The Juanchi de la Rua Endowment Fund serves to recognize a graduating senior who possesses the same traits that made Juanchi so special: courage, perseverance, friendship, sportsmanship, integrity and a deep love for family and friends. The fund supports an award which is presented to a senior at graduation in Juanchi’s memory.
Juan Carlos de la Rua, "Juanchi," was a kind and gentle soul. He loved playing baseball, hanging out with his friends and always had a huge smile on his face. He was handsome, sweet and remarkably humble. He was a loyal friend and a loving brother and son. In 1997, at the age of 17, Juanchi was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare cancer in adults but accounted for approximately 20 percent of all childhood cancers. He fought through countless chemo and radiation treatments like a true “Warrior,” including receiving a bone marrow transplant the following year.
In 1998, with his cancer in remission, Juanchi walked across the stage of a crowded church to receive his high school diploma from Westminster Christian School. He received an incredible standing ovation from the crowd, demonstrating the love and admiration his classmates felt for him, knowing everything he had endured to be there. He was so happy that day, proud of himself and excited to begin a new chapter at Lynn University in the fall.
However, just a few months later in July, Juanchi and his family received the devastating news that his cancer had returned and metastasized. On October 24, 1998, with an entire list of dreams waiting to be fulfilled, Juanchi passed away at the age of 18, surrounded by family and friends at Miami Children’s Hospital.
In the midst of their unimaginable grief, Juanchi’s parents founded the Juanchi de la Rua Endowment Fund for Seniors at his alma mater to honor their son’s memory by acknowledging young students who possess the same traits that made Juanchi so special.
Now, more than 20 years later, the Endowment is in need of your support to continue honoring Juanchi's memory. Please consider making a donation to Juanchi’s Endowment Fund, ensuring his dreams can continue to live through a worthy senior who embodies his same qualities.
Please join us in honoring Juanchi de la Rua by contributing to The Juanchi de la Rua Endowment Fund for Seniors.