Ridgewood High School students raise money for cancer research
Continuing with Ridgewood High School senior Daniela Lakosilova’s project to raise money for children battling cancer are (from left) Michael Jorgensen, Jennifer Golas, Jennifer Bogdal, Dua Abdelhalim, Tania Chwala, Erica Lopez and Megan Cantos, Student
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:06AM
NORRIDGE — Last year, Daniela Lakosilova started “PJammin” to raise funds for children’s cancer research.
The idea behind the Ridgewood High School Student Council fundraiser was for students, staff and faculty to donate $1 each to buy the right to wear pajamas to school for a day.
The pajamas are meant to recognize children who endure long hospital stays for cancer treatment, during which they often wear pajamas, nothing but pajamas, day after day.
Daniela knew this all too well. She had cancer.
“She started this when she was in remission,” said Megan Cantos, social studies teacher and Student Council co-advisor. “The goal was to help other kids who were going through what she already had done.”
One month later, Lakosilova’s cancer came back, Cantos lamented.
But helping other children dealing with cancer was Daniela’s dream.
“She was the one who introduced this idea to Student Council,” Cantos said.
So on Feb. 8, the fundraiser continued even as Daniela was away from school for more treatment.
Fellow senior Tim Tannhauser was more than happy to participate.
“Daniela is one of my closest friends,” he said. “We had to keep (PJammin) going.”
Sophomore Alexis Roth showed up dressed in pajamas sporting Blackhawks’ and White Sox logos. Contributing to the cause “was something I wanted to do,” she said.
Students who didn’t want to wear pajamas could participate by buying ribbons, bracelets and necklaces embossed with the phrase “No one fights cancer alone,” she added.
Although Lakosilova was getting treatment and therefore not around to oversee the project, the Student Council wanted to make sure her program continued, Cantos said.
“This year the Student Council is running the event,” Cantos said. “Daniela’s main focus was to help others.”
Lakosilova’s selflessness in trying to develop a program to help others inspired the Ridgewood High School community to step up to the plate.
“It was the right thing to do,” Roth said.