Editor's note: The inaugural Teagan’s Run, named after Teagan Haniszewski, already has more than 50 people signed up to participate in a 5K run and 1-mile walk/run to raise funds for Opening Doors with Teagan. The course will start at Deicke Park Pavilion, run through Lion's Gate subdivision and end back at the pavilion. The run will be on Sept. 29. The 5K begins at 7:30 a.m., and the 1 mile begins at 7:45 a.m. Registration forms are available on Huntley Fall Fest’s website and is open until Sept. 29. Here is Teagan's story by Huntley Correspondent Jenny Modlisz that originally ran June 27, 2012:
After she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2007 at just 21 months of age, Teagan Haniszewski now is officially in remission. Her family has started a foundation called Opening Doors with Teagan to help others cope with cancer crises.
The foundation provides children who have been diagnosed with cancer anything they may need from equipment, to technology, to therapy, once they are back in the comfort of their home.
“We found that when we were home, people thought we were really great, but our battle just started,” Teagan’s mother Carly Haniszewski said. “We want to raise awareness to show that these children have a life of difficulties, and we want to help them throughout their life, not just in the crisis.”
Haniszewski said that she wants to help families who may not be getting all the assistance they really need.
“We were trying to deal with medical bills and find a place that would do therapy, but we were frustrated because it didn’t seem like there were a lot of resources out there,” Haniszewski said. “Me and my husband went through it ourselves, and we don’t want another family to be by themselves on this.”
Opening Doors with Teagan also is dedicated to providing donations to the art and music therapy programs at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. The therapy departments there are privately funded.
“Trying to get her to shake a rattle or hold paintbrushes was a big thing for Teagan,” Haniszewski said. “So we are very passionate about getting these kids moving again through music and art. We want to help those programs in any way that we can.”
The foundation is also dedicated to assisting the Ronald McDonald House, which gives a home to the families of children with an illness. The Haniszewski family lived in the Ronald McDonald House for seven months.
To help the Ronald McDonald House, Opening Doors with Teagan is collecting pop tops to donate to the house. From there, the tops are recycled and used as a monetary donation to fund the house. The record for the largest donation of tops is more than 1.000 pounds.
“As a village, I hope we can try to raise the largest donation the house has ever seen, Haniszewski said. “I hope that Huntley gets the credit for it, to show that a little town out here can do so much.”