RNs Ask Public to Honor Nurses Week with Aid to Families

FRESNO, Calif.

CNA has established the CNA Nursing Angels Family Fund to make donations to the fund that will be provided directly to the families of the five women.

The fire that took the lives of four nurses and one other healthcare worker from the Bay Area and Fresno -- Neriza Fojas, 31, of Monterey, Michelle Estrera, 35, of Fresno, Jennifer Balon, 39, of Dublin; Anna Alcantara, 46, of SanLorenzo, and Felonmina Geronga, 43, of Alameda -- left many shocked and grieving.

"The five were committed caregivers, loyal friends and loving mothers who dedicated their professional lives to the lives of others every day in our hospitals and clinics," said CNA co-president Zenei Cortez, RN.

"What better way to commemorate a week that offers recognition and tribute for nurses and these women who cared for the patients and each other than to contribute to this fund to support the families in their hour of pain and grieving," Cortez said.

The group was celebrating the recent marriage of Ms. Fojas, a registered nurse at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. The source of the limo fire is still under investigation. In establishing the CNA Nursing Angels Family Fund, members and leaders of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United extended their profound sorrow and condolences to the families and loved ones of these women for their loss.

California Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement Friday recognizing the incredible contribution of nurses who "work hard every day to make our state a healthier, happier place." Nurses asked that all interested in donating please visit the California Nurses Association website – calnurses.org or call 510-273-2200 for more details. (Donations to the fund are not tax deductible.) Public Service Announcements produced by CNA seeking funds for the families are airing this week.

"I just want to say thank you to the nurses for all your support, all your prayers," said Abner Alcantara, husband of one of the deceased nurses, Anna Alcantara. Abner, a postal carrier, lives in San Lorenzo and has two children, Andrei, 14, and Arianna, 8.

The California Nurses Association has 85,000 members in the state and is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.

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