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Redeeming the Unthinkable

By Steve Gregg

Over the past couple of years, Mike Lauzardo’s name has become synonymous with COVID and UF’s efforts to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. Many are grateful for Mike and his family’s tireless service and sacrifice to the community during those difficult times.

As members of our Creekside family, however, we know that Mike and Eileen have been serving others in significant ways for years. One of the most significant ways has been through the foundation they started seventeen years ago called the Keira Grace Foundation.

In 2003, over the course of just a few months, Mike and Eileen learned that both of their young children, preschooler son, Ryan and baby daughter, Keira had leukemia. After intensive treatment Ryan recovered, but unfortunately Keira did not. In the aftermath of losing their daughter, Mike and Eileen spent time wrestling with the grief and the questions that come to any parent that loses a child. They will tell you that their Creekside family was instrumental in helping them navigate those days. For those of us who were here during those days, it was a loss the entire church felt deeply.

As doctors, Mike and Eileen knew that this tragedy was being experienced by other families every day. They prayed about how God might redeem such a loss and how God would have them respond to it. With Mike’s work in public health, he heard of a remarkably successful program in Central America that took a relatively small amount of money and spent it in targeted ways on childhood leukemia patients. He and Eileen felt called to start a foundation that would raise money to duplicate this effort in other Latin American countries to help families going through the same tragedy they endured.

Since 2003, the Keira Grace Foundation has hosted an annual fundraiser to raise money to continue their mission of bringing hope, restoration and life to children with cancer in developing countries. Since the beginning, their efforts have focused on their partnerships in the Dominican Republic, where they have witnessed amazing results. Recently they have branched out to new partnerships in Brazil and Columbia, South America. These efforts are partnering with local organizations to specifically target efforts to increase the survival rate of children with cancer in those countries. As in the past, they are confident they will be able to take a moderate amount of money and make a huge impact in childhood cancer survival rates.

Their next fundraiser is set for February 11 at Sante Fe River Ranch. Please consider going or passing this information on to someone who might be interested. Also, please be praying for Mike and Eileen as they seek to be light and salt in places that are often overlooked. For those of us who have watched this unfold, it is a remarkable story of redemption and a repeat of what Joseph said in Genesis 50:20, This was meant for evil, but God used it for good.

For more information, please go to their website at: