When Kathleen Casey's son Barrett (Bear) was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor in the late 1980's, she was told that this kidney cancer was highly curable and the expectation at that time was that her son would recover and be able to lead a good life which many children diagnosed with this cancer are able to do. Unfortunately, things turned south rather quickly and after a 5 1/2 year battle , Bear passed away in January of 1993.
That same year, Kathleen started the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation in honor and memory of her son. The 2 Missions of this Foundation are 1) Research and 2) helping Children with Pediatric Cancer rediscover their childhoods. Kathleen's Foundation has persevered for almost 30 years and has become part of the fabric of the city of Chicago.