Pediatric cancer survivors (from left) Taylor Babec, Emilio Ruiz, Gisel Vander Mey and Meghan Wise prepare to cut the ribbon in a ceremony symbolizing the formal inauguration of the new home of the Treasure Chest Foundation. | Supplied Photo
Updated: October 24, 2012 6:11AM
When her then-7-year-old son, Martin, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993, there was no way Oak Forest resident Colleen Kisel could have envisioned what the next 20 years would be like.
Martin survived, in part because his mother gave him a toy after each painful cancer treatment. From that act of love, Kisel drew inspiration in 1996 to create the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation.
The past 15 years have been marked by the foundation’s growth, and today more than 7,900 children and teens each month are able to select a toy or gift certificate following painful procedures at 42 children’s cancer treatment centers in 13 states nationwide.
The foundation conducted a grand re-opening ceremony to celebrate its recent move to a new headquarters at 15430 S. 70th Court, Orland Park. The event featured live music, food, tours of the new facility, and a “Blessing of the Bricks” by the Rev. Nancy Shannon, of Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park.
Local pediatric cancer survivors Taylor Babec, 10; Meghan Wise, 9; Emilio Ruiz, 7; and Gisel Vander Mey, 4, helped with a ribbon-cutting that symbolized the formal inauguration of the foundation’s new home.
Information: Kisel, (708) 687-8697 or www.treasurechest.org.