Ed and Amy McNicholas to be Honored at Crystal Heart Ball

The Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) Foundation will host the 2017 Crystal Heart Ball on Sat., Feb. 4 at the Field Museum. Each year, the Ball showcases individuals and organizations for their outstanding accomplishments and service. This year, the hospital will honor two of southwest Chicago area’s well-known community awareness organizers.

The Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award honors individuals whose personal and professional accomplishments embody the ideas, vision and mission of Venerable Mary Potter, who founded the Little Company of Mary Sisters in 1877. The 2017 Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award will be presented to Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors Ed and Amy McNicholas, founders of the Live Like John Foundation.

On Mar. 31, 2010, Ed and Amy’s 15-year-old son, John, woke up complaining of a headache focused over one eye. Before he could even finish explaining the pain, he began vomiting. In the emergency room, their worst fears were confirmed: A brain tumor. Ed and Amy went into fight mode with the mission to save their son. Unfortunately, John passed away on Jan. 7, 2011, only 10 months from his diagnosis. Today, it has is Ed and Amy’s mission to raise awareness and change the experience for those who follow them down this unimaginable path by offering guidance and resources to families who are forced to endure the same journey they endured. They strive to offer comfort, peace, empathy and, ultimately, a cure.

The way John McNicholas lived his life to the fullest and faced his illness with courage and grace has inspired many to “Live Like John,” which led Ed and Amy to start the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor (Live Like John) Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Live Like John Foundation is involved in several local fundraising events each year, including the Softball Tournament, Beverly Hills Turkey Trot, Go Gray in May, Dizzy Dinger Challenge, and a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Fundraiser.

Ed and Amy’s mission is to work toward advancements in both the care and treatment of pediatric brain tumor patients by facilitating coordination of information between patients and providers, improving the quality of life for patients, and funding specifically targeted pediatric brain tumor research and treatment options to achieve their ultimate goal: the eradication of pediatric brain tumors.

The Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence honors an individual or group for outstanding service as reflected in the core service values of strength, grace, innovative spirit, compassion and respect for all, which Sister Nancy Boyle, LCM, modeled so well. The 2017 Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence will be presented to Rev. Charles T. Rubey, Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) Program.

Rubey established the program in 1979 after working with families who had gone through grieving the loss of a child from suicide. LOSS is a free, non-denominational program that supports individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide and is offered by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago in collaboration with the Diocese of Joliet. Funding for the program comes from places such as United Way, private foundations and charitable contributions.

LOSS offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where survivors of suicide can openly talk about feelings and experiences. Programs are available to both children and adults in cities all over Illinois, including, downtown Chicago. Services provided by the LOSS Program include individual therapy for children and teens, ages three to 18; family counseling; peer support groups; parent consultation; and school and community debriefings when a suicide has occurred.

The goals of the LOSS program are to provide a warm, nurturing network of other survivors, educate members about the grieving process and support each individual’s unique struggle to regain hope and strength.

Proceeds from the 2017 Crystal Heart Ball will benefit the Behavioral Health Department at Little Company of Mary Hospital.

A cash drawing will be offered at the event with a first prize luxury vacation for two to the Galapagos Islands ($15,000 value), second prize of $5,000, third Prize of $2,500, and fourth Prize of $1,000. Raffle tickets are on sale for $100 each in the hospital’s Foundation department and winners need not be present.

Crystal Heart Ball tickets are $350 per person. Guests may purchase a Diamond Table for $10,000, a Heart of Gold Table for $6,500 or a Crystal Heart Table for $3,500, each offering unique benefits.

To learn more or to purchase event tickets, contact Little Company of Mary’s Foundation department, 708-229-5447 or www.LCMH.org/foundation.