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A bigger-than-life Christmas adventure for families of cystic fibrosis

Sat, Jan 20th 2018 07:00 am
No one should ever know the pain of losing a child. Unfortunately, Joan Holesko, 26-year member of the Gamma Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG) and her husband, Stephen, know the pain all too well.
Their son, Stephen Holesko Jr., was just finishing his college years and entering his promising adult life when he lost his battle with cystic fibrosis.
The Holeskos recently toured the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital and brought gifts of hope and love on behalf of DKG to the children who attend the clinic on a regular basis and become in-patients for "tune ups" in their enzyme therapy regime and respiratory treatments. Because of thick mucus that accumulates in the lungs, CF patients never feel "weightless," instead feeling bogged down and breathless at times. Bedtime rituals often require use of a heavy vest to help discharge mucous deposits and allow better oxygen exchange.
Attempting to lift some of both the emotional and physical weight of CF, a gift of a hand-tied Christmas stocking containing a stuffed animal, book and Tim Hortons gift card were given to 20 Oishei families. Morgan McKinney's "Bigger-Than-Life Bedtime Story" was the book chosen as Morgan McKinney, the main character, also wants to feel "weightless" and takes the readers high above the clouds to meet his zoo friends and Santa, too.
Delta Kappa Gamma also tries to lift the burden of college tuition for students, offering yearly scholarships to a North Tonawanda and Grand Island student pursuing a degree in the field of education as the Gamma Delta chapter of DKG draws its membership from these districts. Pictured are guests Amy McMann, Alicia Szyprowski and Debra Szflarski from Huth Road and Sidway elementary schools, who wished to learn more about the chapter and share the joy of imaginative adventures through reading.
Those interested in learning more about membership in DKG should contact Gamma Delta Vice President Mary Jane Fonte at Connor Middle School, 716-773-8830.

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