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Family to donate funds to hospice in memory of son

Hinsdale – A La Grange family will donate the funds raised in a community event to Adventist St. Thomas Hospice in honor of their late son, 3-year-old Tyler Duelm, who died of brain cancer in 2007. The Duelm family commissioned an artist to decorate an Adirondack chair as part of the La Grange Business Association’s  “Lounging in La Grange” display. It will be auctioned off with the other chairs on Sept. 5.

The chair is decorated with a jungle theme in honor of Tyler, who pretended be a lion and roared at his doctors and nurses during his eight-month battle with cancer. It is displayed in front of the La Grange Public Library, home to the Tyler Duelm Activity Room.

Proceeds will benefit the children’s programs at Adventist St. Thomas Hospice, 8230 S. Madison, Burr Ridge, a service of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. Certified by Medicare and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Adventist St. Thomas Hospice serves patients and families in DuPage, eastern Kane, northern Will and western Cook counties. Tyler’s siblings, 10-year-old Jessica and 8-year-old Jonathan, attended the hospice’s Tommy’s Kids Summer Camp in July. The annual children’s bereavement day camp is the only one of its kind in DuPage County.

“Because Tommy’s Kids camp was such a wonderful program for our children, we wanted to do something in Tyler’s honor to would help other children dealing with loss,” said Laura Duelm, Tyler’s mother.

Adventist St. Thomas Hospice offers support throughout the year for grieving children through a program called Tommy’s Kids Support Group. Tommy’s Kids Summer Camp is a weeklong event that allows the hospice to serve an even larger population of kids.

“We’re thankful to the Duelm family for supporting the Tommy’s Kids program,” said Rosemarie Cohen, hospice bereavement coordinator.

More than 80 chairs are on display this summer throughout downtown La Grange. For more information about “Lounging in La Grange,” call (630) 302-4929.