Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago

A 'Lift' for Isabella

Family receives much-needed 'lift'

St. Vincent de Paul Chicago provides a stairlift for a girl in needWhen we speak of "no act of charity being foreign to the society," look no further than how the needs of Isabella, a vibrant 11-year-old, touched the hearts of the St. Paul the Apostle Conference members. 

What the family referred to as "an amazing gift" right before the Christmas holiday last year transformed the life of their daugther, Isabella. She was born with a rare neurological disease called Joubert Syndrome—a brain malformation that affects balance and coordination as well as a malformed brain stem. Much of the medical care for this disease is not covered by insurance and is very costly. Unfortunately, a much-needed $15,000 stairlift was not covered, and the family asked for help.

St. Paul the Apostle Conference President Jim Marinis and his members worked tirelessly to raise the necessary funds, and through hard work, prayers, and the grace of God provided the family with an early Christmas present. Funding was made possible through the St. Paul the Apostle Conference and Parish in Gurnee, District I Friends of the Poor Fund, and the St. Vincent de Paul Central Office.

The following is from a note of gratitude from Isabella's parents, Stephen and Denise Mack.

Denise and I want to express our most profound thanks to the entire St. Vincent de Paul team for the amazing gift to our family, and to Isabella. The chair was installed today. She loved riding in it and smiled the whole way up!

This chair lift for the stairs will change our lives. Not only will it ease the difficulty and physical pain of lifting Isabella up a full-14-step flight of stairs, but the chair also allows her to be independent. She can go upstairs to her room, her bathroom, and our life upstairs, and then come back down and be in the main part of the house.

This was an extraordinary blessing to our family. The energy, the time, the passion, and the devotion that you have shown to Isabella, and to us, are more than we ever could have imagined. We will never forget the kindness and the support and the love that you all have given us.

"This shows what the Lord and the power of prayer can do," Conference President Jim Marinis said. "We made what the family thought was impossible, possible."

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