This morning the Tampa Bay Rays, in collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center, Ponce Health Sciences University, the University of South Florida, the honorable Janet Cruz, State Representative, District 62, and Course of Action Puerto Rico, chartered a plane to Ponce, Puerto Rico to help in the relief effort following Hurricane Maria.
The organizations are delivering medical supplies and equipment; preserving cancer tissue samples from the Puerto Rico Biobank; and picking up cancer patients, caregivers and nuns from a local church.
Among the passengers on the one-day trip are St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Rays left-handed pitcher Xavier Cedeño (a native of Guayanilla, Puerto Rico) and his family. Xavier, his wife Mariliz, and sister Lizzette, will be returning to their home in Puerto Rico and remaining on the island.
Rays bench coach Charlie Montoyo is a native of Manatí, Puerto Rico, and his brother Luis, and cousin José will be travelling as well, picking up Montoyo’s mother and father and bringing them back to the United States on the trip.
It is estimated that 90% of Puerto Rico remains without power.
Also travelling with State Representative Janet Cruz will be Robert Keenan, MD, Vice President, Quality and Chief Medical Officer, Moffitt Cancer Center; Alex Ruiz, Chief Strategy Officer, Ponce Health Sciences University; and Rafaela A. Amador Fink, Sr. Director Public Affairs, Tampa Bay Rays.