The Shira Foundation:

How it all started…

Shira Nezaria was born in 1979, and like most girls, loved to play, do gymnastics, listen to music and be with her friends. She was a real chatterbox, and if you wanted an honest opinion about something, Shira was the person to go to.

In November, 1993, at age 14, Shira was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, bone cancer, in her knee. Months later, she lost her leg due to the spread of the disease, and in July, 1994, Shira tragically passed away at age 15.

Besides being scary, illness can be a very lonely and isolating experience, especially for children. It’s hard to see your friends doing things that kids do, while you know that you are not well enough to join them. No one wants to be defined by their illness; they just want to be who they are.

Wanting to honor the memory of his sister, Shira, Yair Nezaria and his wife, Danna, formed the Shira Foundation, whose mission it is to bring happiness to children in crisis, whether the challenge is due to illness, family strife, or financial distress. Kids just want to feel like kids, and they have every right to feel that way, no matter what their real life situation is.

One of the Shira Foundation’s first programs is called Girl’s Day Out, fashioned after a successful program established at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford (more information can be found at

We have partnered with the Rutgers Cancer Institute to provide young ladies battling cancer with a day of beauty and pampering at an upscale spa, including lunch, a special dessert, and take home gifts prepared by other local girls. These young women will have the opportunity to meet, talk with each other, enjoy the treats that so many young ladies enjoy, and hopefully, feel like a regular kid, or better yet, a queen, if even for only a few hours. Transportation and medical supervision are also provided so they will have the utmost safety and comfort.

We did not forget the young men battling cancer, and we also provide a Guy’s Day Out, where a group of young guys can attend a professional sporting event, with food, transportation and medical supervision also provided. It’s just guys hanging out with other guys, who perhaps can understand some of what they have been going through. Just as importantly, they get the chance to just be guys, getting together to watch a game.

For more information, or to contact us, please call 1-800-95-SHIRA extension 11, or email [email protected].