vickroy

Donna Vickroy biography

@dvickroy

Donna Vickroy was born on Chicago’s South Side and spent most of her formative years in the south suburbs, sharing a small bungalow with …

Read More

Search recent columns

More Columns

Vickroy: Reavis principal’s pie wins blue ribbon at state fair

For Paige Dague, winning a blue ribbon at the Illinois State Fair was as easy as pie. And anyone who knows pie knows it’s anything but easy, especially for novices, especially when they’re up against seasoned baking veterans at a state fair. Lucky for Dague, …

Vickroy: Local filmmaker gets cooking with ‘Broiled’

What are the odds that two sets of dreamers would decide to rob the same bank on the same day? It could happen, and it does — in “Broiled,” a quirky, twisted and locally produced independent film shot on location this summer in rural DeKalb …

Vickroy: Turning sorrow into hope for at-risk job seekers

Donna Cole-Scott is a big believer in second chances. The Homewood mother of three has worked for 17 years with kids who have wandered outside the boundaries and needed a second chance to get back on track. So when she struggled with what to do …

Vickroy: How to save the Cubs ... or at least their fans

Help. The Cubs need help. So much help. And so do their waning, apathetic, disaffected fans. At a party Saturday night, a consensus arose among the mix of Cubs and Sox fans. Everyone — to a man, woman and child — agreed they would rather …

Vickroy: Southland group helps men learn to grieve

Walter Knight was angry. “Angry at God, the church, everyone,” he said. “Mostly, I was angry at myself. How did I let this happen? And why I couldn’t I have fixed it?” Like a lot of men who grieve the loss of a spouse, Knight …

Vickroy: What teachers do on summer vacation

Here’s what some students might think their teachers did during their summer break: sit in a chaise lounge by the pool popping bonbons. But here’s what some local teachers really did during the offseason — traveled, wrote, performed on stage and conducted science experiments. Many …

Vickroy: When genius isn’t enough: No humor in mental illness

Dr. Rian Rowles was with a patient when he learned the news about Robin Williams. The chairman of psychiatry and substance abuse services at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn said: “I’d just watched ‘Good Will Hunting’ three weeks prior. I was definitely a fan …

Vickroy: Beverly mom on mission of kindness

The book sat on Kerry Lynch’s nightstand for a good two months. “I couldn’t bring myself to read it, just because I knew it was going to mirror our life,” she said. The book was “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio, and the life was that of …

Vickroy: Oak Forest teen, science academy pioneer, survives stroke

When last we saw Andy Beahan, just before Labor Day 2013, he was packing up to head east. The Oak Forest teen was among a handful of American and Chinese students chosen last year to participate in the inaugural class of Princeton International School of …

‘A year with Gianna,’ Chicago Heights teen writes cook book

There are three things that help Gianna West cope with being in constant pain. Since the 16-year-old, who was born with spina bifida and a host of complications, can’t go horseback riding every day and since the Jonas Brothers are, ahem, spoken for, she spends …

Vickroy: Morris Ellis backyard concert a musical trip down memory lane

The phlox are bursting with pink, the temperature is an easy 75, and as the sun sets over Chicago, the jazzy instrumental “Europa” carries Leslie and George Jackson once again to Cloud Nine. The Jacksons, of the city’s South Shore community, met on Christmas night …

Vickroy: A century later, World War I still matters

A hundred years is a long time. Though the United States was directly involved in World War I for just a year and a half, it nevertheless felt the impact of what had been billed, “The Great War.” That impact not only lingers, it plays …

Vickroy: Doctor becomes patient, gains new insight

Of course doctors know a lot more than the rest of us when it comes to medical care — all that schooling and training. But there’s a unique insight that can’t come from any medical books: having been the patient. An obstetrician/gynecologist for the past …

Vickroy: Parents pursue their daughter’s legacy of hope

In the eight months since their daughter, Julia, succumbed to pediatric cancer, Jeff Janes and Leslie Bazzo Janes have been moving full speed ahead toward fulfilling the promise they made to their youngest child: to raise awareness and help find a cure. “Julia wanted for …

Vickroy: She’s on a mission for change

Lucia Mambure is determined to do the seemingly impossible in her home city of Harare, Zimbabwe: open a school for children with special needs. The professor and mother of three is a progressive voice in a country where attitudes about people with disabilities can be …

Christ Medical Center ER holding its own amid epidemic of violence

It’s just after 1 a.m. when the doors to Christ Medical Center’s emergency department slide open yet again. Roberts Park paramedics steer a gurney carrying a 32-year-old man, his head enveloped in bandages, into trauma bay 2. Fourteen doctors, nurses and technicians surround the bed. …

Vickroy: Lifelong friends ‘all in’ for monthly poker get-together

It’s just after 9 p.m. in the basement of Tom Cosgrove’s home in Chicago’s Beverly community when cigar-smoking Matt Moran checks his hand, raises the bet and casually kicks off his shoes. Jim Byrne hands out another round of Beck’s beer. And Chuck Kraling, dressed …