LA GRANGE HIGHLANDS — Friends of a La Grange Highlands resident will come together on April 7 to enjoy each others’ company, eat good food and raise money for a special person in their life who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
Teddy Kowalski, 69, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic last year; a rare blood cancer that affects the body’s ability to produce red blood cells and platelets.
Over the last year, Kowalski has gone through about 150 blood transfusions — heading to Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital three and sometimes four times a week. Kowalski is also getting chemotherapy treatment through the hospital.
“I’ve known Teddy for years and we’ve become very close,” said Anne Bermier, a longtime friend and an organizer of the fundraiser. “We knew we needed to do something to help.”
Friends of Kowalski have booked out Mama Vesuvio’s East, 6361 W. College Drive in Palos Heights, to share food, stories and good times.
On April 7 from 1-5 p.m., all are welcome to attend the benefit, which will feature a D.J. an open buffet and a cash bar. Tickets to the benefit will cost $35 in advance, or $40 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling 708-246-8405.
Organizers have also created a number of gift baskets to be raffled off. Tickets for the raffle prizes are generally between $1-2, they said. Gift basket items include certificates to area restaurants, boutiques and spas.
Attendees can also participate in a silent auction to raise funds. Items include a flat screen television.
All funds raised will go directly to the Kowalski family to provide financial assistance with his treatment.
“They are very outgoing people who have a wide circle of friends,” said Karen Janus, a friend of Kowalski and his wife, Carol. “He’s always so upbeat, it’s hard to believe he’s going through [treatment].”
Kowalski said he’s remaining positive and fighting hard.
“I’m just grateful,” he said of neighbor’s support. “Even with all the insurance, it doesn’t pay for everything. I’m alive, and that’s a reason to be positive.”