Goss: Addison Locke needs us June 28 at Slammers game
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org June 16, 2013 6:38PM
Jackson (from left), Addison, Rori and Quinn Locke. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 19, 2013 3:56PM
If you attend only one Joliet Slammers game, be at Silver Cross Field on Friday, June 28, when the Slammers host the Schaumburg Boomers at 7:05 p.m.
You will help provide a belated Father’s Day gift Steve Locke and his family will not forget.
Locke, the Joliet Central athletic director, and his wife Erin have four beautiful young children. The oldest, 7-year-old Addison, is 14 months into her battle with hepatoblastoma.
In the winter, when area baseball coaches met to discuss the upcoming WJOL Area Baseball Invite, Locke and new Slammers general manager Chris Franklin became acquainted. They are, after all, neighbors in downtown Joliet.
“Steve brought me up to speed on Addison’s story; it just tugs at your heart,” Franklin said. “They’re our neighbors at Joliet Central and we wanted to help. So I said let’s pick a game and make it a fundraiser for the Lockes.”
Here’s how it works. Call John Lapinski of the Slammers staff at (815) 651-2041 and tell him you will purchase tickets to assist the fundraiser for Addison. For every $10 ticket sold, $5 will go to the Lockes to help defray mounting medical bills. If you do not get tickets in advance, you still can walk up and purchase “fundraiser” tickets on game day.
Also, a 50-50 raffle is scheduled that night, with all proceeds to the Lockes.
“I’ve been in a similar situation with family and people reaching out to help,” Franklin said. “Bills pile up; it takes a toll that can be overwhelming. We can be a vehicle to help.”
Franklin said the Slammers sought an attractive date. A fireworks Friday — “I Wanna Rock Night” — was ideal.
If you hear the ordeal that Addison, who will enter second grade at Troy Heritage School in the fall, has endured, as Franklin said, it tugs at your heart.
“Erin and I were on a trip to Disney World with Addison and her sister Rori, who’s a year younger,” Locke said. “It was in March of 2012, a surprise for Rori’s fifth birthday.
“When we were there, Addison wasn’t acting like a normal 6-year-old. She had a fever. She was lethargic and wanted to sleep a lot. We thought she might have caught something viral that was going around.”
The Lockes visited the family doctor when they returned. “Ears, mouth, heart, blood pressure, that was all fine,” Locke said. “But when they did a blood test, they told us the liver numbers were goofy. They found a mass the next day.”
Addison was at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago (now Lurie’s) on April 12, 2012 for her first round of chemotherapy.
“They originally told us it was too risky to do a liver resection and remove the tumor,” Locke said. “But we did gobs of research and found we could go to Cincinnati, Boston, Texas or Philadelphia and discuss it further. We chose Cincinnati and went there in July. The team there agreed unanimously to consider Addison for a liver transplant, and a week later, she got on the list.
“We missed her initial match Labor Day weekend because her counts were too low. But on Sept. 19, they found another match. She had a transplant Sept. 20 and was an in-patient for 10 or 12 days.”
Locke said Addison’s AFP tumor markers began rising in November, and biopsies were done around the liver. They were clean.
“Then they concentrated on the lungs,” he continued. “On Jan. 7, numerous modules were found on the lungs. It had spread. It went back into the new liver and was festering. They just saw it sooner on the lungs.”
Her chemo treatments continued, and in May, “Addison gave herself a hernia with all the throwing up,” Locke said. “On June 3, she had surgery to correct the hernia. Because of the chemo, she is having a thyroid issue. She is on daily TPN (total peripheral nutrition) from 7 or 8 at night until morning.
“Her general health is stable right now. She has weekly labs at home with a home nurse and big labs every Thursday at Lurie’s.”
However, a bulk of Addison’s chemo treatments are not covered by insurance because they are considered Phase I and Phase II trials.
So many already have helped make life better for Addison and allow Locke’s athletic department to run smoothly when he has been away. But expenses keep coming.
Locke thanked Addison’s teacher, Terese Scarcelli, who “came to our house about 30 days after school to work with Addison. She went to school maybe 20 days this school year, but she still tested into second grade. She’s a bright young girl.
“Jodi Tarver, a social worker at school, and Laura Andersen, the school nurse, have been terrific, too.”
At Central, Locke said, “everyone has stepped up,” with superintendent Dr. Cheryl McCarthy, district activities and athletics director Chris Olson, Central principal John Randich, athletic secretary Renee Rink, former coach Terry Piazza and coaches Suzzie Bambule, Jeff Corcoran, Brett Boyter and Tony Juarez among them. “They’re critical to supervising events at school,” Locke said.
Now, it’s critical that we plan to attend the Slammers game June 28. Let’s make it the night we fill Silver Cross Field.
The Lockes need us.