Cal Sutter was 12 years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Like other kids his age, Cal had a love for baseball and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. But his one true passion had always been caring for others. Even during the most challenging points of his treatment, Cal went out of his way to thank those helping him.
Cal lost his battle to cancer in August 2006, 14 months after his diagnosis. His legacy, however, continues on throughout the 17th and 18th floors of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago by way of Cal’s Angels.
Since 2007, family and friends have devoted themselves to carrying on Cal’s mission through Cal’s All-Star Angel Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to granting wishes and providing financial assistance to children fighting cancer. Cal’s family understands how difficult a cancer diagnosis and ongoing treatment can be for both the child and their family, so they are committed to delivering hope and joy to those families going through a trying time.
“Dealing with the loss of Cal will never be easy, but seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids and the families we serve makes it easier,” says Tom Sutter, Cal’s Angels co-founder and president. “We are proud to be an integral part of the Lurie Children’s family support system.”
The organization has been a dedicated partner of Lurie Children’s for the past eight years. Below are a few examples of how their extensive involvement has touched the lives of countless Lurie Children’s families – bringing happy memories to those who need it most.
Cal’s Angels understands the power of a meaningful gesture for a child with cancer. Whether it’s a backyard play set, a weekend getaway or a laptop, the Wish Granting program is dedicated to bringing dreams to life for our kids.
Throughout the year, the sounds of laughter fill the halls of the 17th and 18th floors thanks to the more than 14 hospital parties hosted by Cal’s Angels. Patients and families are invited to an afternoon of pizza, treats, crafts and gifts supplied by the Cal’s Angels Annual Toy Drive. It’s a welcomed opportunity for patients and families to take a moment away from treatment and hospital stays and enjoy a fun-filled morning together.
For patient-families enduring cancer treatment, Lurie Children’s often becomes a home away from home.
To make their stay as comfortable as possible, Cal’s Angels distributes Comfort Kits filled with a Chemo Duck, gas station gift card, Dunkin Donuts gift card, blanket, neck pillow, shower kit, puzzles and more.
Thanks to a generous gift as part of the Heroes for Life Creative Arts Community Partnership initiative, Cal’s Angels helped directly support the Chicago Children’s Museum installation, “Paths of Discovery,” located on the 17th floor of the hospital. In an effort to promote a healing environment for patients and families, the display brings to life the calming, restorative effects of nature.
In addition, the organization has dedicated itself to providing all the necessary equipment for the playrooms on the 17th and 18th floors of the hospital, so that kids have the chance to continue to be kids even while in the hospital.
12 Days of Christmas
While pediatric cancer treatment is difficult at any time of the year, it can be particularly challenging during the holidays. To brighten the season for families that have a child fighting cancer with special circumstances, Cal’s Angels takes care of the entire holiday including gifts for each child of the family, a gift card for a holiday dinner, a
gingerbread house kit and baked goods.
Thank you to Cal’s Angels for their ongoing dedication to Lurie Children’s patients and families. Learn more about the organization here.