By Joan Hadac
Editor & Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post
Again and again over my lifetime on the Southwest Side, I’ve seen examples of neighborhoods pulling together to help their own, especially in time of great need.
As a news reporter and columnist, 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.
Today, I’m writing about Stephanie Smock, a young mom who could really use a hand from all of us.
Stephanie grew up in Garfield Ridge. 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.”
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. At the moment, the effort to help Stephanie is about $1,000 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.
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