When the St. Jude Girls 10U team learned that their goalie’s brother, Spencer, needed to move to St. Louis, Missouri, to be placed on the transplant waiting list for a lung and heart transplant, The St. Jude Girls 10U team rallied together to help raise much needed funds. They held a Glow in the Dark Yoga (Glowga) event at Revival Yoga Wellness Studio in Palos Heights. For an admission fee of $25, participants were painted, wore glow-in-the-dark necklaces and practiced yoga in a dark room. All the proceeds were given to the Kolman family to help defray the costs associated with Spencer’s illness.
“Our 10U girls really came together off the ice as a team, worked the fundraiser, had some fun doing yoga, but most importantly, supported their teammate and her family,” said St. Jude 10U Team Manager, Sharon Courtney. “Hockey really does become your family, and we could not be prouder of our girls! We raised over $1450!”
Take a moment and think of a child in your life. Is it your best friend’s child, a neighborhood kid, a family member, or even your own child? What are their passions? What are their favorite classes at school? What is their favorite color? Do you have a child in mind? Well, we certainly have a child in mind. Meet our friend Spencer. He is an awesome 14 year-old kid who loves the Chicago Blackhawks, math and science class, and the color green. Unfortunately, Spencer is in desperate need of our help.
Approximately three years ago, Spencer began having breathing difficulties. After originally being misdiagnosed with asthma and pneumonia, Spencer was ultimately diagnosed with Severe Restrictive Lung Disease (also known as Pulmonary Fibrosis). Doctors have attributed his condition to the chemotherapy and radiation he received while battling an aggressive form of cancer as a sixteen-month old baby. When Spencer was first diagnosed, his lung function was around 40%. At that time, his doctors were hopeful that the condition would improve because of his young age and due to the fact that he was still growing. However, our worst fears have come true and over the past year Spencer’s health and breathing have been rapidly declining. He has lost a lot of weight and struggles to do even the most normal activity that a typical 14 year-old boy can do. In order to combat his weight loss, his doctors have placed a feeding tube through his nose so he can obtain the proper nutrition he requires. In addition to the feeding tube, through all of this, Spencer’s family has not given up.
He has 1-2 years left in his young life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Spencer’s family refuses to give up on their son and continues to look Spencer requires the use of oxygen 24 hours a day and has begun taking a steroid that will hopefully offer some relief for his breathing difficulties. In January 2016, Spencer and his dad visited the University of Chicago to see a doctor that had previously treated Spencer when he had cancer as a small child. The doctor recommended Spencer have an echo cardiogram to check his heart. The results showed that Spencer was in heart failure (fluid in his lungs), compounding his breathing difficulties. Thankfully, after almost a week in the hospital, he was stable enough to come home. In February 2016, Spencer and his dad traveled to Boston’s Children’s Hospital to be evaluated for a lung and possible heart transplant. Spencer’s heart wasn’t in dire need, but a week’s worth of medical testing confirmed everyone’s biggest fear. The last beacon of hope for Spencer faded when doctors determined that he was not a candidate for a lung transplant. With his weakened state of health, the risk of death is too great for Spencer to undergo a lung transplant.
Recently, Spencer’s medical history and information has been sent to other hospitals like the St. Louis Children’s for an alternative that may save him. In order to continue exploring all of these options while still keeping Spencer comfortable, the Kolman family needs our help and support. Medical deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions, procedures not covered by health insurance plans, hotels, airfare, and basic comfort items have added up quickly. To assist with these insurmountable costs, we have set up this gofundme page and all money raised will be used to help Spencer.