Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Teen helps others despite brittle bone disease

Spread the love

Family toy drive benefits Comer Children’s Hospital

By Kelly White

Early on in her life, Madelyn Rodrigues was diagnosed with Osteogeneis Imperfects, a brittle bone disease that has already resulted in more than 70 bone fractures in her 14 years of life.

As a freshman at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, Madelyn’s inner strength shines outward and she refuses to allow the disease to limit her livelihood. She still actively competes in cheerleading, volleyball and is a photographer for her school’s yearbook. Even with her busy schedule, she is constantly looking for ways to help others.

Madelyn partnered with her brother, Zachary, a sophomore and athlete participating in soccer, basketball and all-conference baseball at Illinois Lutheran High School, to start an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago.

“Personally, this toy drive means a lot to me living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta,” Madelyn, of Monee, said. “As a young person who has suffered a lot of painful breaks, I remember when the doctors or nurses would bring a stuffed animal to me, and they would wrap the stuffed animal with a cast where I had my injury. Those moments brought me comfort because they would say the stuffed animal was just like me. I hope that even one kid feels the same level of comfort I did because of the toys we deliver.”

Zachary’s previous baseball organization started a smaller one and the kids were impacted by the stories they heard about children in the hospital. Last year, the organization did not conduct the toy drive due to the pandemic, so the kids spearheaded one on their own to ensure that the kids had toys for the holidays.

This marks the second year the siblings have taken on the toy drive completely on their own, setting up toy collection boxes at their school. Donations can also made through a self-created Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/ZachandMaddyToyDrive2021.

They continue to receive overwhelming support. Last year alone they received more than 1,000 toys. There is never any number of toys expected, as they are just grateful for whatever they can collect for kids who need it most, the siblings said.

The wish list of toys comes directly from the hospital https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/comer/give/donation-wish-lists.

“I enjoy knowing that children who have medical concerns can have a sense of joy during the holiday season, or throughout the year, even though they are in the hospital,” Madelyn said. “Also, the employee at the hospital said that many children who are able to leave at some point insist upon bringing these toys home with them as they have become their new favorite toy because it got them through their toughest time.”

“I enjoy not only hearing stories of the children receiving a gift that they enjoy, but also knowing that this possibly takes away a little stress for the parents,” Zachary said. “By providing toys for the children, the parents can focus on their child’s well-being and treatment, and not have to worry about making sure they find time to shop for Christmas presents.”

Donations will be accepted through early December and delivered to the hospitals on December 4 by the Rodrigues family.

Their father, Jeremy Rodrigues, an English teacher at Shepard High School, has a donation box set up in his classroom at the school in Palos Heights. He said he couldn’t be prouder of his children in their effort to bring others cheer during the holiday season.

“Other than the possible joy that children within the hospitals receive, both Zachary and Madelyn personally like the generosity of strangers who donate to such a worthy cause,” Rodrigues said. “There would be no toy drive without the kindness of strangers.”

regional rodriguez toy drive2

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues show off some of the early toy donations they are storing in the family’s garage.

Local News

Chicago Police Department

Warn of burglars in Garfield Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A cluster of residential burglaries in Garfield Ridge has prompted police to issue a warning to the community. Crime scenes include: 5200 block of South Normandy on Jan. 1. 5600 block of South Mobile on Jan. 7. 5300 block of South Mason on Jan. 10. 6000 block of West 60th Street…

Sean Casten

Casten scolds sheriff on new gun control law

Spread the love

Spread the loveSays he can’t pick which laws to enforce  By Tim Hadac U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) and several other Democratic members of the state’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, expressing concern over his Jan. 13 statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act…

Muhammad

Bust accused shooter in Clearing

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Chicago Police and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force visited Clearing late last month to apprehend a man wanted in connection with a West Side shooting. Shaheer Muhammad, 24 of the 3800 block of West Grenshaw, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at a home in the 6000 block…

illinois income tax form - Copy

2023 Illinois tax filing season now open

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Illinois Department of Revenue began accepting 2022 state individual income tax returns on Monday, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service began accepting federal individual income tax returns. “Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible in the tax season and choose direct deposit in order…

Palos Park Police Officer Ross Chibe, shown at a village council meeting in 2021, and the Palos Park force are staying on top of a sextortion scam that has become prevalent. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park tries to stay ahead of the curve on sextortion scams

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Police Department is trying to stay ahead of a disturbing trend that has not been talked about publicly very much. When it comes to the topic of sextortion scams, the Palos Park police are monitoring things very closely and Detective Ross Chibe was called on to provide…

Funeral-Flowers.4 logo

Obituaries January 26, 2022

Spread the love

Spread the loveTHOMAS A. BEEMSTERBOER Thomas A. Beemsterboer, age 71, passed away January 1. Beloved husband of Judith A. Beemsterboer (nee Kuklovsky); loving father of Timothy J. (Erwan LeMoing), Michael D. and Stephen M; devoted brother of Mary Adduci, the late Paul (Alice) Beemsterboer and the late Agnes (the late Thomas) Cooke. Uncle to many…

palos heights police logo

Former hospital employee charged in Palos Heights identity theft

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A Hazel Crest man was charged last week with aggravated identity theft stemming from an incident that happened on December 27. Palos Heights police took a report on December 27 from a patient at Northwestern Palos Hospital who reported their wallet was missing and then observed two unauthorized charges on…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound January 25, 2023

Spread the love

Spread the love

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Bowling | Stagg charges to first state finals appearance

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent For Stagg, it’s a first. For Sandburg, it’s a return trip. Both teams survived the Plainfield North Sectional at Town & Country Lanes in Joliet to advance to the state tournament. The finals will be Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, and 28 at St. Claire Bowl in Fairview Heights. The…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Bowling | Reavis rolls to sectional title, sixth straight trip to state

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jason Maholy Sports Editor A strong all-around team effort and a runner-up performance by Ethan Deluna powered Reavis to the championship of the IC Catholic Sectional and a trip to the state tournament. The Rams totaled 6338 to top second-place Glenbrook North by 100 pins on Jan. 21 at Bowlero in Glendale…

Neighbors

Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A law recently signed by Gov. JB Pritzker will extend the deadline for the state to transfer criminal defendants deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial from jail to a mental hospital. That same bill, House Bill 240, also gives nursing homes in Illinois two more years…

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS [email protected] Longtime Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel has joined the Capitol News Illinois team as a full-time state government and politics reporter. She’s had a number of assignments covering the Statehouse and Illinois government since the 2014 legislative session, most recently serving as Statehouse editor for NPR Illinois from 2020 until after…

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For newly sworn-in Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, customer service is the central mission as he assumes the state’s second-largest constitutional office, replacing the man who had held it for nearly a quarter century. “Modernization and bringing new technology is going to be at the forefront…

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday filed a petition asking an appellate court to vacate a temporary restraining order that was issued late Friday afternoon blocking enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Raoul’s office filed the petition in the 5th District Appellate Court in…

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and legislative leaders said they were disappointed but not surprised by a judge’s decision late Friday putting a temporary and limited halt to enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison issued the temporary restraining order late Friday…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday was named in a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of children in state care who have been held in juvenile detention centers after a judge ordered their release. Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert is a…

At World Economic Forum, Pritzker plays role of Illinois’ ‘best chief marketing officer’

At World Economic Forum, Pritzker plays role of Illinois’ ‘best chief marketing officer’

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – After his second-term inauguration amid a frenzied “lame duck” legislative session last week, Gov. JB Pritzker took the global stage this week at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The governor and high-ranking members of his staff joined a bipartisan delegation of U.S.…

Watchdog seeks harsher penalties in wake of abuse at Choate

Watchdog seeks harsher penalties in wake of abuse at Choate

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois & MOLLY PARKER Lee Enterprises Midwest This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Lee Enterprises, along with Capitol News Illinois. The watchdog for the Illinois Department of Human Services is seeking harsher penalties against health care workers who obstruct abuse and neglect investigations. IDHS…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

Regional CC Asphalt House Ad
Regional dermatology associates House Ad