Honoring a nine-year commitment between two unlikely partners, Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth has renamed its infusion center for Dallas-based footwear brand Hari Mari.
The Hari Mari Infusion Center is now where Cook Children’s pediatric patients will go to receive the necessary medicine, radiation, and chemotherapy to fight cancer.
For its near decade-long existence, Hari Mari — known for its premium flip-flops favored by celebrities and beach bums around the country — has given a portion of its proceeds to combat pediatric cancer through its Flops Fighting Cancer initiative. The company also has contributed specifically to Cook Children's, supplementing medical treatment costs for pediatric oncology and hematology patients.
“Since 2012, Cook Children’s has been proud to partner with Hari Mari and their Flops Fighting Cancer," said Cook Children's Health Foundation senior vice president Grant Harris in a statement. "As Hari Mari has grown, so too has our friendship with their incredible team. We have enjoyed being a part of this company’s growth over the last nine years, and will continue to cheer our friends at Hari Mari on every step of the way."
Dallasites Jeremy and Lila Stewart founded Hari Mari in 2012 after spending time in Indonesia, where each worked on projects related to improving children's lives: Jeremy, making a documentary film about helping kids suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and Lila, volunteering for orphanages in and outside of Jakarta. Upon their return to the United States, the married couple devoted themselves to helping children through their new flip-flop company whose name means "sun" (Hari) and "sea" (Mari). They chose pediatric cancer, they say, after learning how prevalent it was among children in the United States.
Hari Mari flip-flops are now sold online and in retailers around the world, and the Stewarts are opening their first flagship store in Dallas on Thursday, May 13.
Lila Stewart said in an interview that continuing Hari Mari's philanthropic efforts throughout a "roller coaster" 2020 has been one of the company's proudest successes. (Dollar figures were not disclosed.)
"We are excited the hospital wanted to do that and grateful that what we were able to give was impactful," she said.
The hospital says the infusion center is not only integral for cancer patients, but it also hosts children from the cardiology and neurology centers as well, caring for thousands of patients each year. Watch a video of the name unveiling here.