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Garfield Ridge Brings ‘Aid’ For Sick Kids

Thanks to Madison Conrad, 9, children on the fourth floor at Children’s Memorial Hospital can look forward to a little fun when they need a Band-Aid.

A Garfield Ridge resident, Madison decided to form a Band-Aid Brig-Aid and collect colorful cartoon and fantasy character Band-Aids for children suffering from cancer.

The children face a daily regimen of shots and needle pricks. Because of Madison’s efforts, the children won’t have to stare at a dull brown Band-Aid, but can look forward to seeing various Disney princesses, Sesame Street characters, Spider-Man, Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob Square Pants and even Scooby-Doo.

Madison came up with Band-Aid Brig-Aid idea after hearing from Jonathan Pochyly, Ph.D., a child psychologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital (to be known as Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago on June 4) that there was a shortage of character Band-Aids.

She had also been seeking an alternative to shaving her head on St. Baldrick’s Day.

According to Madison’s mom, Heather Conrad, Madison began collecting the Band-Aids from family and friends right after Christmas. In January, flyers were made and distributed around the immediate neighborhood.

During an open house at St. Daniel the Prophet School, where Madison is in third grade, parents began asking Heather Conrad about Madison’s project. When Heather Conrad, an assistant principal at Meadow Ridge School in Orland Park, told fellow employees about Madison’s quest for character Band-Aids, some of them wanted to participate as well.

Madison’s sister, Kennedy Conrad, 7, and a second-grader at St. Daniel the Prophet, chipped in to help.

Slowly but surely, people began dropping off boxes at the house. ÒIt was two boxes here and three boxes there,” said Heather Conrad. A neighbor, she said, donated money so Madison could pick out the character Band-Aids she liked.

In early March, Madison had collected 130 boxes, or 1,925 Band-Aids, that much closer to her goal of 250 boxes of character Band-Aids.

ÒIt’s fun,” said Madison. ÒI like it when everyone gives Band-Aids to me.”

People kept giving and Madison did reach her goal. Now she will be handing over the Band-Aids to representatives from Children’s Memorial Hospital at 10 a.m. Friday, April 6 in the hospital’s lobby at 700 W Fullerton (at the corners of Fullerton, Lincoln and Halsted streets).

ÒIt’s really a great thing Madison is doing,” said Julie Pesch, director of Public Affairs at Children’s Memorial Hospital. ÒI really am surprised. Nine is very young. For her to even sense there is a need, makes her special.”

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