ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (WLS) — Trick-or-treaters walked together on Sunday in Rolling Meadows to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
The 10th Annual “Costume Walk for the Bear” brought hundreds of families together at Busse Woods. The event advocates for children who are on cancer journeys and honored those who lost their lives to the disease.
The walk supports the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which was founded in 1992 by Kathleen Casey.
“I think it’s just a great show of people wanting to help others,” Casey said.
She lost her 8-year-old son, Barrett “Bear” Krupa, to a rare kidney cancer 30 years ago.
“I know he’s up there watching down,” Casey said. “He was very compassionate and caring. He really wanted to help other children.”
‘”Bear Necessities” has helped over 7,500 children and their families undergoing cancer treatment at hospitals across Illinois.
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Money raised also provides “Bear Hugs” for young cancer patients, inspiring hope and joy for them.
“Not everyday is guaranteed and I’m so grateful to be here alive,” said walk participant Joey Clark.
He is a freshman at Grayslake North High School. Clark was diagnosed with lymphoma last year and is now in remission.
“Bear Necessities, they paid for Joe to play laser tag and it gave him that bit of hope in his hour of darkness and his time of need,” Joey’s father, Mike Clark, said.
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A 12-year-old walk participant, Angela Parial, is also in remission after being diagnosed with a rare brain cancer in 2016.
“I was excited to come out and to just like talk along the way,” Parial said.
Her father, Andrew Parial, is in remission himself after being diagnosed with leukemia.
“For them to go through it as children is just really difficult and ‘Bear Necessities’ provides that little light of hope,” Andrew Parial said. “It’s nice that the organization helps lift that burden.”
Halloween isn’t here yet, but the little trick-or-treaters got into the spirit while making a big difference.