'Quiet Heroes' SuperSibs! Will Honor 100 Local Moms of Children with Cancer at Luncheon

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 26, 2010 | Go to article overview
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'Quiet Heroes' SuperSibs! Will Honor 100 Local Moms of Children with Cancer at Luncheon


Byline: Jamie Sotonoff jsotonoff@dailyherald.com

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the family goes on an emotional roller coaster ride, as well as an endless string of doctors appointments, tests and treatments.

It can be hard for exhausted parents to focus their attention on their healthy children, and that's where SuperSibs! comes in.

The national nonprofit organization, based in Rolling Meadows, supports the siblings of children with cancer. It's an important job, as more than half of children whose siblings have cancer report symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

On Saturday, May 8, during Mother's Day weekend, SuperSibs! will host its third annual "A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes" Luncheon and Auction at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont.

One hundred moms from across the Chicago area whose children have cancer will be honored and given a chance to renew their spirit. The special guest speaker is Rudy Pauls, the runner-up to last season's "The Biggest Loser," who will talk about how his sister's cancer diagnosis impacted his childhood.

The auction will feature prizes, including tickets to the Cubs-White Sox game at Wrigley Field Saturday, June 12; a two-hour private coaching session for up to three boys from former Cub and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Aaron Heilman; and a six-day vacation to Mexico.

The luncheon is open to the public, and the $100 tickets include the luncheon and program. The cost will also help cover the cost for the guests of honor.

Most of the 100 mothers being honored are from the suburbs. Among the honorees:

Vickie Czapla, Mundelein

Married to John Czapla. Parents of 5-year-old twins Jack and Mackensie. Jack was diagnosed in Nov. 2009 with ALL leukemia. Mackensie has been in SuperSibs! since Dec. 2009.

A bit about her family: What we thought was a pinched nerve turned into the next three-plus years of our lives. The treatment has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped, but we are still very optimistic about the overall outcome. We will take whatever hurdle is thrown at us if that means Jack's life is spared.

How has SuperSibs! helped?: With Jack being a twin, the attention he gets (and deserves) can really upset Mackensie. She does not understand the magnitude of everything. The one thing ... that really sticks out in my mind is when she received the SuperSibs! trophy in the mail. She took it to school the next day and told all her friends she got this trophy for helping take care of her brother. You could see how proud she was of herself. It helped her feel like she had a purpose in this fight.

Maria Nevarez, Elgin

Married to Jose Nevarez. Son Arnold, 10, was diagnosed in August 2008 with ALL, a blood cancer.

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