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If your group or team is planning a fundraiser for a health cause, please call Kathi Grummel, the NCH Foundation's director of development, at 847.618.4272 to learn how you can support NCH programs that serve you and your neighbors.

Kids with a Cause

Local football and cheer teams raise $5,000 for NCH's Breast Center

In October, you may have seen cheerleaders in pink ribbons and football players in pink socks throughout Greater Chicagoland's United Youth Football and Cheer—an educational football and cheerleading league for kids ages 5 to 15. The pink gear is all part of the organization's commitment to celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with fundraising activities.

This year, Chicagoland UYF raised $10,000 in charitable donations to support the breast cancer causes of their choosing. A Rolling Meadows Mustangs cheer team mom, Rachel Solarz-Mortellaro helped organize the initiative, which included selling pink sweatshirts, knee socks and beanies to team families—along with suiting up in pink for games.

The proceeds were divided in half between a gift to the American Cancer Society and a donation to support the nurse navigator position at Northwest Community Healthcare's (NCH) Breast Center.

"We chose the NCH nurse navigator position because it's so crucial for a breast cancer patient to have someone to hold her hand through the journey from diagnosis through recovery," Rachel says.

And as a breast cancer survivor who was treated successfully at NCH, she ought to know. "I don't know what I would have done without Sandy, my nurse navigator, throughout this ordeal," Rachel says. The navigator position is not reimbursed by insurance, yet patients rely on these nurses to coordinate care with specialists and answer questions about everything from treatment options to postoperative care.

Adults made sure the young team members understood that their NCH gift will help area families—including some they know—by involving breast cancer survivors within the program at their conference and including kids in the check presentation. "We wanted to make it more meaningful by bringing it back to the community," Rachel says. "Our kids were more motivated, knowing that their efforts will make a difference in the lives of others right here in their own neighborhood."

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Last Updated 04/10/2009