Making the Rounds

Welcome to Making the Rounds, Advocate Charitable Foundation’s blog focused on how philanthropy makes a difference across Advocate for our patients and their grateful families, our physicians and caregivers, hospitals and communities - and the donors themselves. Here you will also find news and stories of gifts at work made possible by the generous support of our donors and partners.

If you are a patient, donor or partner who would like to share your story to be possibly featured on our blog, please email us at

Nurse saves man’s life at the gym

By Marrison Worthington Hank Gnaidek underwent heart bypass surgery last fall due to coronary artery disease. It looked like his heart was in the clear after the surgery, but things would suddenly change when he was working out on June 14. The 66-year-old grandfather was ending his morning exercise routine…...

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Tiny babies celebrate July 4 in red, white and blue

Advocate Children’s Hospital’s tiniest patients took part in an early Independence Day celebration in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where they wore red, white and blue outfits. The NICU is where the smallest and most fragile babies are cared for after birth. Since these small but mighty babies are…...

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Meet Naomi: 2018 Family Advocacy Day Champion

By Speak Now for Kids Naomi is a social butterfly. She adores people, and makes new friends everywhere she goes. When she isn’t meeting new people, she enjoys riding her adaptive tricycle, coloring and playing board games. But while 9-year-old Naomi is now happy and social, she was once in a…...

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“Negativity can’t exist, and do everything with love”

By Kelsey Andeway Sonya Duckworth and her eldest daughter, Brittany, have a relationship that is so treasured, not even a life-changing diagnosis could break their bond. In early Spring of 2018, Brittany’s mom, Sonya found out she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently undergoing treatment at Advocate South Suburban…...

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“Even if you don’t see it, it’s happening”

By Benjamin Castells As nurses, what we do matters to someone, even if we don’t notice it right away, or at all. As a nurse in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., I was on call and received a page in the middle of the night. Someone…...

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#LettersToSurvivors: Honoring their fight and celebrating life

June is National Cancer Survivor Month and is dedicated to honoring survivors for their fight, inspiring others and celebrating life. We asked friends and family members to share letters, words of encouragement and special messages to the survivors in their lives. Watch their incredibly touching video submissions....

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One breast cancer patient’s difficult promise to her kids

By Jennifer Benson Last August, Sharry Herritt Spencley noticed a swelling on her right breast when she was taking a shower. As a financial counselor at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., she did not waste time calling her primary physician the next day and scheduling an appointment. No lump was found,…...

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Paying it forward

By Jennifer Benson Lisa Selby is not a hero. She will be the first to say it as she battles cancer. Selby says the nurses at Advocate Sherman Hospital’s Cancer Care Center are the true heroes. They are what makes this hospital what it is in her eyes; without them, it…...

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Stage 4 cancer with no symptoms: How innovative treatments saved this man’s life

A recent retiree and avid water skier, life was pretty good for 70-year-old Richard Blassick. But that all changed in February of 2017 when Blassick started noticing subtle signs that something was wrong. “It all began when I noticed I was getting dizzy in the morning as I got out…...

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From pretend healing to real healing

I grew up in central Illinois, in a town of about 2,000 people. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and eventually, a teacher’s aide. My dad worked in maintenance at the local nursing home. No one in my family had ever graduated with more than an associate’s degree. Since I…...

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