Success Stories

Dominic’s Thank You

Ellingson family sitting in hospital

My name is Amy Ellingson and my husband is Robert. We have two sons, Vincent and Dominic.  On May 5, 2014 our second son (Dominic) was born. The day was bittersweet as we quickly discovered that Dominic was born with a rare form of Spina Bifida called lipomyelomeningocele. Although his situation was not immediately life threatening we were made aware that Dominic would need to have surgery to try and correct some of the problems with his spine as the nerves that were entwined around his spine could create problems as he grew but we were advised to wait until he was a bit older before going directly into surgery.

At the age of 10 months and after several visits with neurosurgeons and other medical professionals we were advised that it was now time for Dominic to have his surgery as tests where showing that his bladder functions were being affected by the lipomyelomeningocele.

We were scared but knew this had to be done. We had done our research and felt we had the best medical team to help Dominic with the best chance of a successful surgery. But another concern quickly raised its ugly head. What will we do financially as my husband is a stay at home Dad and I will be taking 4-6 weeks off from work to care for my little boy after the surgery and we will have zero income during that time?

That’s when my mother-in-law told me about a new organization that was formed in the Fox Valley to help people in financial need due to unfortunate circumstances called Celebration of Hope. I went on line to check them out and quickly began an “on-line fundraiser” as well as applied for financial assistance (two separate programs that they offer.) They responded quickly and with compassion.

In no time our fundraiser was up and running and we were overwhelmed with the number of people that reached out to help! It was so heartwarming to see so many people come together in our time of need and Celebration of Hope is an amazing non-profit organization that provided the platform for others to donate. But not only does Celebration of Hope provide a place for others to contribute it also provided US a place where we could post pictures and updates on our little boys progress because our journey was not a smooth and easy one!

Our little Dominic had complications from his first surgery and ended up needing several more (unscheduled) surgeries. It was a scary time for our family and I ended up being off from work for a total of 11 weeks! The financial AND emotional support that we received from our family and friends through Celebration of Hope made all the difference in the world. I was able to care for my son and not worry about how bills would be paid and put food on our table. Ultimately Dominic was able to come home and our family is together again!

All of the women in this organization are wonderful and their commitment to helping others is nothing short of amazing! There is nothing we can do to ever repay them for their kindness, except to say, “Thank you!”

With much love and gratitude,

— The Ellingson’s

Robert, Amy, Vincent and Dominic Ellingson

Tamanna’s Thank You

As a college student, being on a tight budget and having so many things that you need to take care of is really difficult. With an added medication expense, came a lot of stress and the impact was very visible in my life.

Just as I was going through the phase of financial hardship and not knowing how to budget for my expenses or where to seek help from, Carol came in to the rescue! Carol, Diana and I sat down and talked about my needs and resources available. It was so helpful to talk to someone about my case and knowing some help is on the way. With the organization’s support I was able to subsidize some of my costs and able to get my prescription on time.

So, this is how Celebration of Hope helped me overcome the unexpected financial burden and gave me hope that help is always around the corner, all you need to do is look for it!

Thank you Carol and Celebration of Hope — I owe you!


Donovan’s Thank You

Dear Carol & Celebration of Hope,

Please accept our deepest appreciation for the gift cards to  help us at this time.  It has been a new and sometimes difficult road to walk.  A lot of unknowns.  We are confident though in the One who walks with us!

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Sincerely, Donovan & Gloria

Donovan & Gloria

Cherie’s Thank You

Thanks so much for your Help.  A little kindness makes such a difference in a day.

Your thoughtfulness certainly made a difference in mine.

Thanks so much for all your help.  I really appreciate it.


Audrey’s Thank You

Hi Carol, I want to thank you and the board for helping me attain the new glasses I needed so badly.  It had been three yrs. since I had my eyes checked.  This was so helpful to me because I wasn’t able to afford to have this done for myself.  I have been divorced now for over two yrs. after being married for over 47 yrs. so it has been a struggle for me to get back on my feet again.  A lot of changes for me.  Money has been very tight.  So I can’t thank you enough and your organization for doing what you did for me.  I want to wish you and the board a very Merry Christmas!!

Audrey Riley