I came to know Sheila Quirke through her blog Mary Tyler Mom. Sheila is a wonderful storyteller and a vocal member of our ChicagoNow community. She is passionate, generous and genuine.
She's also a grieving Mom.
Sheila writes primarily about cancer in tribute to her daughter Donna who died in 2009 at the age of 4. Sheila and her family established Donna's Good Things as an ongoing celebration of Donna's legacy of love and hope.
Sheila is also active in St. Baldrick's, a foundation that since 1999 has granted a staggering $100 million to researchers trying to find a cure for pediatric cancer.
Funding for pediatric cancer is poor despite the fact that more U.S. children die from cancer than any other disease. Did you know:
- Before the age of 20, 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will be diagnosed with cancer.
- A child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes.
- Most childhood cancers e.g., brain tumors have a 50/50 cure rate, and some, like DIPG, are known to be fatal with no known treatment or cure.
- 73% of kids who survive their cancer will have chronic health problems as a result of their treatment and 42% will suffer severe or life-threatening conditions like secondary cancers.
I am the father of four wonderful children. Wonderful, but not perfect - just like their Dad. All I wish for them, for any of us, is health and happiness.
I hope you will join my family in supporting St. Baldrick's and Donna's Good Things at their upcoming fundraiser on March 30th.
We all experience suffering, loss and the choice to persevere; to focus on what has been given to us instead of what has been taken away.
We stand with Donna. And we choose hope.
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