New Lenox, IL

"Home of proud Americans"

Jennifer and her family stick by her son’s side as he battles cancer. (Credit: Jennifer Bendy)

New Lenox is a place where people who care about you show you by doing something about it.

Last July, my 19-year-old son was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. My family, numb with disbelief, struggled to get through those first couple days and weeks. We set up a CaringBridge website to keep everyone informed and a GoFundMe to help with the medical expenses that we were already dreading. As word got out, the outpouring of support we received was simply unbelievable.

A former wrestling coach organizes a 5K run fundraiser for Anthony and presents a check from the proceeds to him and his family.(Credit: Jennifer Bendy)

I work at a junior high school in town and the teachers set up meals for every day that my son, Anthony, had treatment. Funds were donated by friends, neighbors, former teachers and coaches, even classmates of Anthony. Former teachers and coaches were texting Anthony offering to come sit with him during chemo. They also set up a couple of fundraisers such as a 5K run to help both Anthony and another student in the district who was also diagnosed with cancer. The kind words of love and support that came through the CaringBridge site were amazing.

People I had never met were praying for my son and offering support. They say “it takes a village” and I can honestly say that the Village of New Lenox got us through this rough patch. Today, my son is cancer-free and thriving thanks to this community!

A T-shirt designed by one of Anthony’s friends for a fundraiser. (Credit: Jennifer Bendy)