Crazy Hat Night

The Chicago Steel and School of Art Geneva presented Crazy Hat Night at the Fox Valley Ice Arena to benefit the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope on November 30, 2018. The Chicago Steel (United States Hockey League) made hockey history by wearing specially designed helmets during the game against the Central Illinois Flying Aces. The helmets were auctioned off after the game to provide art supplies and music instruments for young patients battling cancer.

Each Steel player wore a unique helmet designed by area students and artists as part of the team’s Crazy Hat Night. The event made for a more colorful viewing experience for fans with the home team donning the special lids.

The Steel believe this to be the first time in organized hockey that all skaters for a team have worn individually designed helmets during a game. Helmets were designed by nine area elementary school art classes, a Cub Scout Pack, the School of ART and other local artists.

Many thanks go out to the Chicago Steel organization, the School of Art Geneva and to all who attended the game for making this a memorable event and for the support given to Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.

Go here for more info!



Alyssa SAKs Delivered to Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL

Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) were delivered to RMH family room in Edward Hospital on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by Yoli Alvin-AAFH President and 2 volunteers (Linda Fox & Carol Cole) who helped prepare the Alyssa SAKs during an Exelon Volunteer event.

We met Brittany Rhyne, RMH Manager, who works with the young patients admitted at Edward Hospital. Brittany mentioned the RMH family room lacks art materials for these young patients and that the Alyssa SAKs will serve to fill this void. Five different varieties of Alyssa SAKs were delivered and included writing journal sets, adult coloring books, drawing kits, watercolor and acrylic kits.

AAFH provides Alyssa SAKs to medical institutions and Ronald McDonald Houses to give teens and young adults between the ages of 10 and 21 an opportunity to create their own work of art, write their thoughts in their journal, relax and have some fun coloring.

We thank the Child Life Staff of the RMH family room at Edward Hospital for giving us the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and music, and promoting our programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!



Yorkville High School Madrigal Singers & Musicians Perform at a RMH near Loyola Music Night

Student musicians and Madrigal singers from Yorkville High School joined the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) at the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola Medical Center to entertain patients and their families with the healing power of music on Monday, November 12, 2018.

The Yorkville Madrigals were led by David Smith, their Music Director, and this event was planned by Huntar Jones, a former member of the Yorkville High School music group and a regular AAFH volunteer herself. The 35 musicians not only drove over 90 minutes to get thru rush hour traffic to the performance, but they also donated their own time to practice in preparation for this music night.

They were met by AAFH President- Yoli Alvin and volunteer-Huntar Jones, as well as several families including children ranging from toddlers to teens. During the 1-hour performance, all ages sat in rapt attention at the beautiful music created by the strings of the musicians and the voices of the singers dressed in Renaissance period attire.

As we mingled with the young audience members before and after the show, we were impressed with the attention and appreciation they gave to the musicians. In talking with them about their physical conditions, we were moved by the fact that we took them away from their own health challenges at least for the duration of the performance. We could see in their faces and hear in their applause that the patients and their family members were free from pain, discomfort and stress while being moved by this beautiful music.

Thank you so much to the student-musicians and Madrigal singers, their leaders, David and Huntar, our volunteers and all of you for making evenings like this possible in Alyssa’s memory!



Exelon Nuclear Employee Volunteers Prepare Alyssa SAKs

A group of employees at the Exelon Nuclear Generation Cantera Office in Winfield, IL assembled Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. These Alyssa SAKs will be donated to several local hospitals before the holidays treating children and young adults for cancer and life-threatening diseases. A total of 25 volunteers participated in putting together 210 of Alyssa SAKs. This volunteer effort was led by Nadia Tourjman, Procurement Specialist for Exelon Nuclear and Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) volunteer.

Yoli met Nadia while working together at Exelon’s Cantera Office. Nadia has previously supported AAFH events and made a very generous donation from her Exelon volunteer hours and continues to work together with Yoli in supporting AAFH.

A special “Thank You” goes out to Nadia because her support allows AAFH to earn Matching Dollars for each volunteer hour logged. We appreciate Nadia for her dedication to Alyssa’s Foundation.

The Exelon volunteer team completed 70 adult coloring books, 30 drawing kits, 30 journal kits, 40 watercolor kits, 20 acrylic kits and 20 lunch bags for a total of 210 Alyssa Starter Art Kits. Last year, Exelon volunteers prepared fifty Alyssa SAKs for AAFH.

Also, many thanks to our Exelon volunteers:

Lisa Z., Kevin S., Karen L., Jenessa B., Lynn M., Rick M., Elias T., Ann H., Maggie D., Stephanie K., Ed M., Abdul A., Audrey C., Maria A., Rita A., Steve W., Bev H., Sireesha V., Durga S., Aruna K. Nadia T., Carol C., and Linda F.



Asher Receives a Boost to Enhance His Craft Making Creativity

Asher Rubio is 16 years old and lives in Romeoville, IL with his family. Asher enjoys expressing his creativity with paper crafting. He started with origami and it took off from there! He also loves scrapbooking and hand projects.

Asher was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia in February 2017 but recently relapsed. He is being treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital and staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie’s (RMH).

On Thursday, November 8, 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting Asher and his mom, Martha, at the RMH. Asher is a very bright teenager and exudes confidence that he will overcome this recent setback to his health with his family’s support and the treatment he is receiving at Lurie’s. It was a joy and honor to present Asher with a Cricut Explore Air 2 in a persimmon color. The Cricut is a personal DIY cutting machine for various craft making materials. Seeing Asher’s expression and joy in receiving this small gift made my trip to RMH all the more worthwhile and heartening.

The work of AAFH, made possible by our financial supporters and volunteers, means so much to the young cancer patients. Our gifts and arts programs are intended to lift their spirits and bring them joy at a time in their lives when they’re facing life-threatening illnesses.

We are grateful for the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and promote the programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope! We wish Asher all the best as he continues with his treatments and we pray for his full recovery.



Bringing Cheer & Joy to Gift Recipients in Guadalajara, Mexico

On November 2, 2018, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope brought joy and hope to many children and young adults by fulfilling their gift requests of musical instruments, headphones and art materials. Yoli, AAFH President, George, Vice-President, Dra. Martha and Dr. Christian Hawa visited 18 patients at the Hospital Civil de Guadalajara in Mexico. With much help from Dra. Martha in acquiring musical instruments from local vendors and art materials and headphones we brought from the USA, we were able to respond to each request from these young patients facing cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Many of the gift recipients met us at the hospital on their off day from outpatient treatment. These young patients live in the surrounding areas of Guadalajara and some traveled several hours to meet us at the hospital. Meeting these young people and seeing their joyful expressions upon receiving their gifts made our trip to this hospital in Mexico even more worthwhile. These young adult recipients all expressed their thankfulness to the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.

Below is a list of the patient’s name, age and their requested gift.

Miguel Angel (19) Guitar, Jeimi Guadalupe (16) Guitar ,Dalia Guadalupe (14) Guitar;

Luis Daniel (18) Keyboard, Maria Rosa (18) Keyboard;

Rubalcaba Carlos (15) Art materials;

Maria Jazmin (20) Tarola/Timbal;

Guadalupe Montserrat (16) Pink Ukulele, Beatrice Angelica (20) Pink Ukulele, Jasmin Mariel (24) Green ukulele, Jose Manuel (17) Blue Ukulele;

Michel Montserrat (16), Violin;

Pedro Perez (19) Headphones, Jose Alfredo (15) Headphones;

Not pictured were 4 patients that were unable to go to hospital to pickup their gift - Alfas Nava (16) violin, Jessica Raquel (20) art materials, Miguel de Jesus (20) Headphones and Nancy Nayeli Rodriquez (12) keyboard.

Our deepest thanks to Dra. Martha for all her help in arranging our meetings with many of the gift recipients at the hospital. Likewise, our thanks go out to Dr. Christian for accompanying us with gift deliveries to patients at hospital civil Fray Antonio Alcalde.



Fiesta de Arte 2018!

Our 4th annual La Fiesta de Arte was held on October 21, a Sunday afternoon at the El Molcajete restaurant in Geneva. Many local artist paintings were on display and available at auction to all who attended. The auction room was jam-packed with attendees enjoying appetizers while bidding on art pieces, musically-themed gifts, gift baskets and gift certificates from friends, supporters and local businesses.

Our featured artist, Vincent Siracusano, was present and provided insight into his artwork and his current work with the School of Art in Geneva that offers everything from basic drawing and painting through full interactive animation and robotics. Musical entertainment was provided by the Mariachi Institute of Chicago consisting of young student musicians. The Mariachi Institute of Chicago helps these students connect to their culture through music.

Many thanks to all our supporters and attendees who helped make this event a success! Thank you to Vinny for being our featured artist this year and displaying some of his amazing artwork. A special thank you to El Molcajete for sponsoring this event and providing the appetizers we all enjoyed. Finally, a heartfelt thank you to Sophia Vivianna’s parents, Alba and Robert, and her sister, Lucy for lending their support and for donating various wonderful art pieces created by Vivianna before her untimely passing.

This event gives the AAFH incredible momentum in carrying out our mission through the end of this year.Hope to see you all again next year at our 5th annual La Fiesta de Arte event!



Art Night at RMH near DuPage Hospital, Winfield, IL

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) was joined by the School of Art from Geneva and the Chicago Steel Hockey Team in sponsoring an Art Night at the Ronald McDonald House near DuPage Hospital in Winfield on Monday, October 8, 2018. We provided art supplies for children and their family members to paint miniature pumpkins for a fun-filled evening.

The Chicago Steel is a founding team in the United States Hockey League, the nation's only Tier 1 junior hockey league. Its players range from 16-20 years and are recruited from all over the country as well as several foreign countries to fill the rosters on their 17 teams nationwide. A large number of these players are chosen in the NHL Draft, and many of them commit to NCAA Division I schools, to continue their education and further develop their hockey skills. We were thrilled to be joined by 3 of their players – Adam, Matt and Nick – and 3 of their front office staff – Brent, Kyle and Mike.

We were also joined by Hannah (who brought along her Mom, Kathy) from the School of Art in Geneva. Hannah and the School of Art furnished all the paints, brushes and materials for this special event and have been great friends and partners to AAFH since our inception.

This evening, we had young children and other family members who were staying at RMH sit down with the Steel hockey players, staff and other volunteers to paint pumpkins and create fun, seasonal decorations. Whatever the age or talent level, all had a lot of fun interacting with each other and otherwise expressing their individual styles of creativity. And this is exactly what we are so happy to do at each of our Art and Music Nights in keeping with Alyssa’s passions as well as the needs of the young patients to share their joy and love for life.

As always, we are so grateful to our sponsors: The School of Art in Geneva and the Chicago Steel Hockey Team.

We also want to make everyone aware that on Friday evening, November 30, the Chicago Steel is partnering with AAFH in fundraising from their game that night to our Foundation. Please buy your tickets to the November 30th game and don’t forget to use the code “Alyssa”.

Mark your calendar and plan to come out and join us to see the highly skilled young players and future stars of the NHL!



La Fiesta de Arte Receives Support from Chicago Steel & School of Art Geneva

On October 1, 2018 the Chicago Steel hockey team lent their support for a painting workshop at the School of Art in Geneva. This workshop was to prepare artwork to be donated for the benefit of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope’s La Fiesta de Arte upcoming event to be held at El Molcajete Restaurant in Geneva on Sunday, October 21 from 3-6pm.

Mary Jane Johnson-AAFH Board member and Yoli Alvin-AAFH President met at the School of Art and met with the Chicago Steel hockey team and their leadership: Greg Moore-Head Coach, Dan Lehv-President and Kyle Kreger-VP. We watched as the hockey team participated in creating an art piece for the upcoming La Fiesta de Arte fundraising event.

The Chicago Steel are entering their 19th season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and fourth season playing at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, IL.

The School of Art in Geneva is designed to teach all ages a variety of mediums. The School of Art teaches everything from basic drawing and painting through full interactive animation and robotics. Students are taught to see the world through artist’s eyes.

We are very grateful to Vinny, Jen, and Hannah from the School of Art in Geneva for selecting us as a non-for-profit organization to partner and work with us in fundraising events.

Last year's La Fiesta de Arte event, which is a major fundraiser for the Alyssa Foundation for Hope, was a great success thanks to all our attendees, volunteers, Board members, officers and business/private donors. Our goal is to make this year's La Fiesta de Arte event even better. We look forward to your support as it is vital to the ongoing success of our efforts to provide hope and joy to children and young adults whose lives are affected by a life-threatening disease.

Attendees to this year’s event will enjoy diverse artwork from local artists and featured artist, Vincent Siracusano, from the School of Art in Geneva. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Mariachi Institute of Chicago. A silent auction will be held offering artwork, gift baskets and gift certificates. El Molcajete will provide appetizers and refreshments during the event.

Tickets are only $10 online or $15 at the door.

We're looking forward to seeing you on Oct 21. Please buy your tickets now. It will definitely be an event to remember!



Art & Music Night hosted by AAFH at RMH near Advocate Hospital

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) sponsored an Art and Music Night at the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL on Monday, September 10th.  We also donated various Alyssa Starter Art Kits while there with delivery of an assortment of kits made to the House Manager -Jenna Embree.

Each time we do an Art and Music Night we have a different experience which is part of what makes them so enjoyable.  We try to utilize different mediums – paints, crayons, colored pencils – and different themes – holidays, seasons, etc.  Sometimes we have multi-generation participation and sometimes, like this evening, we have multi-sibling participation. 

On Monday, we were joined by Angel (8 years old), Anthony (4 years old), Cruz (11 years old), Lana (6 years old) and Ian (1 year-old) in cutting out colored foam paper to glue on to a background with a Halloween theme.  The children were also given a coloring sheet with art crayons which they were allowed to keep for their own home use.  Additionally, each of the participants were able to select their own Alyssa Starter Art Kit.  Their father told us how appreciative he was that his children had a creative activity to occupy them while their newborn sister faced heart surgery at Advocate Children’s hospital.  It was clear that the kids had a wonderful time drawing, cutting and even creating Halloween masks.

Alyssa’s life and love of the arts continues to bring joy to young patients and their families.  We are so happy to carry on Alyssa’s legacy and so grateful to those who share our vision and support our Foundation!



Alyssa Starter Art Kits for Central DuPage Hospital - Pediatrics Unit

Linda Fox (Volunteer) and Yoli Alvin (President of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope) made a delivery of 25 Alyssa Starter Art Kits to Ginger Manzella (Child Life Specialist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern Medicine at Central DuPage Hospital on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.  Ginger is one of the Child Life staff members of the Pediatrics unit that we have worked with in the past and it was great to see her again. 

We have made previous deliveries of Alyssa SAKs to Central DuPage Hospital and it is great to know that we are sharing Alyssa’s love of art with the children being treated there.  Ginger said, “We only have one color-me lunch bag left and need more to pass out.”  The art kits are given to teens and young adult patients with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

We thank our volunteers who often assist preparing the Alyssa Starter Art Kits and our donors.  They make this all possible by providing the young patients the opportunity to express their creativity and experience a bit of joy during their medical journey. 

Alyssa’s legacy lives on! 



AAFH Surprises Maria with Art Materials at Lurie Children’s Hospital

Maria Olvera is 13 years old and lives on the north side of Chicago with her family.  She is about to begin her 8th grade school year at Northwest Middle School.  Maria was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the spring of 2015 and has been treated at Lurie’s for the past 3 years.

Yoli, President of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) and Alyssa’s mom, arrived very early on August 31st at Lurie Children’s Hospital to meet with Maria and her mom, Dolores, and sister, Charlene. 

Maria spends time with the hospital’s Art Therapist, Willow Messier, when she is at Lurie’s for her treatments.  Willow shared information about AAFH with Maria and she went on our website to submit her gift request on August 16.  She asked for paint supplies, art pencils, markers, clay and clay tools – all of which we were pleased to obtain for her.  Maria’s other interests include taking care of people and would like to study medicine and become a doctor to help sick children.

While at Lurie's we saw that Alyssa's Geisha Collage continues to be displayed at the hospital.  The Collage has been moved to another hallway on the 11th floor, however, this area is not accessible to the general public and can only be seen by hospital staff.  Laura Shreffler, an RN and inpatient Asthma Educator at Lurie's showed us the new location of Alyssa's Geisha Collage and we were able to capture a few photos! 

The work of AAFH, made possible by our financial supporters and volunteers, means so much to the young cancer patients.  Our gift giving and art programs help to lift their spirits and bring them joy at a time in their lives when they’re facing life-threatening illnesses. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and promote the programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!  We wish Maria all the best as she continues with her treatment and begins her school year!



Alyssa Starter Art Kits Donated to Northwestern Cancer Center in Chicago

Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) were delivered to Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University on Monday, August 27, 2018 by Marina Alfaro – AAFH volunteer and Yoli Alvin – AAFH President.  A total of 50 Alyssa Starter Art Kits were received by Stacy Stanford, a Clinical Psychologist at Northwestern University Hospital.  A variety of kits were donated such as color-me lunch bags, drawing materials, watercolors, acrylics, journals and adult coloring books.

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope provides outlets for creative expression through art and music for young patients dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and promote the programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!



Paris Smiles Upon Receiving Her Art Materials Gift from AAFH

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) met Paris on the 2nd floor of Lurie Children’s Hospital before her scheduled appointment on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.  Paris is 12 years old, lives on the north side of Chicago with her family and is about to begin 6th grade this school year.  Two years ago, Paris was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 

Paris likes to draw, paint and build things with clay.  She works with the hospital’s Art Therapist, Willow Messier, when she is at Lurie for her treatments.  Willow told Paris about AAFH and had her submit a gift request.  Paris asked for and received a variety of paints, paint brushes and wells, acrylic/watercolor paper, magic modern clay and clay tools.   Paris is a happy girl with the desire to continue drawing, painting and creating with her clay materials.

It means so much to be able to honor the requests of young cancer patients because we strive to lift their spirits and provide a creative outlet for them to continue enjoying life while facing life-threatening illnesses. 

We remember Alyssa’s passions for art and music and the healing power of creativity and self-expression during this challenging period of their life.  We wish Paris all the best and good luck with her treatment and school year!



Art/Music Night at RMH near Loyola Hospital in Maywood, IL

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) sponsored an Art and Music Night at the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola Hospital in Maywood on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. 

The evening began with the art portion activity and included several families from as far as West Africa and the Bahamas.  Other families were from the surrounding Chicago area.  All the families participated in drawing with water-soluble crayons.  The vibrant colors and creativity generated a lot of positive interactions and many smiles from patients and parents alike. 

A young teen patient from the Bahamas spent a lot of time talking with Mary Jane Johnson – AAFH board member.  She was accompanied by her older sister and mom who were staying with her at the RMH.  The young teen told Mary Jane she took piano lessons and enjoys playing for her friends.  She is looking forward to entering the 7th grade in this coming school year. 

The evening concluded with everyone having a chance to try different percussion instruments including bongos, tambourines, maracas, music sticks and more. 

Alyssa’s life and love of the arts continues to bring joy to young patients and their families.  We are very grateful to Judy Goral for donating the many art materials used for this Art Night.  Thank you for your support of Alyssa’s Foundation!



Gunner Received Electric Guitar and Alyssa SAK's Delivered In Orlando, Florida

On a warm and sunny day in Orlando, FL on August 16, 2018, Yoli-AAFH President and George-AAFH Vice President had the pleasure of meeting with Gunner Zickefoose, Gunner’s Mom, Marla, and the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Manager, Sierra Reed.  The reason for our visit was to deliver Gunner’s gift request of an electric guitar and a variety of Alyssa starter art kits (SAKs) to the RMH.

Upon arriving at the RMH across from the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, we were warmly greeted by Sierra.  She expressed her gratitude on behalf of the RMH for the Alyssa SAKs being delivered for the benefit of all the children and families staying at the RMH.  We spent a few moments discussing the AAFH’s mission and our intention to build a relationship with this RMH location.

Shortly afterward, Gunner and his Mom walked into the RMH and we exchanged greetings.  Gunner had just completed a medical procedure at the Arnold Palmer Hospital before coming to the RMH to meet us.  Gunner is an 11-year-old from Titusville, FL who was originally diagnosed with leukemia 4 years ago, but unfortunately relapsed in June 2018.  Gunner plays the bass guitar at school however due to his relapse will be home schooled for the coming school year.  Now that Gunner will have an electric guitar at his home he will be able to continue his love of playing music.  As any typical boy of his age, Gunner also loves playing video games on his Xbox One and playing with Legos.

It was very gratifying to see Gunner’s expression and happy demeanor when he realized we were there with his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar and amp.  Marla told us she had not told Gunner why they were stopping at the RMH since she wanted to surprise him.  It worked!

This is one delivery we will always recall warmly for being able to meet with Gunner and to see the joyful difference we made in his life that day.  We wish Gunner and Marla hope and strength to help them overcome this terrible illness.  Our prayers are with them.



2018 Golf Event to Benefit AAFH Music & Art Programs

Held a golf and dinner event at the Itasca Country Club on Monday, August 13, 2018 to benefit the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH).

Several foursomes enjoyed a sunny day playing 18 holes on a beautiful private course made available to us through the efforts of Michael Munro, a friend and supporter of the AAFH.  After the 18 holes of golf, additional supporters joined us for a delicious dinner along with the awarding of prizes and a raffle of goodies.  During the dinner, prizes and raffle, we all enjoyed jazz music provided by the talented musicians of the Metea Valley Jazz Combo.

In addition to the musician volunteers, there were many others who donated to our cause.  Several business entities acted as golf hole sponsors on the course including:  Attorney John O’Halloran, the Organization of Latinos at Exelon (OLE) and Dan Carrocci of Creative Staffing.  Michael Munro donated many golf prizes himself as well as representing his new restaurant venture, Green Street Grille in Bensenville, IL.  Nancy Nunez, Alyssa’s Godmother, and The Exchange Club of St. Charles also each purchased a foursome.  Exelon Corporation and TekSystems employees also donated and participated in our golf outing. 

Additionally, Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin, and Chris Coconate, a longtime family friend, volunteered their time and talent in making the afternoon and evening a success.

We were also fortunate to receive our new banner with Alyssa’s picture just in time for this event.  The banner was displayed at the front and center of the room symbolic of Alyssa’s ongoing presence in our lives and the efforts we make for young people with similar health challenges.

A heartfelt thank you to all who attended the 2018 golf benefit, the board members and the volunteers who always give so much of their time, love and support.  A special thank you to Mike for coordinating another wonderful event! 



Art Materials Gift for Angel near Chicago’s Southwest Side

A delivery to the home of Angel, 14 years old, in the neighborhood of Brighton Park in Chicago was made by Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin.  Daniel went to the apartment Angel shares with his mother and siblings on Thursday, August 9, 2018.

Angel is being treated for osteosarcoma at Lurie Children’s Hospital and preparing to begin 8th grade.  Besides a love of painting, Angel also enjoys video games as well as playing board games with his family.  Angel is challenged getting around on crutches and going through his treatments for his illness, but he was grateful to receive his painting and drawing materials.

Visiting young patients and their families, whether in medical facilities or in their homes, reminds us of how important these relatively small gifts can be in lifting up their spirits.  We remember Alyssa’s creative passions for art and music and how that provided welcome outlets during difficult times.  We wish Angel all the best in his recovery and his final year in grade school!



AbilityLab Receives Alyssa Starter Art Kits

A delivery of 50 Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) was made to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago, IL on Sunday, August 5, 2018 by two of Alyssa’s cousins -Alexis and Daniel Guerrero.

Alexis & Daniel met the Music & Art Therapy Team:  Mike Wehner -Manager of Therapy Recreation at AbilityLab, Wills McKenna -Music Therapist and Lynne Linkowski & Erin Blanchette with Art Therapy.  AbilityLab has a floor dedicated to Oncology patients and will make sure they promote our Gift Recipient Program to those young adult patients.  Each day they work with young patients who are interested in expressing themselves through music and art. 

Everyone liked the variety of Alyssa SAKs which included 7 types of kits: acrylic, watercolor, pencil case, drawing, journals, color-me lunch bags, and adult coloring books.

The Alyssa SAKs will be available for teens and young adults between the ages of 10 and 21 staying at the AbilityLab.   

Alexis and Daniel enjoyed being part of this delivery because of the opportunity it gave them to share Alyssa’s love of art and promote the programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!



Tristan Receives His Electric Guitar

Tristan is an 18-year-old young man from LaGrange, Kentucky who has a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is being treated at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in downtown Chicago.  Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin, met Tristan and his parents, Nicole and Mike, on Tuesday, July 31st to deliver the electric guitar.

Tristan heard about the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) when he participated in Alyssa’s Celebration of Life held at RMH Chicago on Sunday, July 22, 2018.  Tristan shared with us that before his injury, he played 2 sports – wrestling and baseball.  He also spent time hunting on weekends and enjoyed music very much.  Tristan said that when he was young, he attended a rock band summer camp and learned to play the song, Smoke on the Water, on the piano.  Tristan also said he had an interest in music back in middle school and signed up for Band where he played the trumpet. 

Tristan was excited to submit a request through AAFH and asked for an electric guitar, one of his favorite instruments.  He is looking forward to learning how to play his guitar while singing and wants to be able to make up his own songs and perform them.

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope’s goal is to inspire teens and young adults to be creative and give them hope to continue living life to its fullest.