The Little Company of Mary Hospital Foundation will host the 2016 Crystal Heart Ball on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at the Field Museum. The Crystal Heart Ball showcases individuals and organizations for their outstanding accomplishments and service. This year, the hospital will honor one of southwest Chicago’s well-known community awareness organizers and an outstanding department at Little Company of Mary Hospital.
The Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award honors individuals whose personal and professional accomplishments embody the ideas, vision and mission of Venerable Mary Potter, who founded the Little Company of Mary Sisters in 1877. The 2016 Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award will be presented Choose Kind – Kerry Ryan Lynch.
On December 8th, 2011, Kerry’s daughter Mary Catherine (Mary Cate) Lynch was born into this world. Immediately after Mary Cate was born, Kerry and her husband, Chris, quickly learned something was not right. The shock came when Mary Cate was diagnosed with Apert Syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by malformations of the skull, face, hands, and feet. Apert Syndrome is extremely rare and occurs in only one in 160,000 to 200,000 births each year in the U.S. During the first year of Mary Cate’s life, Kerry earned her “warrior” badge through her devoted care of her infant daughter. Her days were spent intent on improving Mary Cate’s quality of life. The medical regiment included: more than 50 doctor appointments, 150 hours of therapies, three major surgeries, eight casts, two MRIs, two sleep studies, and hours of excruciating dressing changes. Kerry has devoted her time to researching the best doctors, connecting with other Apert families and has become Mary Cate’s greatest advocate.
In the time that Kerry has taken to educate herself and advocate for her daughter, she also has been teaching the world about kindness and acceptance. Today, aside from working part-time and caring for Mary Cate and her younger sister, Maggie, Kerry continues to spread her message not only through social media but also through school visits. She reminds children that while they may not all look the same on the outside, they all have the ability to “Choose Kind” and treat others with respect and dignity. If you ask Kerry, she will say she is just doing what she needs to do for her daughter. If you ask her friends and the people in her community, they see a woman who, because of her precious daughter, is changing the way people view and treat each other. Kerry, a community awareness organizer and activist, has made it her mission to teach others about the importance of acceptance. People all over have embraced “Choosing Kind” because of Kerry.
The Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence honors an LCMH individual or department for their outstanding service as reflected in the core service values of strength, grace, innovative spirit, compassion and respect for all, which Sister Nancy Boyle, L.C.M., modeled so well. The 2016 Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence will be presented to the Little Company of Mary Hospital Pastoral Care Team.
These selfless individuals celebrate our Little Company of Mary Heritage and Catholic identity every day, while meeting the diverse spiritual needs of our staff, physicians, patients and their families; assisting them in navigating difficult end-of-life decisions; and providing comprehensive bereavement services for those suffering the loss of a loved one. Furthermore, chaplains are available 24 hours a day to help patients and families sort through complex and emotionally devastating issues such as loss, crisis, helplessness, pain, and suffering with care and compassion. The LCMH Pastoral Care Team is committed to offering their services in a highly professional and compassionate manner, with compassion always being at the forefront of their ministry.
A cash drawing will be offered at the event with a First Prize of $15,000, Second Prize of $5,000, Third Prize of $2,500, and Fourth Prize of $1,000. Raffle tickets are on sale for $100 each in the Foundation department and winners need not be present. The Crystal Heart Ball tickets are $325 per person and proceeds will benefit Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Neonatal Special Care Unit. Guests may purchase a Diamond Table for $7,500, a Heart of Gold Table for $5,000 or a Crystal Heart Table for $3,000, each offering special benefits. Please contact Little Company of Mary’s Foundation department to purchase your event tickets at 708.229.5447 or visit www.LCMH.org/foundation.