Helping Families Through Cancer

The Children’s Hospital of Illinois is receiving a $2 million dollar donation. It’ll be used to create the John and Annette Heller Learning for Living Center. The Heller’s donation will fund a number of educational and support services that help sick children and their families.

Through the center, kids and their families were learn about nutrition and how to monitor a serious illness. School and career support will also be provided through the center. The hope is that this information will help the kids recover sooner and live a better, post-cancer life.

“Children and families face unimaginable challenges while fighting cancer. We feel blessed to help create services and programs to make their journey through cancer treatment and beyond a little easier,” said John Heller in announcing the gift. “The St. Jude Midwest Affiliate and Children’s Hospital of Illinois together, do a marvelous job taking care of our sick children,” added Annette Heller.

Services to be available to children and families include school and career support; a patient and family educator; nutrition specialist; education and monitoring of ongoing health risk and late effects of cancer and its therapy; and adolescent and young adult program to address the educational and psychological needs as this group of patients undergo therapy and transition back to life after therapy; expansion of the Supportive Care Team; and specialized counseling and other assistance for effective coping and decision making related to receiving and living with a cancer diagnosis.

“A comprehensive program of this kind is not currently available and will fill a needed gap that has been identified by both families and care providers,” said Kay Saving, M.D., Children’s Hospital of Illinois Medical Director and Lead Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate.

“The Heller’s gift will allow Children’s Hospital of Illinois to better serve our pediatric cancer patients.”


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