve are from Texas, but we have had people from 18 states, and 3 foreign countries stay with us. We wish we could do so much more.
What is Halo House?
Halo House is a public charity serving children and adults with blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma,) during the time the patient must live in Houston near the Texas Medical Center.
Halo House Foundation’s mission is to provide temporary housing to blood cancer patients while they are in active treatment at the Texas Medical Center (TMC).
Since we opened the doors to our first two apartments in January, 2011, Halo House has expanded from two to eight apartments, provided over 6,000 days of housing, and has helped 113 families from 18 states and three countries.
Unfortunately, the demand for our service is increasing. We have received hundreds of applications for help this year alone, and we are forced to turn away patients nearly every day.
We are currently providing housing in apartments we lease, but our long term goal is to build our own 22 unit apartment complex. We believe that owning a dedicated facility for patients and caregivers will enable us to provide housing at a low, sustainable, operating cost. Your donation will help us reach our goal!
|THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who have been a part of making Halo House possible. We could not have done this without your generous support, your “hands-on” help, and your great ideas.|