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WOMEN OF STRENGTH | April 2017 Messages Shared


A GIFT FROM MY SON Despite the challenges I've faced, from very minor to some rather giant ones, I have had my faith to lean upon. I’ve had the privilege of learning that today is a gift, tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so live it with joy. That lesson came at the hand of my 11-year old son who truly faced every day with this in mind. With that, we established The Ross K. MacNeill Foundation (R33M), devoted to ending pediatric brain cancer, to fulfill a promise made to my son, Ross, who passed away in 2013. The Foundation has raised over $733,761, making our mission to end pediatric brain cancer through research advancements possible. www.R33M.org -Kim MacNeill, Wheaton

THERE IS PROMISE.... When my daughter, Ainsley, was born with Angelman syndrome (AS), a rare neurological disorder that causes debilitating seizures, speech impairment, and balance and motor issues, I knew I would stop at nothing to find a cure. I founded FAST (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics) in 2008. The foundation has been blessed with millions of dollars in support, and we have brought together a multi-disciplined team of more than two-dozen scientists from multiple universities and pharmaceutical companies to join forces on a focused path to a cure. We are working to bring life-changing treatments for AS to clinical trial within two years. I am empowered and strengthened every day by this hope and the generosity of those who continue to support us. www.CureAngelman.org −Paula Evans, Darien

FAITH, FAMILY, COMMUNITY & COURAGE These are the beacons that guide me and inspire me. As founder of Autism Family Foundation (AFF), a non-profit charitable organization, these are the ties that bind our foundation to the community we humbly serve here locally in Illinois. It all started 12 years ago, as a personal journey for my husband and I, as parents of our son with autism. Today, the impact of our journey continues to be felt by the countless number of families, who are recipients of the resources and services provided by AFF. Our mission is to support families with children with special needs. Whether it’s our annual special needs holiday event, or the Spring Tee-It Up For Autism Golf Outing, the goal is to make a difference. www.autismfamilyfoundation.net -Wanda Malone, Aurora

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