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

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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One minute of your time could save someone’s life

April is National Donate Life Month. According to Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network, every 10 minutes, a new person joins the national transplant waiting list, and on average, 22 people die every day waiting for an organ donation. Robert Reyes knows all too well the magnitude organ donation…...

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Removing the stigma of mental illness

My name is Victoria Navarro, and I have been a manager for Advocate Health Care in the Planning, Design, and Construction department in the south region for the past seven years. I am proud to say I will be competing in the Dancing with the Brokers event on May 23…...

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Making a difference: “It all started with my mom”

I’m a structural heart disease cardiologist and father of one (soon to be two) sons. Looking back, I believe that my mom was a big influence in the position I am in today. Growing up she volunteered her time to read to children and showed me how important it was…...

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Liliana’s last chemo

Watch six-year-old Lilianna celebrate her last in-house chemo treatment with her family and care team at Advocate Children’s Hospital! She was diagnosed with pre B acute lymphoblastic leukemia back in January of 2016. Her next step is power port removal. Lilianna loves the ocean, playing outside, Disney movies and country music…...

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They call him Lazarus

In October of 2016, Gustavo Raya witnessed a car theft. The thief drove the car down the street going the wrong direction at 100mph and slammed into Gustavo’s car, causing him to hit his head on the window shield. Stuck in the collision, his seat had to later be cut…...

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March for Babies

On average, 1,045 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. every day, according to March of Dimes. That’s nearly 10 percent of all babies born. Caitlin Blake, a labor and delivery nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., knows this reality all too well, especially since she…...

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