On Monday, May 8th, Jokes4Miles co-founder Len Austrevich appeared on the Bill and Wendy Show on WGN Radio to talk about Rosie Colucci, a 12-year-old girl from Palatine facing a host of medical troubles like brain cancer, neurofibromatosis (NF1), hydrocephalus and more. Despite her medical tribulations, Rosie and her family spend nearly every weekend fundraising for charity. Together, their campaigning has generated over $800,000 for cancer research.
Rosie remains positive and upbeat through every hardship, every chemo dose and hospital stay. Those who know her have given her the name Rockstar Rosie, because she is a true rockstar who works hard every year to help find a cure for cancer and NF1. Many organizations have given her accolades in recognition of her work, like American Red Cross 2014 Youth Good Samaritan Hero and Speedway’s Miracle Network Kid of the Year 2016. She is consistently one of the top earners at Chicago Dance Marathon every year, and she never slows down.
We were touched by Rosie and her family’s activism, and subsequently heartbroken upon hearing about their financial struggles. The Coluccis have faced car trouble, bankruptcy, evictions and more. Rosie’s mother JoAnne, a single parent, struggles to maintain a job in between caring for Rosie’s complex medical needs as well as helping her older daughter, Bella, prepare for college and learn how to drive. Even though this family struggles to keep food on the table, they still dedicate their time to raising money for charity. We wanted to ease the burden as much as we could, so Jokes4Miles has launched a public campaign to help garner community support for the Colucci family.
Bill and Wendy from WGN Radio graciously offered to host a livestream of us during lunchtime on Monday, May 8th to discuss Rockstar Rosie and help build awareness. Len discusses how we met Rosie years ago: she and Miles were friends that met in the hospital during cancer treatments. Miles and Rosie both faced brain cancer and formed a bond with each other through their unique struggles. Brain tumor patients face challenges that are unique from other forms of cancer, such as personality changes, recurring headaches, balance and vision problems, and more.
You can listen to the broadcast on WGN Radio’s website here to get the full story. If you’d like to learn more about Rockstar Rosie, you can visit her website here and follow her on Facebook here. For those who are able, please consider support Rosie and her family by donating to her YouCaring profile.