The Cudeca Foundation held a special presentation at its recently inaugurated research and training centre in Benalmádena on Thursday (30 June) to announce the closure of the 'Joan Hunt, One in a Million' fundraising campaign.
The event was hosted by President Ricardo Urdiales and Chief Executive and Medical Director Marisa Martín, and was attended by members of the provincial authority (Diputación), representatives from the La Caixa Foundation and members of Benalmádena town hall.
Talk Radio Europe (TRE) chairman Martin Nathan - the campaign was his brainchild - and the British consul for Andalucía and the Canary Islands, Charmaine Arbouin, were also at the presentation, along with donors and trustees.
Cudeca launched the campaign last November with the collaboration of TRE in order to raise one million euros to convert the house of the charity's founder, Joan Hunt, into a children's palliative care unit, the first of its kind in Andalucía.
Joan, who died last June, had left special instructions in her will for the house, situated in the grounds of the hospice in Benalmádena, to be used to enhance the charity's facilities.
Cudeca representative Esther Ráez told SUR in English that the one million target was reached following a surprise announcement from one of the charity's most generous benefactors.
"How we reached our goal was incredible. Our campaign raised 400,000, and we were very proud to have raised this amount. When our benefactor, Dr Yusuf Hamied, heard this, he very kindly announced that he would add the remaining 700,000 euros," Esther explained.
The doctor, who was unable to attend the presentation because he is not currently in Spain, has had a ten-year association with Cudeca. As well as an annual donation of one million euros, the Indian businessman also donated two million euros for the construction of the new research and training centre, which was opened in April.
Marisa Martín explained how "excited" she was about the idea of finally be able to launch the new paediatric palliative care facility, which she hinted could be ready by the autumn.
"The need for paediatric end-of-life care is real. I am honoured to be able to offer through Cudeca a unique space for children, their families and their pets to help them feel at home. It is very important to us that these families know they are not alone, and I am sure Joan wanted that too. Thank you all very much for helping us to make this possible," she said.
The foundation also announced that the more than 100 donors who gave over 250 euros to the campaign will be honoured with a plaque on the wall of the children's unit, named Room 10.
Esther Ráez gave special praise to the Romero de la Llana family from Malaga, who donated 120,000 euros to the campaign - the highest amount received from a single donor. She described the gesture as "absolutely amazing".
During the event, Cudeca took the opportunity to present the Cudeca Goldies leader, Suzy Rowe, with the charity's silver insignia for ten years of service.