Cathy Angelos

Cathy Angelos has been a volunteer for the American Lung Association of Illinois for just two years, but has had an enormous impact on the success of the Chicagoland Asthma Walks. Cathy has really caught the "fundraising fever," and her entire neighborhood has noticed! For a month prior to the walk, a huge sign with a changing dollar amount reflecting the total funds raised was up in her yard for all to see. Her two boys, George (age 6) and Tommy (age 8), both of whom suffer from severe asthma, took pride each time they changed the total. The results of their work paid off. The Angelos Family Team raised nearly $7500 this year, with a total of nearly $13,000 over their two years of participation. Not bad for beginners!

Cathy and her family have come up with many creative -- and effective - fundraising strategies. They got started last year by selling over 1000 BreatheEasy bracelets, resulting in $2000 of their first time team total of nearly $6,000. They opened a new restaurant called "That Pita Place" in Naperville, Illinois, where they sell paper whistles and offer a 15% discount to customers who participate in the Asthma Walk, including a discount to all Tellabs employees. Tellabs is the largest corporate team at the Chicagoland Asthma Walk, and their CEO, Mike Birck, has been the American Lung Association of Illinois' Corporate Team Chair for 6 years. This year, the Angelos Family had a lemonade stand in their home town of Elmhurst and called the local press, which resulted in a full front-page article and photo of the children's effort to collect donations from neighbors. Finally, Team Angelos made a video of their entire Asthma Walk experience, from Kick-off Luncheon to their backyard barbecue after the walk, highlighting the entire event and the outpouring of support their team showed for the 2006 Asthma Walk. Her son Tommy also submitted a P.T.A. project that won an honorable mention about his experience with the Asthma Walks.

Team Angelos has set a shining example to those who support the Oak Brook Asthma Walk in Chicagoland. Their team consisted of 41 members. They brought 16 team members to the Luncheon, resulting in more people being moved to partner with the American Lung Association. Cathy Angelos has challenged other family teams to match their numbers both in team members and dollars raised, by speaking to the audience of nearly 1,000 walkers. She spoke from the heart about the difficulties and challenges of raising two children with severe asthma, keeping two separate medicine journals, keeping two children safe when they have so many environmental and food challenges. Cathy encouraged the entire group to support our mission and recognize that asthma is a disease that needs a cure in the lifetime of her own children. Tommy and George participated in a mission-focused children's program at the Kick-off Luncheon. Their pride in their relationship with the Lung Association would move anyone to tears. Cathy has already committed to strategizing for next year's Asthma Walk. We can't wait to see what Team Angelos accomplishes in 2007!

Cathy and the Angelos family have spread the word about the asthma epidemic by regularly speaking to school officials, boy scout troops, and engaging their neighbors and family members in the process. Cathy's keen awareness of the disease has become a mother's mission. She has taught her two boys to not be shy about their disease, and to educate even their own teachers of the magnitude of living with asthma. She is also employed as a school psychologist, and takes her new-found passion to her workplace everyday.