Donna Day: Save Children’s Lives with St. Baldrick’s


Donna and Sheila

Those who know me already know about my friend Sheila, aka Mary Tyler Mom, and her beautiful girl, Donna. Mary Tyler Mom guest posted here last December about losing Donna, who was diagnosed at twenty months old, to cancer, and how she was taking the pain of that loss and using it for good – More specifically, she created a wonderful nonprofit called Donna’s Good Things. Oh man, she was only getting started.

Since that post, Sheila has been working to defeat childhood cancers with incredible strength, courage and tenacity. What Sheila teaches me on a daily basis is to dive in, use your strengths and get something done.  Sheila uses her words. She has documented her daughter’s 31-month battle with cancer to spread awareness. It ran on ChicagoNow and then was picked up by the Huffington Post.

She is a large part of the reason why there’s now a checkbox on Illinois annual income tax returns, providing the opportunity to donate to the Illinois Childhood Cancer Research Fund.

Donna’s Good Things continues to help local families with things like scholarships to dance schools and DVD players to pediatric oncology wards.

Every 3 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Did you know:

  • More US children will die from cancer than any other disease, or many other diseases combined;
  • Before the age of 20, 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will be diagnosed with cancer;
  • The cure rate for the most common form of pediatric cancer, ALL leukemia, is as high as 90%, but most other childhood cancers do not have that success rate, e.g., brain tumors have a 50/50 cure rate, and some, like DIPG, are known to be fatal with no known treatment or cure;
  • 73% of kids who survive their cancer will have chronic health problems as a result of their treatment and 42% will suffer severe or life-threatening conditions like secondary cancers.

Today is #DonnaDay. And here’s the thing – today we all have the opportunity to help.

Donna’s Good Things is holding their annual St. Baldrick’s fundraiser on Saturday, March 30th. Last year, they raised $79,000. Let’s help them continue that momentum and this year. What can you do?

  • Donate. Every dollar counts. Give what you can.
  • Attend the event and bring your friends – Donate, celebrate, or…
  • Shave your head. Yes, they’re still looking for more heads to shave!
  • Spread the word. Share their event page, share this post, and don’t forget the hashtags: #DonnaDay, #ConquerKidsCancer

Small moves can have major impact. Last year at Donna’s St. Baldrick’s event, I chose to become a bone marrow donor. I donated to St. Baldrick’s, and I took an afternoon out to celebrate the life of a wonderful little girl that I wish I’d been able to know.

What will you do today? Please help us spread the word.

Learn more here:

  • Sheila Quirke

    That was beautiful. Thank you, Mama!

    • ChiMomWriter

      I’m glad we get to do this together. Good eggs in this group!