Heroes Hangout opens in North Miami Beach as new haven for children battling cancer

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Heroes Hangout, a haven for children battling cancer, had its grand opening in North Miami Beach, Saturday.

Located at 1943 N.E. 164th Str., the space gives children a chance to get away from the trying times they often face.

“It is such a special day today. This has been a dream of mine for so long,” said Sylvia Dominguez Vanni, cofounder of Mystic Force Foundation.

The hangout space is the brainchild of Dominguez Vanni, who lost her own son to cancer.

“We found the most caring and wonderful man, Victor Dante from Dante Law Firm, who is sponsoring this location, so we pay no rent, which is unbelievable,” she said.

The unique haven has video games and toys for children to pick from. The space will also be utilized to host special events.

“We’re now providing a place for them where they can go between treatments,” said Dominguez Vanni. “It’s going to make me emotional because my baby would have loved this.”

Several police departments in Miami-Dade County were also present during the grand opening.

The officers’ vehicles featured special tributes to show support and bring awareness.

“There’s not enough funding for childhood cancer, so we need to come together as a community and really get behind these kids,” said North Miami Beach Police Major Richard Rand.

The community’s efforts to come together for the cause will help children enjoy being kids.

“A lot of times our children are isolated from playgrounds and other recreational activities because their immune system is compromised,” said Jackie Matthews, whose son survived cancer. “This is like a safety net, a safety zone where our kids can come and kind of forget about treatment, forget about the IVs, forget about the pumps and just let loose, paint, be with other children and act their age.”

Everything for Heroes Hangout is donated, from the toys provided for the children to the space itself.

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