Garfield Ridge resident Stephanie Smock. --Supplied photo

Garfield Ridge resident Stephanie Smock. --Supplied photo

A young mom who really needs our help

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By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com

Again and again over the 29 years I’ve lived in Garfield Ridge, I’ve seen examples of the neighborhood pulling together to help its own, especially in time of great need.

As a news reporter and columnist in these pages and online, it has been my privilege to help spread the word about and muster support for folks in need—and then later report the good news of neighbors helping neighbors.

This week, I’m writing about Stephanie Smock, a young mom in Garfield Ridge who could really use a hand from all of us.

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Garfield Ridge resident Stephanie Smock. –Supplied photo

Stephanie grew up in the neighborhood. She attended Byrne School and then went on to Kennedy High School, where she graduated in 2006.

In recent years, she has worked at Triano’s Pizza, where she has been said to be an exemplary employee.

She has long been known as someone who is “very outgoing, fun-loving and sweet,” according to her classmate and friend, Mary Spalla.

As Mary tells it, Stephanie was working at Triano’s to support her 18-month-old son, Cody; her mom, Rita (who has diabetes and severe rheumatoid arthritis); and her older brother, Kenny, who has severe diabetes with heart complications and can’t work.

Stephanie was the sole breadwinner for her family, especially since her father passed away in 2018.

Quite a load for a young mom to carry, right?

But things went from bad to worse in January, when Stephanie was involved in a car crash, which “caused Stephanie to suffer an embolism/stroke, resulting in complete loss of feeling on the right side of her body,” Mary reports. “As a result, she needs constant care and help with every aspect of daily living. Stephanie can no longer work and it is unknown if she will ever regain the use of her right side.”

joanhadac 1

Joan Hadac

Over the past few months, Stephanie has made some progress. Her memory has improved, and she is walking a bit.

But her road to recovery is still long and uncertain.

She needs help.

If you will, please visit gofund.me/b6ef4d3a. When I wrote this, the effort to help Stephanie was nearly $2,000 short of its $5,000 goal. If we all pull together, we can close that gap fairly quickly.

So let’s do it. And thanks to Mary Spalla for organizing the fundraiser and to Megan Heurich for alerting me to the situation in the first place.

More news of note

  • Belated happy birthday wishes to Father Al Adamich, said to be the Archrdiocese’s oldest priest. Father Al recently turned 100 years old. He was an associate pastor at St. Symphorosa in 1970-71. There’s a nice article about him posted at chicagocatholic.com. My thanks to my colleague, Kathy Headley (the Chicago Lawn/Marquette Manor correspondent for the Greater Southwest News-Herald), for alerting me to Father Al’s celebration.
  • Cub Scout Pack 3475 and the St. Daniel the Prophet Holy Name Society are preparing a tasty treat for you at their pancake breakfast set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 5 in the St. Daniel School Hall, 5337 S. Natoma. Adults eat for $7; kids 12 and younger for $6. This Sunday, grab your family or a group of friends, eat a delicious breakfast and support these two wonderful organizations.
  • There is a lot of excitement coming to St. Daniel the Prophet Parish in mid-June when their Summerfest returns Thursday, June 16 through Sunday, June 19 on parish grounds. So mark your calendar for these dates and prepare to have a great time. This is a wonderful way to welcome in summer. I’ll give you more details about the event next week.
  • Congratulations to all members of the class of 2022. Whether you’re graduating grade school, high school, trade school or college, you deserve a tip of the cap for working hard and getting the job done. Cheers to you!
  • Summer begins on Tuesday, June 21, according to the calendar. Of course, this is Chicago, so you never know. I know my highlight of the season will come in early August when the grandkids come in for a week to enjoy the place where their mother grew up. I hope you have some special plans as well this summer. Take care and have a great week.

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