A non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity foundation, founded in the memory of Eng. Francisco Bechara, with the mission to strengthen public health by developing initiatives that educate, equip and empower the community in specific areas of health.
These are the LIFE stories that have inspired our initiatives.
QUICO BECHARA PROJECT
Quico Bechara was a healthy, strong and full of life. On Sunday, March 14, 2010 while enjoying a regular golf day with his son and friends, tragedy struck. He suffered a cardiac arrest. His friend, a doctor, tried tirelessly CPR and first response techniques to revive him. There was no defibrillator available. The paramedics arrived 40 minutes later, it was too late. Quico passed away. He was 69.
The Bechara family realized the lack of access to AED's in Puerto Rico and the importance this portable lifesaving machine have in the chain of survival. They embarked on the mission of educating, empowering and equipping the community, police patrol vehicles, and schools with AED's in an effort to prevent tragedies like theirs from happening. Immediately, Fundacion Bechara was born and the Quico Bechara Project was established.
BE BRAVE By Fundación Bechara
On March 2012, a perfectly healthy 21 year- old Alexa Borroto Bechara was a junior at Boston College when she woke up with a swollen knee. Forty- eight hours later, she had unbearable pain and severe inflammation in multiple joints all over her body. After ruling out all sorts of diseases and with no family history of rheumatic conditions, it was a striking surprise when she was finally diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). A year later, additional symptoms started to appear (such as high blood cell count, fevers, and chills), and doctors noticed that her condition was behaving more like Adult Onset Still's Disease, another rheumatic autoimmune condition. Although the medicines stabilized 90% of her condition, her hips had already suffered severe damage, which lead to a bilateral hip replacement.
Since the beginning, the fighter within her has been key. Her inner- strength, faith, perseverance, and determination kept her going even through the toughest times with optimism and a positive attitude.
Alexa led Fundación Bechara to start a project with the mission to support research and physician continuing education in order to promote early diagnosis, unravel trigger causes for these diseases, and discover innovative medications that provide quality of life for these patients. Through this project, Alexa also hopes to raise awareness and help educate about autoimmune diseases and how they don't discriminate against gender or age. She decided to name her project Be Brave because since day one she realized that in order to fight this acute condition she needed to have bravery and courage to succeed against all odds.