September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Every single day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.

The average age of a child diagnosed is six years old.

12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.

The statistics are grim. The images that accompany them are often difficult to look at or comprehend. And for those of us who have been lucky enough to avoid cancer’s terrible grasp, it may be difficult to relate to those who must fight their own personal battle, each and every day.

The easy path is to turn our heads away. But nothing can change until more of us become involved. Creating awareness is the first and most important step toward defeating an epidemic that is quickly growing out of control.

Because the fact is, cancer doesn’t care about age. It ignores gender, ethnicity, and socio-economics. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just 50 years ago to nearly 90 percent today — the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, an annual national health campaign by major childhood cancer organizations to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. In 2019, d’aprile properties has dedicated our collective philanthropic efforts toward the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and their incredible efforts toward eliminating all forms of pediatric cancer.

A black doctor sits on the floor in front of large windows with her patient. The patient is a caucasian girl with cancer. The girl is wearing a scarf on her head. The doctor is talking and holding the girl’s hands. The child is smiling up at the doctor and listening intently. There is a large teddy bear on the floor next to them.

Pediatric forms of cancer are completely different than the types of cancer that affect adults. It remains the number one cause of death by disease in children — 1 in 8 will not survive. Out of those who do, 60% will suffer long-term side effects.

Yet despite these terrifying numbers, less than 4% of all cancer research dollars are allocated to children. What’s worse, only 4 cancer treatments have been specifically developed and approved for children in the last 20 years.

It is hard to imagine that a few dollars here or there could make a difference. But this isn’t just about money. It’s about fostering hope. It’s about reminding these amazing children that they still have a childhood, and that we will always stand by them and their families, no matter the odds.

If you would like to join our efforts, please visit our fundraising page and donate. Or contact your dedicated d’aprile properties real estate agent, and ask how you can join or support the #daprilecares Team in October’s A Walk for the Bear.

Follow Bear Necessities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about childhood cancer and their fight. By sharing their posts, you are creating awareness, and helping to spread the word about childhood cancer.

Meet Kaylee, our 2019 #daprilecares Ambassador, and read her story HERE.

Read more about our annual campaign for Bear Necessities, HERE.


Never Too Late for the American Dream

When you meet the unassuming and uniquely awesome Ms. Diane Mowrer, you can’t help but be pulled in by her enthusiastic spirit. An avid cook, decorator, and self-proclaimed ‘neat freak’, her personality and sense of humor crackle with energy. She constantly wears a broad, genuine smile and is quick with a joke – even if it’s directed at herself.

A former executive assistant with Chase Bank, this mother of five is a DIY-kind of girl. Spontaneous and creative, she prefers tackling remodeling projects head-on, and getting her own hands dirty. Having recently become a homeowner for the very first time on her own, she now has the opportunity to begin a new chapter in her life, on her terms.

All at the tender young age of 79. (Don’t worry, she gave us permission to tell!)

For 25 years, Diane had been renting an apartment in the Western Suburbs. She labored up and down flights of stairs daily, and had no choice but to constantly clear snow from her uncovered car come winter. But perhaps the biggest burden to bear was the lack of opportunity to turn her living space into a real home, forced to stare at drab paint colors and dated fixtures chosen by someone other than herself. Creativity needs a canvas, after all.

Diane hadn’t been actively looking to move, but like so many others she often passed time looking at properties online with a curious eye and an open mind. One day she realized a condo that had previously caught her attention had come back on the market in Lombard. As luck would have it, her granddaughter Sara Press just happened to be a highly-skilled d’aprile properties real estate agent, so after breakfast one morning in the area, Diane asked if Sara could show her the property. Before they left, she was ready to make an offer on what would soon become her new home.

Sara guided her through every step of the home buying process, and even brought in a little help from Erin Stojakovic – a mortgage professional with our good friends over at Midwest Lending. That’s how on August 8th – just a couple of months shy of her 79th birthday – Diane found herself sitting at the closing table, being handed the keys to her very own home.

After almost eight decades, you would think she took some time to relax, and savor the moment. But no, not when there was so much she could do, without anyone’s permission but her own! Walls and cabinets were soon painted, countertops and carpeting were replaced. And a stand-alone cupboard will be custom built for the kitchen, after she drops the ceiling and installs canned lighting. But reluctantly, she admits that these can wait until after the holidays. She has cookies to bake, after all. And she already knows where she’s putting her tree.

Diane once lived paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. But with patience and some strategic saving, she realized that homeownership was well within her reach. When asked if she had any advice for other seniors looking to start over, she simply said, “Never give up. With the right people beside you, it’s easier than you think.”

If only all of use could be so positive, so young at heart. Thank you Diane, for letting d’aprile properties be part of your story. It has many more chapters to come.