The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation: Building a Dream from a Tragedy

“I’m sorry. Your child has passed. There was nothing we could do to save him.”

These sickening, heart wrenching, devastating words are the last any parent should hear.

But 5 years ago, parents Horst and Luisa Ferrero heard them from the physicians at UF Health Shands Hospital at the University of Florida about their 3-year old son whose life was cut short because of a series of preventable medical errors.

It’s a horror no parent should ever face.

Days later, Horst and Luisa buried their child Sebastian – their grief indescribable. But from their pain rose a new passion and a conviction – to prevent another parent from ever hearing those fateful words.

Strengthened by their resolve to advance medical care for all children and ensure their son’s memory, Horst and Luisa created The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation. Its non-profit mission is singular – to raise awareness of what occurred and to accept donations to be used to build a new, state-of-the-art children’s hospital in partnership with Shands at the University of Florida.

That was 5 years ago.

To date, the Foundation has raised more than 8 million dollars. But it’s not enough. More funds are required to turn Sebastian’s fate and their parents’ dream into a hopeful reality.

For me personally and for the past four years, I have donated 10% of all my earnings to the Foundation and I will continue to do so. This has become my cause. My fight. As a parent, I don’t know of anything more important to rally around.

Every penny, dime, dollar you give will pave the way for the bricks and mortar required to build this hospital. It will be available for all children everywhere, albeit here in Gainesville and beyond.

I know many of you live outside the area. But this cause has no geographical borders. Medical negligence can strike again. Anywhere. Preventing that through a state of the art hospital is the cure.

The Noche de Gala will take place on September 29th. Please open your hearts and participate in any way you can. Every gesture, regardless of size, matters so much.

Thank you for listening.

Blessings and peace,

Coleen DeGroff

Sebastian Ferrero Foundation logo

About Coleen DeGroff