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We have a teenager!!!

Today is Reese’s 13th birthday!!! 

He has had such an amazing year so far! 

This January marked the 4th anniversary of Reese ringing the end of treatment bell at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Looking back, Reese has come so far and continues to make progress walking and gets stronger each day with the goal of walking in school on his own. 

We cannot express enough gratitude for the continued support and encouragement from family, friends as well as the Mann Elementary and Percy Jillian Middle school teachers and staff. 

A special thank you to the Mann Elementary teachers, faculty and staff for the rainbow parade for Reese. Looking back it was such a cherished and special moment. Creating so many ways for Reese to stay connected to his school and friends. Even though Reese is a cool 7th grader, he still gets to stop by Mann Elementary and see so many of you that eased the struggle of treatment. At the beginning of the school year Reese got to catch up with Ms. Plumley his 2nd and 3rd grade teacher. Not only was she a huge part of the rainbow parade and supported Reese during his bell ringing, but she created so many fun videos and assignments through out the school year to help Reese keep in touch and interact with his class. Treatment, fatigue and low blood counts can be very lonely and isolating. He watched videos of his classmates reading and received cards and art projects through out his time away from class


Reese is still using a walker today, but only at school. In fact, Reese traveled to Oklahoma City and Branson MO over Thanksgiving and it was the first time we did not travel with his walker. More recently, during our spring break trip to see family in Colorado Springs he left his walker at home. Managing to walk with us through O'Hare and Denver airports. His goal is to walk on his own at school one day. He has even begun carrying his own back pack throughout the school day. We have no doubt he will get there and then some! Reese continues with Physical and Occupational therapy and has been working with his trainer at Alchemy Oak Park to help build strength and balance. He takes on whatever is asked of him.

Reese and Caden were accepted into the Fire Buddies program, with support from the local Oak Park FD chapter. On Christmas morning, Reese and Caden were greeted by the OPFD and OPPD teams along with Pawficer Howie wishing them well and a very Happy Holiday. To learn more about the amazing work Project Fire Buddies has been doing check out

Reese has been working hard in 7th grade, getting excellent grades and participating in several school clubs. He recently received 100% on his state abbreviation test and passed his constitution test. Which we as parents needed to brush up on before helping to quiz him. Reese was also asked to recite one of his poems after it was nominated for the 7th grade Poetry Slam.

He just keeps making strides no matter how much of a challenge presents itself. We want to again thank you for all your support. Reese still loves see all his old friends and loves it when new friends wave and say Hi!

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Happy Birthday Reese -- So happy to see you doing so well and that you and Caden are staying busy with interesting and fun adventures.

Love, Aunt Jody


Happy birthday Reese!!

I hope you are still telling corny jokes even though you're an official teenager!

Congratulations to both Reese and Caden on being accepted into the Fire Buddies program.

Wishing you all the best!

Kay (noni) Asbill


What a wonderful update! Happy birthday Reese and keep being amazing!

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