Winter party break for kids fighting leukemia
Updated: February 3, 2013 12:36PM
Cosmic-style bowling lighting only added to the fun at the Leukemia Research Foundation Kids Party held at Northbrook’s Pinstripes on Jan. 13. Friends, families and approximately 60 patients gathered for a day of games and respite from the grind of dealing with leukemia.
“The kids that here today range in age from about two to 16, and they put up quite a fight, day in and day out, the chemotherapy,” said Kevin Radelet, the Wilmette-based foundation’s executive director. He added that with all the different treatments they undergo each and every day, life “truly is a fight for them. They truly are role models for the rest of us because they do put up such a battle.”
Radelet was enjoying time upstairs Pinstripes banquet room, where guests danced to a disc jockey’s tunes. Treats for all were arranged around festive balloon centerpieces.
Downstairs, bowlers included Jenna Harris, 10, a Park Ridge fifth grader, who high-fived her twin cousins Kathryn and Elizabeth Harris, 9, Glenview third graders.
Grape purple and candy red bowling balls flew down alleys. Kathryn Harris, a Hoffman Elementary School student, wore a stylish cap as she bowled. Kathryn was diagnosed with leukemia in June, 2012.
Enjoying the day, Kathryn talked about the family’s new Golden Doodle pup, a holiday gift. “Her name’s Holly Elizabeth,” said Kathryn. “She’s so cute.”
“I don’t know if this is important,” explained Kathryn’s aunt Melanie Harris, also of Park Ridge. “Our family has had four cancers in four years.”
Harris said that lymphoma and colon cancer had been found among her family members, and that her father Jim Harris who passed in April, 2011, had battled bladder cancer. Her sister Marjorie (of Glenview) has had cancer that’s in remission.
“The community has been phenomenal” said Melanie Harris, who’s mother, Marilyn Harris, lives in Glenview.
“We’re a very close-knit family,” said Melanie. “My sister and I are single so we’re raising our families together, our kids are full of life, definitely tweens,” she said, with a laugh. “Family is important. We’re there for each other.”
“It’s a wonderful event,” said Keith Bergeron of Northbrook, who attended the party his wife Renee and daughters, Morgan, 7, a Westmoor School first grader and Emma, 5, a St. Norbert School preschooler. “It’s a chance for kids in particular to have a lot of fun, to enjoy time together.”
See www.leukemia-research.org. View Karie Angell Luc’s video interview with Kevin Radelet at www.northbrook.suntimes.com