Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation expands its outreach
June 27, 2013 2:12PM
Pediatric cancer patient Chloe West, 5, shyly cuts the red ribbon during the launching of the 43rd Treasure Chest program at Children's Hospital in Missouri. | Supplied photo
Updated: August 1, 2013 6:02AM
The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation, an Orland Park-based nonprofit, reached a major milestone with the opening of its 43rd Treasure Chest Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. The hospital offers the St. Louis area’s largest comprehensive treatment program for children with cancer.
Because its unique mission is to provide toys and gift certificates to children and teens diagnosed with cancer, each opening of a new Treasure Chest Program is cause for celebration.
Colleen Kisel founded the organization in 1996, after her then-7-year-old son Martin was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. Kisel discovered that giving her son a toy after each procedure provided a calming distraction from his pain, noting that when children are diagnosed with cancer, their world soon becomes filled with doctors, nurses and seemingly endless painful procedures.
Martin recently celebrated his 20th anniversary of remission from the disease.
The 43rd Treasure Chest Program was established in memory of Rylan Foster, a patient at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Dan Foster, Rylan’s father, said, “Our son, Rylan Daniel Foster, passed away on July 30, 2012. He had just celebrated his fourth birthday. We are especially privileged that the Treasure Chest Foundation would honor our son Rylan. Thank you, St Louis Children’s Hospital and The Treasure Chest Foundation for all that you have done during the care of our son. Thank you in advance for all that you are going to do for all the children by providing them this beacon of light that something good can come from any illness, even cancer.”
Shannon Chrisco, St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s director of hematology and oncology, said, “The staff and our brave young cancer patients are thrilled with the toys they select from the Treasure Chest. The children said they felt like orphans who had been adopted. The kids are over-the-top thrilled.”
The latest Treasure Chest Program means the foundation now serves more than 8,500 children and teens monthly at 43 hospitals and treatment centers in 14 states.
For more information, contact Kisel at (708) 687-8697 or visit www.treasurechest.org.