Teen Makes a Difference
High School Athlete Rallies Students from Two Local Schools to Buy $6,000 in Toys for CDH Pediatric Patients
WINFIELD, Ill., November 20, 2006 — Wheaton North High School Senior Colleen Antas has more on her mind than soccer, exams and school dances. She’s been thinking about how toys can cheer up sick children.
Antas, aged 17, has visited the Children’s Memorial at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) Pediatric Outpatient Center and watched as the children of all ages bravely face their treatments while undergoing difficult and often painful medical procedures like chemotherapy, bone marrow aspiration and blood transfusions. She sees the happiness on their face when they receive a brand new toy (or gift card for the teens) to ease the unpleasantness. And recently, she saw the toy supply run low.
Antas took it upon herself to restock that supply. She took the idea back to her “Chicago Fire Juniors” soccer team, comprised of students from rival school Wheaton Warrenville South and a friendly competition between schools developed.
“When Colleen called me, I was immediately impressed by her resolve to help the children in treatment. Here’s a young person who saw a need and decided to take personal responsibility to make a positive difference in someone else’s life,” said Kurt Wolbrink of the Central DuPage Health Foundation staff. “After seeing the results, I was impressed by the outpouring of support by the students at both schools. And after seeing something like this unfold, it’s hard not to have a renewed sense of hope during this holiday season.”
“We didn’t sell anything, we just started to spread word around that the kids needed toys, and other kids started chipping in,” said Antas who is senior class president. “When I was surprised at how much we actually collected in total, my mom said she thinks that kids really want to help make a difference like this, but sometimes just don’t know how. We just made it easy for them.”
Between Wheaton North and Wheaton South High Schools, Antas and the students collected nearly $6,000 to buy toys and gift cards for the Children’s Memorial at Central DuPage Hospital Pediatric Outpatient Center toy collection.
“Our staff couldn't be more grateful,” said Beth Dobby, RN, BSN, assistant manager CDH Outpatient Pediatrics. “When you care for pediatric patients who have to have frequent painful procedures, giving them something to look forward to can help them cope with what’s happening. It also gives us something to look forward to, knowing that we can make things a little better with a prize!”
Thanks to those teens, for many months to come, children will be able to leave the hospital smiling, carrying a new football, game or Barbie—as the difficulty of their treatments becomes a rapidly fading memory.
If your organization is interested in helping to support Children’s Memorial at Central DuPage Hospital, contact Kurt Wolbrink at Central DuPage Health Foundation 630-933-6989.
About Central DuPage Hospital
Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 361-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. A partnership with Children’s Memorial Hospital (www.CMHatCDH.org) provides children in the suburbs west of Chicago access advanced pediatric care including pediatric and neonatal specialists of Children’s Memorial.
The hospital is an interdependent network of healthcare organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services and a full range of options for senior living, home health and hospice care.
For more information visit www.cdh.org.
CDH Public Relations
Amy Jo Steinbruecker