MOUNT GREENWOOD — Whitney Davis was diagnosed with leukemia last summer. Her disease is in remission, but the 8-year-old still has a long journey to full recovery.
To support her family, Whitney is the honoree at the 10th annual Jeanne’s Journey for Hope fundraiser, which will take place 2-6 p.m. Sept. 25 at Square Celt Ale House and Grill, 39 Orland Square Drive in suburban in Orland Park.
The event will feature live music, a silent auction, raffles, a split-the-pot fundraiser and more. Tickets are $50 at the door and $45 in advance, and all proceeds will go to the Davis family.
“It’s a good opportunity to get together with friends and family for a good cause: to help out the Davis family and do the best we can,” said Greg Kurinec, one of the founders of Jeanne’s Journey for Hope. “This is really about paying it forward.”
Jeanne’s Journey for Hope was created in 2012 by the Kurinec family as a fundraiser for Chicago-area families facing cancer. The event is named for their mother, Jeanne, who died of colon cancer. The annual event has raised more than $125,000 for eight families; the Davis family will be the ninth.
Mutual friends connected Whitney’s mother, Erin Davis, with the organization.
“I want to express how blessed we feel to be a part of Jeanne’s Journey and go through this with” the Kurinec family, Davis said. “How blessed can one little kid feel that people want to help her and support her?”
Whitney has had leukemia during the pandemic, which her mother said has been a blessing in disguise, as Whitney had a compromised immune system during treatment.
“I think a lot of kids [with cancer] really struggle because their immune system is so compromised,” Davis said. “And then they’re in school and they’re trying to be normal kids, which just comes along with germs. So, we have 100 percent avoided that just because of the fact that we’ve been at home this entire time.”
Now, Whitney is back at school full time and has about a year ahead of recovery. The fundraiser will be among the first times the family has been able to see many of their family and friends — and everyone will be fully masked, Davis said.
“It’s been so long since we’ve actually seen the people that we love and that have supported us,” she said. “It’s been so long since we’ve actually seen them all in one place. It’s going to be just really refreshing.”
More information about Jeanne’s Journey for Hope and donating to Whitney and the fundraiser can be found online.
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