LA GRANGE PARK – Two months before Ogden Avenue second-grader Dominic Cairo died after a fight with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in June 2011, he took a trip with his family to the Bahamas.
"It was amazing," Dominic's mom, Anna Cairo, said. "It was a way to get away and not have to think about his illness. Two months later he ended up passing away, but we didn't know that when we were in the Bahamas. So we were pretty much living every day for the moment."
The trip was funded by Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. To return the favor, and to honor her son, Cairo organized an annual Kids for Wish Kids BIke Ride that raises money for Make-A-Wish's Illinois chapter. This year's took place May 31 at Stone Monroe Park, where a bench is dedicated in Dominic's name. About 100 riders, mostly kids, participated in the 3-mile ride.
Cairo collected $700 at the park and continues to receive donations. Her goal is to raise $5,000, which is the average cost for a Mak-A-Wish trip.
"It really helps give people a sense of normalcy, if that's at all possible, throughout the child's illness," Cairo said.
All money raised through the event goes to Make-A-Wish. Those with questions about the event can contact Anna Cairo at firstname.lastname@example.org.