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

Honoring their son’s legacy and helping others

It wasn’t until two months after he was born that Lewis A. Affetto, Jr.’s parents learned their son had been born with a congenital heart defect. “The doctors told us he should have died at birth and would probably not make it to his first birthday,” recalled Dolly Affetto, Lewis’s…...

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You can help athletes bring their game to the next level

Playing competitive sports in rural areas like Sheboygan County has its challenges. Dan Knaus (right) is the athletic director and head football coach at Plymouth High School. “I think student athletes are limited when it comes to sports programming,” said Dan Knaus, the athletic director and head football coach at…...

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How donors like you help make hospital stays easier for children and their families

Coping with a difficult diagnosis, a complex surgery or a long course of treatment can be extremely difficult for children and their families. But a special department at Advocate Children’s Hospital is making those situations easier to handle – all thanks to philanthropy. During the 2019 holiday season, donors generously…...

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Couple’s legacy lives on through $500K gift to Health Lives Here campaign

Ellen and Melvin Wagner lived a humble life in Sheboygan. He was an accountant. She was a housewife. They didn’t have children, and they were smart with their money. In 1968, their trust officer suggested they set up a foundation so they could have a lasting impact in their community.…...

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Family names second son after doctor who gave them time, hope & memories with their first

Tommy and Tracy McCarthy were devastated when their son, Jack, was diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz. This connective tissue disorder characterized by aortic aneurysms was weakening the main artery in his body. After the difficult diagnosis, the Ohio couple was turned down at several hospitals before traveling almost 400 miles to find hope…...

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Emotional bell ringing signals new chapter for prostate cancer survivor

Rick Gaber (right) celebrated the end of his cancer journey and his 68th birthday on the same day. When it comes to your health, surprises often aren’t good. A shocking diagnosis can feel like a train speeding toward you out of thin air. Rick Gaber’s experience was a little different.…...

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Donor-supported research uncovers potential treatment for drug-resistant breast cancer

Jun Yin (right), research scientist, confers with Dr. Judy Tjoe, breast oncology surgeon, on a research project. A study recently published in Cancer Letters found that a known anticancer drug was effective in treating a common type of breast cancer that is often resistant to traditional treatment. The project, led by Aurora…...

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Your generosity helps kids like Kylan and their families

It was an unforgettable evening for eight patients and their families who, along with hundreds of other guests, attended Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity on Friday, February 7. “To see Kylan smile during the entire event made us so happy,” said Raina Blake, who enjoyed the evening with…...

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U.S. record: 250K Illinois students screened for heart conditions; hundreds of students’ lives potentially saved

Dr. Marek reviews the ECG results of a student at Montini High School with volunteers Bill Christensen and Jeri Gosselin. We’ve all heard the tragic stories of a young adult collapsing and dying suddenly while participating in sports. In the United States, nearly 60 young adults die every week from…...

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Compassionate care in the comfort of home

As a newborn, Calvin received treatment for jaundice at home with the help of a special phototherapy blanket. When Nick and Jeannie Fischer’s son, Calvin, was born, Jeannie thought it would be a breeze. As a second-time mom and stepmom, she felt confident that taking care of her newborn would…...

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