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.


#daprilecares — Meet Kaylee, Our 2019 Bear Necessities Ambassador

Spend just five minutes with her, and try not to be impressed by 10-year-old Kaylee Marth. Despite her youth, Kaylee is whip-smart — as quick with a joke as she is with her genuine smile. She balances that precocious intelligence with a quiet innocence, and though she may speak softly, there is a sense of conviction behind her every word.

The daughter of Rose and Dan Marth, Kaylee is a kind and compassionate free spirit, who loves to be outdoors and experience the world around her. She is an avid cook, and devours new books and movies every chance she gets. She already serves as a reading tutor to children her own age, as part of a school program. And to top it all off, she is an accomplished jazz and lyrical dancer — her team recently finished first overall at a national competition in Las Vegas. Put it all together, and it is hard not to be in awe of all she has accomplished in just her first decade. 

And that is before you come to realize that she is also a cancer survivor.

Kaylee’s mother Rose is a cherished member of the d’aprile properties family, working as an agent in our Hinsdale office, serving the western suburbs of Chicago. But for three tense and trying years prior, all of her time and effort was put toward helping her little girl fight a disease that no child or parent should ever have to face. 

“It was a scary time — our whole world came crashing down. We had to face the idea that we could possibly lose our baby.”

On January 7, 2013, doctors informed Rose that Kaylee had Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a form of cancer found in the blood and bone marrow. With less than 200,000 reported cases a year, it is a rare disease, but highly treatable. Those first few days were a whirlwind for the Marth family; within 48 hours of her diagnosis, Kaylee had begun chemotherapy treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

The goal is to ensure that each child is in remission within 28 days of initiating treatment. Once the cancer cells are eliminated, the next stage is to increase and maintain the body’s defenses, ensuring that no relapse occurs. On March 14, 2015, Kaylee successfully ended her treatment, and is now cancer-free.

Despite already being her biggest fan, Rose couldn’t help but admire the grace that Kaylee showed in the face of such terrible circumstances. “Her personality throughout the whole ordeal was awesome. The truth is, she is the one who helped Dan and I get through, by always remaining bubbly and positive.”

Against such odds, it can be easy to forget what it’s like to be a kid. That’s when the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation came into the picture. After meeting with a social worker, Rose and Kaylee learned of the organization’s Bear Hug program, creating customized experiences in order to brighten the life of a child battling cancer.

“At first I was hesitant,” Rose recalls. “We had always been fortunate to have an amazing support system of family and friends around us. I thought surely there was someone else more in need than us.” But after it was explained that the focus of the program was to help kids rediscover their childhood, Rose and Kaylee were on board. Soon, the entire family was off to Universal Studios on behalf of Bear Necessities — and Kaylee was realizing her dream of visiting Harry Potter World first hand.

“The great thing about it is that you are so wrapped up in fighting the illness, that you forget that your children still need to have fun, and enjoy life,” Rose recalls. “When she first got sick, it took us so long before we would even go out to dinner. There were so many experiences that we kind of held back on. That Orlando trip was really the first time we left the house to spend time as a family — it turned what was a really dark time in our lives into smiles and laughter.”

“It’s definitely made us appreciate day-to-day life, even more than we did before” Rose states. “For us, it’s about giving back, and being thankful for her continued health, as well as many of the other kids we met along the way. Because you know, there were good stories, and some stories that weren’t so good. And once you’ve been through something like this, you just want to do all that you can to help others who know this pain.”

Today, Kaylee and her family take every opportunity to give back to those in need. It was Kaylee’s idea to turn her “End of Treatment” party into a fundraiser for kids with cancer. And in 2019, she is excited to join hands with d’aprile properties, and serve as the Bear Necessities Ambassador for our annual #daprilecares campaign. Our goal is to help BN in their mission to eliminate all forms of pediatric cancer.

If you would like to join us in the fight, please visit our our page and donate.

In the end, what advice does Rose have for other families who go through what hers went through? “You have to know that you will get through it. It may not seem like it now, it may not seem like it in a month. But you have to remain positive, for yourself and your child. If you can do that, you will somehow manage to pull through, even when you think you can’t.”


#daprilecares – 2019 Flagship Foundation – Bear Necessities

Grief exists alone among human emotions, in that it is born of both loss and of love. It never fades completely, but it does evolve. At times it comes in waves, threatening to crush our spirits and weigh down our hearts forever. But with the right mindset it can also inspire us over time, lifting us up to achieve things we never thought possible before.

On January 9, 1993, Kathleen A. Casey lost her son Barrett who, for five and a half years, had courageously battled Wilms Tumor, a form of pediatric cancer. Barrett, or ‘Bear’ as he was known to friends and family, had faced his circumstances with the kind of positivity and grace that seemed impossible for an adult, let alone a child of his years. As he endured countless hospital stays and painful medical procedures, he remained focused not on his own prognosis, but on the well-being of the other child cancer patients he encountered daily.

Early in this journey, Kathleen and Bear would come to realize that in the fight against pediatric cancer, the current system was losing the battle on two key fronts. First, there was an astonishing lack of research dollars being allocated for child forms of cancer. Despite being the number one cause of death by disease for children, less than three percent of funding went toward child cancers. And second, almost none of that money went directly to the children or their families, even as they sacrificed everything — emotionally and financially — in the face of almost insurmountable odds.

Prior to his passing, Barrett would spend hours with his mother discussing the formation of an organization, one that would reflect Bear’s own fighting spirit and desire to help others. This foundation would specifically fight pediatric forms of cancer, and streamline its efforts toward the children themselves, as well as the family members who never leave their bedsides.

Today, Kathleen is both Founder and CEO of the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, named after the bravest and most inspiring soul she had ever known. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year alone, Bear Necessities’ efforts funded more than $300,000 toward cutting-edge research. They also carried out 424 individual child/family experiences — known as Bear Hugs — looking to brighten the lives of afflicted children in whatever way they can.

Kathleen Casey and Bear Necessities have made their mission very clear: to forever fight, and someday eliminate, pediatric cancer. It is fair to say that, in many ways, Kathleen’s grief has defined her. She simply hasn’t allowed it to defeat her.

Through our 2019 #daprilecares campaign, d’aprile properties has pledged to stand beside her. Each year, our agents choose one philanthropic organization on which to focus our annual campaign. Through the combined efforts of our individual real estate agents and staff, we hope to do whatever we can to help these phenomenally brave children rediscover their childhood.

Charity begins at home. If you would like to join us in this fight, please visit our fundraising page HERE, or email daprilecares@daprileproperties.com today.

 


Let Spring Into Your Home!

Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

Is winter over yet? Officially, spring began on March 20th. While the weather is a little slow to catch up, it’s the perfect time to embrace the season and give our living spaces a little refresh.

Here are some things to consider when getting your home ready for spring:

Clean Things Up

You either love spring cleaning, or you dread it. Either way, it’s a great time of year to refresh your space by washing away the signs of winter hibernation. It doesn’t have to be all ammonia and baseboard-scrubbing; start with small projects like cleaning out the fridge or freezer, then move up to larger tasks like floors and windows. Breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces can help avoid feeling overwhelmed. Open a window for some fresh air and to vent out the smell of cleaning chemicals while you’re hard at work.

Decluttering is just as important as cleaning, and you’ll be amazed at how different a room can feel after getting rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. Similar to cleaning, break organizing down into smaller bits at a time. You don’t want to be done for the day, only to realize your bed is still covered with all the boxes of clothes you’re going to donate.

 

Long Days, Warm Nights

You’ve made it past daylight saving time – are you prepared for all the extra daylight that spring brings with it? Sunlight affects our circadian rhythm and is a factor that tells us when it’s time for bed. Darker mornings make it easier to stay in bed in the morning, and a little bit harder to fall asleep at night. Winter’s darkness gave us time inside to relax and decompress before bed, but the late sunset of spring can make it difficult to feel tired on time. If you find yourself staying up later with the extra sunlight, make sure you are still taking the time to unwind after a long day. A nighttime routine centered on relaxation can help give structure to the end of your day so you don’t find yourself lying awake at night.

With the temperatures beginning to rise, turning the thermostat down a few degrees before bed can actually help prepare you for a deeper sleep. If you are a hot sleeper, don’t forget to change out warmer sheets for a set that breathe well and keep you comfortable. If you still find yourself warm, a mattress that sleeps cool is worth the investment and will keep you enjoying sleep for seasons to come.

 

Bring the Outside In

Outside your home, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. But how do you bring the feeling of spring into your home? The simplest way to bring the outdoors in is to include some plants in your home decor. Easy-to-maintain options that will bloom this spring include violets, lilies, and hard-to-kill succulents. Plants are a great way to embrace the season and let some refreshing color into the home while on a budget. You can also use spring colors, such as pastel greens, sky blues, or sunshine yellows in your decor to really brighten up a room and give it a spring feel. The ultimate way to refresh your space and bring some color in, however, is to repaint. An accent wall is a simple way to change the entire feel of a room and use bold colors in your living space. If you choose a bold spring color such as yellow, make sure you will be able to tie your room’s decor to the accent wall for the rest of the year.

There’s no doubt that we welcome spring with open arms. Taking a little extra time to prepare your home for spring, however, can make a big difference in enjoying the season.

 

 

 

 


Making Our Own Luck

This past Saturday, March 16, our Naperville Agent Team proudly participated in the West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the fourth consecutive year! Our ‘Parade Mobile’ was all decked out, and our Canine Captain, Sydney, lead the way!

 

The parade attracts over 3,000 participants and more than 15,000 spectators, annually. It is a fantastic family event enjoyed by all ages, in celebration of Irish heritage and culture. 

 

We’d like to thank all of our agents and their family members who came out to make this another great event for d’aprile properties in the western suburbs! A special shout out to Martha Harrison, REALTOR®/Expert Truck Driver, whose skills behind the wheel allowed us to highlight our various real estate services.

A special thank you as well to Sue Liston and Operation Support Our Troops – America for their wonderful partnership (and generous candy donation)! We can’t wait until next year!

 


d’aprile properties comes to Gurnee and Lindenhurst!

When you’ve got a good thing going, it’s only natural to want more.

At d’aprile properties, we love being an integral part of the communities that we serve. Each has its own personality, its own unique flavor that draws people toward it, looking for a place to call home. That’s why we will always look to grow, to expand outward into new neighborhoods and meet amazing new people. This business is all about building relationships, and the best part of our job is the opportunity to share in our clients’ experience as they embark on their own personal journey as homeowners.

We aren’t looking to blend in with the local flavor. Instead, we hope to find communities that already share the qualities that form the foundation of our company’s culture. Innovation. Independence. Positivity. And with that in mind, we are proud to announce that d’aprile properties has come to the exceptional northern Illinois communities of Gurnee and Lindenhurst.

These locales exist as wholly unique residential markets on their own, but together they form a bridge between our Illinois and Wisconsin markets. Seated within 10 miles of the state border, residents commute back and forth, connecting the cosmopolitan “collar counties” of Northern Illinois with the agricultural focal point that is the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands of Southern Wisconsin.

But Team Gurnee and Team Lindenhurst aren’t new to their respective neighborhoods. Managing Broker Alex Attiah has been providing real estate services in the area for the last 18 years. Together with his wife Deb, Alex formed REIT Homes, an independent brokerage in Grayslake. They soon relocated their home office to Gurnee, and expanded to Lindenhurst in 2017. Their unique brand of expert local real estate services has resulted in significant growth, and the team has expanded to more than 40 agents in two offices. Alex knew that the time had come to join forces with a brokerage who shared their ideals, a company who was forward-thinking, genuine, and not afraid of change.

In d’aprile properties, Alex knew he had found the right match. “After meeting with the d’aprile Leadership Team, I knew we were aligning ourselves with good, genuine people. We’ve been looking for a true partnership, where our team could join a culture that is independent, innovative – and most of all – positive. d’aprile properties is a ‘yes culture’ – when faced with a challenge, they simply ask themselves, ‘How can we make it happen?'”

Gurnee thrives on commerce; with its booming retail market and wealth of entertainment options, the city is always moving. Lindenhurst offers a little more peace and quiet; the close-knit community and its inviting landscape provide the perfect backdrop for families and small businesses. According to Alex, while Gurnee and Lindenhurst may offer different things to different people, the two neighbors combine to form the perfect lifestyle. “Gurnee is uniquely alive; people filter into it from the surrounding areas, drawn to all the amazing amenities it provides. Lindenhurst is more serene alternative – a bedroom community with a wonderful mom-and-pop feel. Together, they offer a little something for everyone.”

Alex wants the communities of Gurnee and Lindenhurst to know that while the name on the front of the building may be changing, his teams’ approach to customer service has not. “Our dedication to serving the communities of Gurnee and Lindenhurst has never wavered. We will always give 110% of ourselves to you, because we ARE you. We’re your neighbors. We’re parents at your kids’ schools, shouting on the sidelines of their soccer games. We’re behind you in line at the grocery store, and beside you at the gym. We will always support you, because this is our home, too. We are so excited for what the future will bring, and are proud to bring the trusted brand of d’aprile properties to this amazing area.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


Enjoying the View From the Top

On January 26, d’aprile properties celebrated its fifth consecutive Summit event at the Chicago Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel. The year-end gala was sponsored by our dear friends and partners at Midwest Lending. This all-day event is truly the highlight of our year, where our agents, staff, and loan officer partners come together across four states to not only celebrate each others success and achievements, but also spend time together as a family.

The day portion began with a champagne toast and vendor expo, where attendees got to network with some of our most important business partners.

The audience then received a “State of the Company” presentation from our founder, Ryan D’Aprile. It was an opportunity to recap the company’s 2018 successes, while simultaneously getting a look at what the organization has in store for the future. He was followed by James Madejczyk, VP of Sales for our presenting sponsor, Midwest Lending, who provided an inside look at the mortgage industry in 2019. 

In the evening, it was time for everyone to let their hair down and have a little fun! A cocktail hour offered the chance for old friends to catch up…

…and an elegant dinner was followed by our annual awards ceremony, where agents were lauded for their sales achievements, their leadership, and their teamwork.

We want to take this moment to congratulate each and every one of our worthy award winners.

The entire event culminated in a silent auction whose proceeds were donated to Homes For Our Troops, our 2018 flagship charity organization, and one of America’s Top-Rated Veterans and Military Charities.

We cannot wait until next year!


What It Means to Serve – Military Family Appreciation Month

Today, more than two million courageous men and women proudly serve their country, representing the United States military and its reserve components. These individuals, serving both domestically and abroad, wake up each and every morning with one purpose: to defend the principles on which this nation was founded, so that its citizens can live free. 

They are Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers. They selflessly sacrifice their lives for a cause greater than themselves, and they deserve all the support and respect that we as their fellow countrymen can offer. But we must never forget those who stand beside our servicemen and women every day, even as they are forced to stay behind.

They are the heroes on the homefront: the spouses, children, and parents of our military members, who answer the call with dignity and grace. While they may not wear a uniform, they know precisely what it means to serve their country. Bearing the heavy burden of long deployments and difficult moves, these steadfast patriots often put their own careers on hold, in order to support their family and protect their household.

They’re your neighbors. They go to school with your children, and you see them at the grocery store. And while their struggle takes place daily, they bear their burden in silence, so those they advocate see nothing but strength and stability.

November is Military Family Month, and it is our duty to honor and support the families of our troops and veterans for their unwavering devotion and contribution to our freedom.

In 2018, d’aprile properties continues to partner with Homes For Our Troops, widely recognized as one of America’s Top-Rated Veterans and Military Charities for seven consecutive years. A privately funded nonprofit organization, they build and donate specifically adapted custom homes nationwide to post-9/11 veterans and their families. To join us in this cause, visit our fundraising page HERE.

These people are the backbone of our military, the fuel that keeps the home fire burning. If you’re looking for a way to personally salute the heroic families who stand by our armed forces, remember that even the smallest act of kindness can bring welcome relief to those who simply long to see their loved ones come home safe.

  • Say “Thank you”
  • Write them a note
  • Leave a care package at their door
  • Offer to babysit
  • Volunteer your time by shoveling their walkway, or carrying their groceries
  • Donate to a veterans’ charity on their behalf

Or when in doubt, simply ASK them what they need. Because each and every one of us, no matter how strong, can benefit from the charity of others. We rise by lifting each other.

 


#daprilecares – Homes For Our Troops Honor Walk!

 

This past Saturday, d’aprile properties was proud to take part in the Honor Walk for our flagship charity campaign, Homes For Our Troops!
Homes For Our Troops is widely recognized as one of America’s Top-Rated Veterans and Military Charities for seven consecutive years. A privately funded nonprofit organization, they build and donate specifically adapted custom homes nationwide to post-9/11 veterans with significant injuries.

Our agents and their families, along with our partners at Midwest Lending, joined together as a family to walk a 5k in various locations around the Midwest, in order to raise money for this incredible organization. The weather was perfect, as everyone enjoyed a fun-filled day of family fun.

 

A special thanks to our good friends at our very special ‘Finish Line’ celebration locations, including Pier 290 on Geneva Lake, Cortland’s Garage in the northwest suburbs, and Vines on Clark in the heart of Lakeview.
Until next year!

 


#daprilecares – Let’s Keep a Good Thing Going

They say charity begins at home, and we wholeheartedly agree.  

But it can’t end there.

When choosing the focus of our 2017 flagship charitable campaign, we at d’aprile properties were looking to support a local organization whose efforts go beyond mere fundraising.  That’s why we chose to partner with Misericordia, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities.  The staff at Misericordia not only provide housing and medical assistance to those in their care; they focus on maximizing their potential.  The goal is to help residents find purpose in their everyday lives through personal interaction, meaningful employment, and a sense of community.  Nothing builds courage like a feeling of independence. 

But you can’t truly understand the scope of this mission until you see it in action.  So we decided to tour the Misericordia facilities at 6300 N Ridge Ave., to get a better idea of all that they accomplish day in, and day out.  Because the truth is, we don’t need to save the lives of these amazing individuals.  The dedicated team at Misericordia is already doing that.  We just want to help give them the means to continue their incredible work, in whatever way we can.

When you first step foot on the 31-acre Rogers Park campus, you can’t help but be in awe of of the scope of Misericorida’s endeavors.  More than 600 children and adults live and work on these grounds, from all manner of racial, economic, and religious backgrounds.  Misericordia’s Executive Director, Sister Rosemary Connelly, guides the Sisters of Mercy and almost 1,000 staff members in their efforts to ensure that each and every resident is housed, cared for, and encouraged to grow as an individual.  

The home itself provides the full continuum of care to meet the diverse needs of residents whose ages currently range from infants to senior citizens. But beyond that, Misericorida is a fully-functioning community, offering services that provide education, spiritual guidance, and a variety of social and recreational activities.  Many residents are encouraged to work off campus at various Chicago businesses, while others provide all manner of services to outside companies who outsource their projects directly to campus.

 

And we haven’t even mentioned the incredible art department, the fully functioning bakery, or the coffee grounding and packaging service that operate right on campus!  You see, while Misericordia receives funds from entities such as the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, they cannot fund the cause on government aid alone.  They rely on the hard work and dedication of their residents and staff, along with the generous donations from corporations, foundations, individuals, and families.  And they could use your help.

That is why throughout the remainder of the year, d’aprile properties will be bringing stories of courage and dedication, directly from the residents and families supported by this incredible organization.  We hope you you might join us on this mission, to help raise funds and ensure that some of Chicago’s most important citizens are given the chance to live the life they deserve.  

To donate, simply click on this link:  https://www.firstgiving.com/misericordia/daprile