Keep Swimming Foundation is pleased to announce that, effective January 1, 2019, Jim Ventura and Lauren Irwin will join the Board of Directors.
Keep Swimming Foundation’s Founder and Board President, Bill Coon, was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune and the Lake Zurich Courier about the foundation’s history and their current fundraiser at Lake Zurich High School.
Keep Swimming Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 third quarter grants.
This quarter proved to be a milestone for Keep Swimming Foundation, as the success of our Inaugural Gala (and an influx of private donations) has enabled us to grant $5,900 to 5 families – a $2,650 increase from the previous quarter!
Each of the following families have faced a life-threatening medical crisis and have been in the hospital for at least twenty-one consecutive days between 7/1/18 and 9/30/18.
The following are their stories:
Family #1 - Houston, TX – Recipients of a $1,500 Grant:
In the fall of 2017, this Houston family’s son was a junior in high school when he collapsed on the sidelines during a Friday night football game. He was placed in an ambulance and rushed to the local hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe brain bleed and had a portion of his skull removed to alleviate pressure on his brain. In the coming days, he would fight for his life while his mother, sister and father waited at his bedside before being airlifted to a hospital in Arkansas. Despite being told to “pull the plug”, his mother persisted that her son would defy the odds. In December, with the help of therapists, their son was able to walk out of the Arkansas hospital. The mother of the family underwent countless hours of training so that she could care for her son in the comfort of their northeast Texas home. In June, he was accepted into a rehabilitation program in Houston. Family members are not allowed to stay with their loved one at the rehabilitation facility overnight. In turn, to cut down on costs, the mother relocated five hours from the family home to a trailer park in Houston so that she could lower the cost of living and offer her son love and support during visiting hours. This grant will cover many of the costs associated with his mother’s stay in Houston, such as trailer park fees, bedside meals, parking at the rehabilitation facility and gasoline for her drive to-and-from her new home and son’s bed.
Family #2 – St. Louis, MO – Recipients of a $1,500 Grant
This family’s story begins in April 2018. The father of the family fell from a tall ladder while at work and suffered many lower-body bone injuries and later underwent surgery and several months of rehabilitation. Throughout rehabilitation, his health began to decline, leading his doctors to run several tests in early August. It was then that they discovered his liver and kidneys were also severely damaged during the fall and he was immediately admitted to a hospital in the downtown area. His daughter (his only child and present family member) is a nurse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since his hospitalization, her life has revolved around the care of others. When she is not working her typical twelve-hour shift, she is driving from Milwaukee to St. Louis so that she can oversee her father’s care as his health rapidly declines. In recent weeks, she has switched jobs to a hospital one hour outside of St. Louis and relocated to the St. Louis region so that she can assure that her father is receiving the best possible healthcare. This grant will cover the entirety of the money she has spent since August on gasoline, bedside meals and parking, and will provide a small amount to cover her next tank of gas.
Family #3– Philadelphia, PA – Recipients of a $1,500 Grant:
In November 2017, the husband of this northeast couple was admitted to a downtown Philadelphia hospital where he learned of his need for a heart and lung transplant. After months of waiting, he received the gift of life. Unfortunately, he experienced several post-transplant complications and remains in the hospital as of October 2018. His wife has been near his bedside almost every day. However, due to the rising debt they were experiencing, she had to take a part-time job so that she could afford to be near him whenever she isn’t working. The family’s social worker informed us that he has made great progress and will soon be discharged. The necessary rehabilitation to overcome his deconditioning means that they must live nearby as opposed to driving several hours each day. This grant will help the couple pay down a large portion of debt that the wife has accrued from parking at the hospital, driving to-and-from her job and the hospital, as well as the countless meals she has consumed at her husband’s bedside.
Family #4 – Columbus, OH – Recipients of a $650 Grant:
This Ohio family immigrated to America not long before their infant son was born and diagnosed with end-stage liver failure. After undergoing a series of tests, the family was relocated to a hospital in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania two and half hours from their home. In July, their son received his lifesaving liver transplant and was discharged to a nearby facility so that he can receive close supervision from the family’s medical team. The father has been unable to work since the early summer and they are in dire need of financial assistance. This grant will cover the family’s lodging as well as many meals and gasoline expenses.
Family #5 – Lexington, KY – Recipients of a $750 Grant:
Ten weeks prior to receiving his heart transplant, this family’s infant son was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and taken to a hospital in Cincinnati, OH – two hours from the family’s home. The child’s mother, who is also the sole provider, was required to take a leave of absence from her job so that she could be near her son and also care for her eleven-year-old son in the process. Like Family #4, their son will be required to remain near the hospital for management throughout the coming months. This grant will help by covering a large portion of their lodging expenses in Cincinnati.
Keep Swimming Foundation is only able to help these families because of the generous donations from our supporters. We will be selecting families in a few short months. Your donation will be utilized when we help families dealing with a medical crisis during the holidays.
Please click the button below to help us help families in need!
Recently, Keep Swimming Foundation announced an increase in the value of grants for families in need.
Beginning Q3 of 2018 (7/1/18-9/30-18), all families who apply for a Keep Swimming Foundation grant will be afforded the opportunity to acquire up to $1,500 in financial relief (a $500 increase from the initial $1,000 grant maximum).
With this increase, Keep Swimming Foundation can have a significantly larger impact on the families we aid, such as the McKeon family, who received one of the first Keep Swimming Foundation grants in the foundation’s history.
Keep Swimming Foundation is able to help these families because of the generous donations from our incredible donors. To help families, like the McKeon family, please click here to make a donation today.
Learn More About the McKeon Family’s Story:
The energy was electric, the guests came prepared to give and the night proved to be an incredible night of philanthropy at Keep Swimming Foundation’s Inaugural Gala!
Just under two hundred Chicagoland philanthropists flooded the halls of the Metropolis Ballroom in Arlington Heights, Illinois on August 24, 2018 to celebrate the achievements of Keep Swimming Foundation’s first ten months of helping families in need through its mission to provide financial relief to families of critically ill patients who require extended inpatient medical care at an accredited USA hospital.
Throughout the evening, the foundation shared three videos featuring three of the first eight families the foundation had aided. One of the families, the parents of an infant boy who passed away while battling heart complications, rose to an applause and waved to an emotional room of donors who had just learned of their child’s battle.
Keep Swimming Foundation’s Founder and Board President, Bill Coon, hosted the evening. Coon shared stories that guided the packed house from the inception of the foundation to present day and the many milestones they have accomplished in a brief ten-month window.
In addition to the videos and stories, guests participated in a riveting live auction, which was highlighted by one guest bidding nearly one thousand dollars for a luxury hotel room (courtesy of Swissotel Chicago) and two tickets on the Soldier Field grass to see Ed Sheeran perform at Soldier Field on October 4th. The evening concluded with hours of dancing (courtesy of Spinnin’ Discs).
In total, $13,065 was raised in one evening to help families in need. Keep Swimming Foundation plans to host its 2nd Annual Gala in September 2019 in the Chicagoland area. The evening was made possible by multiple generous sponsors, including, the Alec K. and Viena P. Gianaras Foundation, DMR Plumbing, CTDI, Mike and Lisa DeMarco and the Irwin Family.
Keep Swimming Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 second quarter grants! Keep Swimming Foundation provides financial support to the families of critically ill patients so that they can afford the non-medical costs associated with long-term inpatient care.
The second quarter grants have been awarded to families who have faced an extended inpatient hospital stay between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018. After reviewing dozens of applications, the Board of Directors selected four families:
Family #1 - Milwaukee, WI - Recipients of a $1,000 Grant
This Milwaukee family's teenage son was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. His mother, a single parent of three children and the sole wage earner, is on the verge of losing her family's home after needing to cut back on her work schedule due to her son's condition. Her son has spent nearly sixty consecutive days in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and various other cancer-related treatments. Upon learning she would become the recipient of a Keep Swimming Foundation grant, through a translator, the mother exclaimed, "God bless your foundation! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Family #2 - Los Angeles, CA - Recipients of a $1,000 Grant
Our second Q2 family is, sadly, very familiar with the inner workings of a hospital. Their four year-old daughter has spent over 154 combined days in critical care dating back to August 2017. Their most recent stay began in early May 2018, which lasted just under seventy days. Their daughter is battling a very rare condition called Fibrodysplasia Ossifications Progressiva. In a letter from their physician, the family was described as "A wonderful family" and "Amazing Advocates for [their daughter]". Upon learning of the news, their nurse, (who nominated the family) became emotional and shared with us that on the same day they were learning of the $1,000 grant, they were receiving a surprise from their medical team and being sent home.
Family #3 - Philadelphia, PA - Recipients of a $750 Grant
The third grant of Q2 has been provided to a family in Philadelphia whose daughter suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and is currently listed and waiting for a double lung transplant. Like most individuals on the transplant wait list, their daughter has been in-and-out of the hospital undergoing various treatments as her condition changes over time. Throughout this quarter, the family has endured numerous hospital stays ranging from two to three weeks. One of their daughter's admissions lasted exactly twenty-one days, thus meeting the application requirements. This grant helps cover their daily hospital parking expense of $21 per day, as well as their constant need for gasoline, which they go through often during their daily two-hour drive back-and-forth from home to the hospital.
Family #4 - Chicago, IL - Recipient of a $500 Grant
The final family to receive a grant this quarter is from the suburbs of Chicago, IL. Their son, a college student, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in early 2016. After nearly a year of treatment, he learned that he was in remission later that year. He returned to college, but then learned in late December 2017 that the cancer had returned. Once again, he left college and began undergoing outpatient treatment. Finally, in May 2018, he was admitted to a Chicago hospital for several rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. He is currently completing the first week of his doctor-ordered 100 days of isolation, which will be briefly served in the hospital before being sent home. The family submitted several receipts for gasoline and parking pertaining to the period of time related to his stem cell transplant. This grant covers the total amount submitted.
Keep Swimming Foundation is able to help these families because of the donations received from its incredibly generous donors. Each day, the foundation receives applications from families across the USA whose financial and medical struggles are similar to the stories shared with you today.
Help us continue to help families by making a donation today!
Are you located in the Midwest? Join us for our Inaugural Gala on August 24th!
The foundation received a large amount of grant requests from patients and their families throughout the country. After analyzing each of the applications, Keep Swimming Foundation's Board of Directors selected four families who will receive varying levels of funding to help supplement their rising debt as they care for their loved one.
The following are the stories of these families.