A Million Dollar Legacy to Support Oncology Patients
August 11, 2023
When Sarala Bathena passed away in 2006 from late stage renal carcinoma two days shy of her 46th birthday in 2008, Adithya Bathena, her son, and their family knew they wanted to assist other families undergoing the same challenging experiences. The family created the Sarala Bathena Foundation – which supports individuals and families affected by cancer and causes that benefit children and those in need - in her honor, and recently made a generous $1 million gift to Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center Foundation to establish the Sarala Bathena Oncology Patient Assistance Fund at Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center.
The Sarala Bathena Oncology Patient Assistance Fund gift will cover expenses for patients that could otherwise be a barrier to treatment, including transportation, medication and other necessities.
“Our mother was a selfless woman who always put others first,” says Adithya. “The three years that she battled cancer were very difficult for our family, but we were fortunate enough to have the financial resources to give her the best care possible and exhaust every option. Realizing that others didn’t have the same luxury helped to shape the mission and core values of our family’s foundation, and we started to host annual events to raise money to help families provide their loved ones with the best care possible.”
The transformational gift comes at an exciting time for JFK University Medical Center, which is about to embark on a $14 million oncology expansion project, which will create a new, state-of-the-art oncology facility located in a separate building across the street from the main hospital at 80 James Street. Designed to house the latest in cancer fighting technology and nationally recognized specialists, the new building will enhance the patient experience and is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.
The Bathena family is committed to fulfilling the mission of the Sarala Bathena Foundation and, as owners of Buy Rite Liquors, began hosting annual wine tasting events in 2007 to make an impact. This year, they will celebrate their 16th annual Super Sampling event, where attendees will be able to try samples of more than 500 wines, craft beers and spirits. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the newly established Sarala Bathena Oncology Patient Assistance Fund at JFK University Medical Center to benefit patients and their loved ones, as well as support other interests that align with the goals of the Sarala Bathena Foundation.
We thank the Bathena family for their incredible gift in honor of Sarala’s life, which we know will help patients and their families for years to come. To purchase tickets to the Super Sampling event in support of the Sarala Bathena Oncology Patient Assistance Fund at JFK University Medical Center, please click here and use promo code “JFK” at checkout. To support oncology services at JFK University Medical Center, please contact Sheri A. Marino, MA, CCC-SLP, executive director of JFK University Medical Center Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.