2013 was our most ambitious up to that point!
We sponsored 6 incredible families,
2 Cancer Charities
and 1 financial aid endowment.
My journey with cancer began 12 years ago when I was 34 years old. I have a rare form of cancer called LeioMyoSarcoma. During these 12 years I have undergone six surgeries to remove cancerous tumors from my lungs and right hip, plus radiation and chemotherapy. I have just undergone multiple tests and started my first round of a new chemotherapy to help with several tumors throughout my body. As you can imaging, it has been a frightening and expensive ordeal for me and my family. I see multiple specialists for my health care. My medical bills continue to mount especially during this last year as my condition worsened.
Thankfully, I have been blessed with a wonderful, supportive wife who is a nurse and my lifesaver and three beautiful children, ages of 18, 15 and 13. Through these many troubling years, my wife has been by my side, working when she could to add to our family income, but because of the expense of raising a young family along with me and my family's medical bills, we struggle to keep up financially.
Amber Moosvi was born May 24, 1995 prematurely, weighing only one pound. Sadly, she passed away in March of 2014. She spent three months in Neonatal Intensive care. She had many complications from her prematurity that she slowly overcame and beat every odd against her. When Amber was Thirteen years old, symptoms began to arise again, and she was treated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, since no physicians at any hospitals in our area could diagnosis and treat her. After months in Minnesota, a diagnosis of Gastroparesis was diagnosed and a grueling medication and treatment plan were put into place. Including being homeschooled for three years due to extreme pain and her almost daily visits to a rehab facility downtown Chicago. Amber finally overcame this disease and in the fall of 2011, returned to High School as a Junior. She had straight A grades, and was very popular amongst her peers. Everything was going quite well for Amber.
At the end of October 2011, Amber began complaining of excruciating Sinus pain. She was taken to her physician several times, as well as our local Emergency Department. Each time we were told it was just a mild sinus infection and to just wait for the antibiotics to begin working. On November 2, 2011, her pediatrician finally ordered an MRI of Amber’s brain. Within hours, we were rushed to Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital where she was immediately intubated on a breathing machine and had emergency brain surgery just minutes later. We were told that if she even survived this surgery she would never walk or talk again. Amber had a Malignant, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Brain Tumor. Stage Four Cancer. She was only 16 years old.
Amber was in-patient in the hospital receiving rehabilitation services, yet another brain surgery, a shunt inserted in her brain as well as a port. She then had to re-learn how to do everything, including even how to dress herself. She underwent daily Radiation Treatment and oral Chemotherapy. When she was finally discharged from the hospital, she continued out-patient rehabilitation services, oral chemotherapy, and bi-weekly Chemotherapy.
Amber had a younger 15 year old sister Paige, who she adored and was cared for by her single mother, who was forced to resign from her 16 year career to care for Amber. Her Father offered zero emotional, or monetary support.
Through all her struggle, Amber kept a smile on her face and encouraged other brain tumor warriors, she told them to NEVER EVER GIVE UP and to keep fighting. It was her mission to spread awareness about Brain Tumors and fight for a cure until the day she passed. Team Amber continues that battle in her memory. .
St. Patrick High School Cancer-Aid Endowment
For 150 years the Christian
Brothers at St. Patrick High School on the northwest side of Chicago have been
providing an educational experience of the highest quality which enables young
men to develop their maximum potential as lifelong learners and assets to
society and the Church.
As graduates of St. Pat’s, Tom (’82) and Bill (’83) know first-hand the lasting value of a Lasallian education. The ethics and philosophies taught there have impacted many of the decisions they’ve made in their lives.
Funds from this year’s event will go towards the creation of an endowment to provide financial aid to students whose family are going through a cancer struggle.
On April 3rd Kelly discovered a lump in her left breast. On Friday the 13th, the superstitious unlucky day proved to be just that. Kelly was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Kelly was overwhelmed with devastation. After numerous scans and further biopsies as well as genetic testing Kelly was hit again; she learned she was BRCA positive. She carried a genetic mutation that greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer. Thoughts of her future brought her to tears. On May 1st Kelly began what would be 6 months of intense chemotherapy. She suffered through many complications including excruciating bone pain, blood clots in her heart, and serious allergic reactions. Kelly could no longer work because of the abuse chemo had caused her.
October 31st Kelly had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. The decision to remove both of her breasts was the hardest decision this young woman had to make. Kelly knew this was the best decision to prevent her cancer from returning. Late that Halloween night Kelly and her family were blessed with news that Kelly was cancer free. This was the moment Kelly had been fighting for. The following day Kelly developed a hematoma in her left breast and was rushed back to the operating room to have a large amount of blood removed from her breast. November 16th Kelly began having high fevers and extreme chest pain. She was hospitalized again and brought back to the operating room for the 3rd time in 3 weeks. She had a serious infection as well as another hematoma now in the right breast. Kelly’s body had been so beat up between the complications with chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. Kelly continued to find strength to overcome the seemingly never ending obstacles. Her medical expenses will continue to bear a heavy burden on Kelly and her husband.
Today Kelly’s battle continues on. This journey isn’t over for her, because of Kelly’s genetic mutation she is at high risk for developing ovarian cancer. Kelly is currently undergoing treatment for recurrence of breast cancer in her liver. She will need to be continually scanned and closely monitored for the rest of her life. She will also need surgery to remove her ovaries in the future. Kelly is a strong willed woman but can’t endure this alone please join us to help her in the fight of her life.
This has been a tough time for the Scanlon family, but they are a tight knit family and will get through it. Dave and Olivia are the anchors that are holding everything together for the family of 7, with Chris being right in the middle at age 11.
Chris, has had a very tough road the past couple months but has had the best attitude. He is a champ. Chris was diagnosed with Medullablastoma on 11/27/12. He underwent surgery on 11/30/12, Doctors were unable to remove the entire mass at the stem of the brain.
Currently, Chris is receiving radiation and chemotherapy to get rid of the rest of the tumor. He loves to play on the basketball team for WPD and play in the school band. Chris had just begun his journey into middle school where he also ran cross country and looked forward to many new opportunities. This was quickly halted when Chris became ill and could not participate anymore. Chris' mom left her job to care for him and make sure he gets the treatment he needs. His dad is working hard to keep the family afloat financially as well as emotionally. Scout and Dave Jr.(20) are the older siblings who are doing everything they can to help while continuing to attend college classes. Anthony (7) and Johnny (5) want their big brother back, healthy and laughing again!
5 year old Sydney was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas 2012. What her parents thought would be a routine visit to the Pediatrician turned into an emergent hospital admission and intensive medical treatment. Sydney’s initial blood counts were so low that she needed an immediate platelet transfusion to save her life.
Once stabilized, invasive testing was performed and she was diagnosed with acute promyeloblastic leukemia.
Sydney quickly began induction chemotherapy. She then developed an
infection and reaction to chemotherapy that required subsequent hospital
admissions. Thankfully, Sydney eventually responded well to her treatment
after being admitted for almost 4 weeks and was able to return home to be with her parents and younger brother.
Sydney is a loving, spunky, 5 year-old girl who loves life. Her younger brother is her best friend. Sydney is a light to everyone she meets. She has much to give. But for now, the little one has much to endure.
As you can imagine, it has also been extremely challenging months for Sydney's family. Obviously they are thrilled that Syndey has been improving and has a good long term prognosis, however, the high cost of treatment has become a significant issue. The economic downturn has been rough on her parents' industries (architecture and marketing). But the bills don't care, they keep marching and mounting. Unfortunately little Sydney will still require 30 months of therapy including long term chemotherapy and its associated sequellae. They are in need of all the love and support that the BTB community can muster!
The Cancer Care Foundation
When one is diagnosed with cancer, countless emotional, physical, and financial worries inevitably result. Yet with the financial burden of medical care, many are unable to receive psychosocial support.
The Cancer Care Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers free counseling and support services to cancer patients and their loved ones. Their services are most accessible to those who live in north suburban Cook County, although they have clients from all over Chicago land. Please click here for more information on their programs
The goal of The Cancer Care Foundation is to help those who feel as if there is nowhere else to turn. We listen, support and empower