This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
The St. Francis Xavier Catholic Women’s Club in La Grange gave to children and teens fighting cancer by hosting a movie night in the parking lot of the church titled “Toys for Tyler’s Community Birthday Party Movie Night.” The event was held in memory of Tyler Duelm, a childhood cancer patient who lost his battle and who is continually remembered in the LaGrange community for courage in the face of tremendous adversity. This is the 14th year the community has come together for this event.
When the Community Birthday Party was over, 100’s of toys and $6,610 had been collected for the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation (POTCF), the organization that supported Tyler Duelm during his radiation treatment in 2006. Since its inception this popular event has raised more than $25,130 and 1000’s of toys and gift cards for children and teens fighting cancer.
The mission of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Women’s Club is to welcome new women into the parish, provide spiritual and social activities for members, encourage participation in parish life and promote charitable and humanitarian projects on behalf of the parish. Cathy Murphy, President of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Women’s Club said, “The Catholic Women’s Club is happy to chair this event as a wonderful tribute to Tyler Duelm. We were able to support the Treasure Chest Foundation in a unique way during the global pandemic, by hosting a movie night. It’s become a beloved annual tradition on behalf of a very special cause.”
Tyler’s mother, Laura Duelm said, “It was great to see families come together either virtually or in person in memory of our sweet little Tyler.” Tyler’s dad Brent Duelm, said this about his employer Leopardo Companies Inc. who donated $5,000 through the auspices of their Leopardo Charitable Foundation, “My company has a foundation that supports causes for its employees. We are pleased to support the Treasure Chest Foundation.”
POTCF Founder and CEO Colleen Kisel said, “I feel blessed to have the support of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Women’s Club. I feel sad when I think about the pain the Duelm family has had to endure. They have continued to support the Treasure Chest Foundation in memory of their beloved son Tyler for more than fourteen years, and for that we are so grateful.”
The POTCF is a unique organization whose services impact more than 14,000 young cancer patients in 60 cancer treatment centers in 20 states across the nation and in the District of Columbia. Nowhere else in the nation does such a program exist. Colleen Kisel founded the organization in 1996 after her then seven-year-old son Martin had been diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. Ms. Kisel discovered that giving her son a toy after each procedure provided a calming distraction from his pain, noting that when children are diagnosed with cancer their world soon becomes filled with doctors, nurses, chemotherapy drugs, surgeries and seemingly endless painful procedures. Martin celebrated his 27th anniversary of remission from the disease in March of 2020.
If you would like further information about the Treasure Chest Foundation, please contact Colleen Kisel at 708-687-TOYS (8697) or visit the Foundation’s web site at www.treasurechest.org.
The views expressed in this post are the author’s own. Want to post on Patch?
The rules of replying:
- Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated.
- Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims.
- Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic.
- Review the Patch Community Guidelines.