The League Against Cancer / Liga Contra el Cancer was founded in Miami in 1975 as a community based, not for profit organization providing free medical care to needy cancer patients. More than 350 Florida physicians, who are board-certified in their specialties, volunteer their services to the League Against Cancer. The dedication and support of volunteer physicians and on-going assistance of volunteers maintain administrative costs at about 12% of operational budgets.
League Against Cancer is the last resort for cancer victims who have no financial resources or health insurance. Since 1975, more than 50,000 low-income, uninsured men, women and children have received world-class medical treatment, screenings and support from the League Against Cancer, which represents a very significant economic saving to the State of Florida. Expenses incurred by the League Against Cancer for cancer treatments can amount to as much as $50,000 per patient. Patients receive the appropriate medical treatments at no cost to them.
How it all began…
The League Against Cancer was founded in Florida in 1975. Lourdes Aguila (1932-1999), served as General Coordinator from 1975 until her death in 1999. The League Against Cancer was modeled after a similar organization that began in 1925 in Havana, Cuba and grew to include a world renown oncology center and operated until the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Lourdes Aguila’s lifelong dedication to this cause made the League Against Cancer the unique organization that it is today, serving as an intake and treatment facility for individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer. Once determined to be eligible for services, patient receive the appropriate services at no cost. Services are provided at the League’s own facility, in private physicians offices and at local hospitals.
The League accepts patients – children and adults – without distinction of race, creed or nationality. The League serves patients who lack the financial means to cover the costs of their treatment. Patients must have established legal residence in Florida or political asylum.
The League provides from case review and social services to surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, laboratory services and radiology, medication, prosthetics, home nursing and nurses aid services, home medical equipment, transportation, and moral support to patients and their families.
League Against Cancer has served (including follow-up) over 61,000 persons from 50 countries, since its foundation in 1975. The League began keeping statistics in 1982 and since then as of December 31, 2013, we have provided over 23,700 Papanicolaou Tests (Pap Smears); 29,500 Chemotherapy & Radiotherapy treatments; over 139,000 laboratory tests, over 42,900 radiology procedures, including Scans, Mammograms, Ultrasounds and MRI’s and 2,285 prostate screenings (since 1990). In the same period, close to 13,300 patients have been admitted to local hospitals under the supervision of this organization, and these patients have been treated for a wide range of different types of cancer.
A person who seeks medical help is interviewed by a Social Worker to determine financial eligibility. The patient is then examined by a physician who proceeds to determine and recommend treatment including surgery if needed. The League is financially responsible for these treatments. Over 350 doctors provide voluntary services to the League’s patients. In addition, the paid staff is supplemented by a corps of over 200 full and part-time volunteers in the operation of the clinic. The strong involvement of volunteers keeps the administrative costs at about 12% of total costs, three times less of a traditional doctor’s office.
The major source of income are the League’s annual fund-raising telethon on WSCV, Channel 51, state and county grants, an annual Christmas Raffle and private donations. Many lives have been saved, much suffering has been spared, and many destitute cancer victims have been able to die with a level of dignity usually reserved for those who have medical insurance or personal wealth.
New center dedicated to the memory of Lourdes Aguila: On Friday, June 9, 2000, the League Against Cancer celebrated the Grand Opening of its new center which houses the Lourdes P. Aguila Oncology Center and the Administrative Offices. The oncology center was dedicated to the memory of Lourdes P. Aguila, founder of Liga Contra el Cancer. The new oncology center has numerous state-of-the-art examination and treatment rooms.
The new League Against Cancer is located at 2180 South West 12 Avenue.