We often look at the start of a new year as a time to re-evaluate and refresh our priorities. This year, as we look ahead to 2014, please take a moment to help the family of Visitation School fifth-grader Kira Spedale of Elmhurst.
Kira was diagnosed in April with an inoperable brain stem tumor. In her family's desperate search to find a cure, they learned of an experimental medical trial being conducted by a doctor in Bristol, England. In September, they took Kira to England to receive her first treatment.
Her initial surgery and treatment were successful in arresting the rapid growth of the tumor, and Kira went back to England in November for a follow-up procedure, her dad, Joe Spedale said. Because of the experimental nature of the treatments and the fact she is being treated outside the United States, the family's health insurance will not pick up any of the costs.
"We have been fortunate in that a couple of local charities have come forward and offered to help us with the financial burden that we are facing as a result of our out-of-pocket medical and travel expenses," Joe said via email. "Our parish, Visitation, and a large part of the Elmhurst community have been extremely generous and supportive to our cause thus far, and offers for additional assistance continue to grace our family."
And, there is a fun way the Elmhurst community can get behind the Spedale family this New Year's Eve.
Brendan Fitzharris, owner of Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst, will donate proceeds from his annual New Year’s Eve party Tuesday to Kira's family, including 100 percent of the cover charge ($20 per person) collected at the door. Fitzharris also will donate 10 percent of all sales from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve—including proceeds from lunch, pool, bowling, dinner, etc.
Here's the New Year's Eve event on Facebook. It also is being billed as the last gig for the band, Trash Martini. From Facebook:
"This will be the most important New Year's Eve show the band, Trash, will ever play, not only because this is the last one for them for the forseeable future, but more importantly this show is a fundraiser to help a 10 year old Elmhurst girl, Kira Spedale, in a fight for her life."
So, tell your friends, stop by Fitz's Spare Keys some time on Tuesday, have some food and drink, and say a prayer for Kira. Here's to a healthy new year for this beautiful little girl.
If you can't make it to Fitz's Tuesday but would still like to donate, you can send a check to the Dr. Michalis J. Linardakis Foundation, 5704 S. Madison St., Hinsdale, IL 60521. Reference "Kira Spedale Donation" in the memo section of the check. For a lot more information about Kira's condition, treatment and updates, visit Kira's page on the MJL Foundation website.