The Schaller Family
Pete Schaller was the inspiration behind the Helping UP foundation and their primary fundraiser, the Schaller Scramble Golf Outing. Less than one year after his passing, the foundation presented his family with a monetary grant. The grant was used to defray the costs of hospice care during Pete’s last few months. The family was extremely grateful appreciative for the financial assistance during such a difficult time. Pete’s wife Jen said “I’m amazed by the number of people that showed up to support the foundation at the Schaller Scramble. It is truly a testament to how many people loved and cared about Pete.”
Chris Bermes is a family man, dedicated to his wife Becky and their kids. In 2013, Chris was diagnosed with form of melanoma and has been undergoing treatment since. In December of 2013, Helping UP Foundation provided a financial grant to the Bermes family, which was used to pay medical bills and spend quality family time together!
It is with a heavy heart that Helping UP Foundation announces the passing of Chris Bermes. Chris, who was a grant recipient in 2013, lost his battle with cancer on 3/24/15. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many friends who will miss him dearly.
Marla Nannini Dishinger
I wanted to say Thank you to Karen, Brian and everyone at the Helping Up foundation for all their hard work that benefits people that have dealt with the effects of cancer. It is truly a blessing to have people like you in the world that help make it a better place for people like my family. Paul lost his battle 364 days after his diagnosis and his biggest fear was not death but the position it was leaving me and the children in. Paul would take great comfort knowing that his family has people looking out for them. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!! Marla, Taylor, Jordan and Rachel Dishinger
The Fulton Family
At the time the Helping UP foundation delivered his grant to his hospice center in Barrington, Henry Fulton was a year old boy, who had been diagnosed in January of 2013 with Diffused Intransic Potine Glioma (DIPG). Henry’s case of DIPG included involvement of the spine, and an inoperable brain stem tumor with no known cure. Henry suddenly went from being a healthy, active 3 year old boy, to being bed ridden in a matter of weeks.
It saddens us to report that in November of 2013, after battling cancer for nearly nine months, Henry passed away peacefully, at the age of 4. The grant funds provided to Henry’s single mother and grandmother were used to pay off medical bills and property taxes on their home.
Megan Pedersen is a high school science teacher, happily married to Erik, with two children, Jake (8), and Tori (6). Megan was at her doctor’s office for a yearly check up when the doctor asked her the important question…”Do you self breast exams?” Her reply was “No”, and once the doctor performed the exam, he found a lump, and showed her where it was. Megan felt a sense of embarrassment, knowing that if she had been performing the self-exams, she would have found it on her own. Based on this exam, a mammogram was performed, followed by an ultrasound, and a biopsy, which resulted in the diagnosis of Stage 2 breast cancer. This all took place in May of 2013.
Megan proceeded to meet with a surgeon who recommended and subsequently performed a lumpectomy on June 7, 2013, in which he removed the tumor, two lymph nodes and some marginal tissue, all of which came back cancer free. At the end of June, the doctors put in a port, and Megan underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy over the next 16 weeks, followed by 33 radiation treatments from November to January. Through follow up testing, it was determined that Megan is in remission and is “cancer free”. She is anxiously awaiting her next mammogram to get an “all clear” so that she can then have her port removed.
In December , 2013, the Helping UP Foundation delivered a grant check to the Pedersen family, at which time Megan reported that she is feeling good and strong, and her hair is growing back! The family used the grant funds to pay off some medical bills and to provide for a Happy Holiday Season for their kids!
Haley was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of brain
cancer known as Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma, Grade 3. Of the 4300 brain tumors in kids each year, only 2% are diagnosed as this type of cancer. Unfortunately, less than one year after being diagnosed, this young lady lost her battle with brain cancer. Grant money was used to pay off medical expenses, and hopefully ease the family’s suffering a little.
I wish that I had to words to properly express my gratitude. I am thankful for the generosity and kindness that you have bestowed upon our family. To bring smiles to our faces, and a sense of relief to our minds at this point is immeasurable! I am grateful. I look forward to being able to support your foundation in the future!
In September of 2015, 2 year old Noah Baker was diagnosed with high risk Neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. Since that time, Noah has had to endure four rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell collection for later use, tumor removal surgery, tandem Stem Cell Transplant, 3 weeks of radiation, and immunotherapy. The funds from the grant were used to offset the insurmountable medical expenses that are accumulating.
In March of 2017, this 10 year old boy mysteriously suffered a series of seizures. He was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for 6 days, and all the investigations by the doctors had concluded nothing. After four Spinal Tap procedures, two MRI’s, countless head/chest/abdomen X-Rays and CT Scans and multiple EEG’s, it wasn’t until June that year that he was diagnosed with an Anaplastic Astrocytoma, which is a Grade III brain tumor so rare that it only affects 1-3% of all pediatric cancer patients. At this time, surgery is not an option, and the only hope is that chemotherapy and radiation treatments can slow the growth of the tumor. Landon’s mother is a 911 Dispatcher, and his father is a Police Officer. The Helping UP grant that the family received was used to pay for medical and travel expenses incurred over the last year.
Jim was a Firefighter with the Lincolnshire/Riverwoods Fire Protection District. He was suddenly diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and the illness forced him to cash out his pension at an early age just to try to make ends meet. As he was fighting cancer, his awarded and court mandated health insurance was being disputed and was not being paid. With the bills mounting, Jim used the grant money to pay off increasing medical expenses.
Tom & Joy Coombs
In the fall of 2017, Tom was diagnosed with stage four cancer. In the spring of 2018, Joy was also diagnosed with stage four cancer. For the last 40 years, this couple had faithfully served as missionaries together in South America, Spain, and Southeast Asia. Now they are in the biggest battle of their lives, trying to survive cancer. The grant money will be used to offset the medical costs the couple has incurred.
Saundra has worked at a local middle school for over 16 years. She is a mother of two, grandmother of one, and friend to many. Last fall, Saundra was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She has undergone two courses of chemotherapy and a lumbar puncture and has received intrathecal chemotherapy to prevent the leukemia from spreading into her cerebral spinal fluid. Saundra is set to begin IV chemotherapy and an additional intrathecal chemotherapy, which will result in an extended hospital stay. Her overall treatment is estimated to last more than two years. The grant money is being used to pay off medical expenses and ease the family’s financial burden.
The Bachal Family
When Nina was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), we stepped into a whole new world where a child who was healthy and happy was suddenly fighting for life. Nina has had to endure so much both physically and emotionally, but she is strong. During her first week of chemotherapy in the hospital she made this:.
It’s been ten months of chemotherapy and surgery. Yesterday we got the news we have prayed for. Her scans are clean. There is no evidence of disease.
We didn’t get here alone. So many people sent good wishes and prayed for our family.
The kindness of those who care made it possible to stay positive and believe that we were on the way to health with every day she endured treatment. We have been so blessed by those who reached out to us and offered help along the way.
Your website shows: The mission of the Helping UP Foundation is to help families that have been stricken with cancer and to assist with their financial needs.
You didn’t just send us a check. You gave us the gift of sure knowledge that our neighbors and friends care and lifted our spirits to continue the fight. Thank you so very much for your generosity.
We do have a huge financial burden because of co-pays and prescriptions and lost wages while sitting at the hospital for months on end. But, we will not use your grant to pay that off.
It is time to celebrate Nina’s accomplishment and applaud her strength. We will use the grant that you gave us to fulfill some wishes that are well deserved and earned.
Nina has a wish list that includes a big steak dinner (got that done last night!) and swimming (hasn’t been able to get her chest in water for 10 months) and some other (even bigger) plans for ways to celebrate her health. With your grant we can get it all done. Thank you so much for helping us to put the smile back on her face.
Our hearts are full with many, many reasons to feel that we have been blessed. May God bless you in return for your thoughtful response to the crisis that our family went through.
The Bachal Family
Nina, Adam, Andrea, Nancy and Mike
Stacey Baylen is a special education teacher at Buffalo Grove High School, happily married to Howard, with two children, Logan (8), and Jake (4). Stacey was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer in March, 2011. She began chemotherapy immediately after the diagnosis, and after her third treatment, her gallbladder flared up and she had to stop the treatments. In July, 2011 Stacey underwent three major surgeries. She had a colon resection to remove the main tumor, then a liver resection to remove two spots on her liver, and her gallbladder was also removed. Due to the severity of these surgeries, Stacey’s body suffered severe trauma. After recovering, she underwent three more chemotherapy treatments, followed by radiation treatments and an additional 4 chemotherapy treatments.
Stacey was declared “cancer free” until she was scanned in October, 2013, when the doctors found 3 more spots that were in-operable. This means that the cancer is now in her blood, and that there is no cure. She went through an additional four chemotherapy treatments to shrink the spots. Since that time, Stacey has been undergoing maintenance chemo therapy to help prevent the spots from enlarging and/or any new spots from forming.
Through all of this, Stacey still finds the time and perseverance to give back to the community by staying involved in the Lake Zurich/Wauconda Relay for Life, supporting the American Cancer Society. The grant funds given to the Baylen family were used to pay off medical bills and to pay for a 40th Birthday Party for Stacey!
While changing their daughters diaper one night, the parents discovered a lump in her abdomen. Upon receiving the MRI results, the parent’s worst fears were recognized when the doctors told them it was a tumor in her kidney, known as Wilms disease. The family is continuing the testing and treatment of the baby in New York with doctors who specialize in Wilms disease. The treatment plan includes surgery to remove the tumor, and chemotherapy to follow. Helping UP Foundation was able to present the family with a grant to ease the financial burden of treatment and the travel required for it.
The youngest of 5 daughters was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2004. The chemotherapy treatments appeared to be working, until relapses in 2005 and again in 2007. At that time she was given a 10% chance of survival. She kept fighting and has been cancer free ever since. Then suddenly, in 2014,
one of the other daughters was diagnosed with the same type of Leukemia. She is currently traveling back and forth from Cincinnati where she is undergoing chemotherapy treatments at a hospital that specializes in this type of Leukemia. The grant money was used to pay off medical expenses and ease the family’s financial burden.
Kerry Fitzgerald Sullivan
At the age of 37, Lindsay was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that time her youngest child was only 3 years old. In Spring of 2015, Lindsay was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastastic Breast Cancer because the cancer had spread to her brain. Since May of 2014, Lindsay has undergone multiple surgeries to remove tumors, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy treatments, yet the cancer has continued to spread to other parts of her body. The grant funds were used to pay medical bills and daily expenses.
Liz Caldwell Sams
After multiple years of repeat mammograms with varying results, Liz was fortunate enough on May 29, 2015 to receive her first 3D mammography screening. After a few more views, ultrasound, and a biopsy, the medical team was finally able to determine what was causing her trouble. Liz was diagnosed with Stage 3A Breast Cancer on June 2, 2015. After a double mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemotherapy, 28 rounds of radiation and an oophorectomy, Liz was finally in a position to breathe again. The grant funds were used to lessen the financial burden the family was undergoing do to medical bills.
In 2009, Lynette was first diagnosed with Triple Negative Stage III Breast Cancer. At that time, the treatments applied by the medical staff were effective. Just recently, Lynette was re-diagnosed with breast cancer which has now metastasized to other organs. After nine years since the first diagnosis, Lynette is now a single mother of 3, already struggling to make ends meet. The Grant funds will help lessen the financial burden Lynette is facing.
In 2003, Karen had a tumor the size of a grapefruit removed from her neck. In 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery to remove it. During the surgery they found more cancer and had another surgery and started treatment a month later. In 2010, she was diagnosed with soft tissue cancer from the radiation treatments. Then, in 2017, she was diagnosed with atypical cells in her uterine lining. Luckily the doctorts got to it early and were able to remove it all. After all she has been through, today Karen is cancer free! Karen is using the grant money to offset the medical expenses not covered by insurance.