We aren’t going very far back this Thursday – just to the beginning of this week – when our very own Steve Niesman, president and CEO of itelligence North America, left to go for a ride on his bike. Steve didn’t just pedal around the block; he joined a group of dedicated riders biking from Wrigley Field to Fenway Park to raise money for the Henry Schueler 41&9 Foundation and the Ignite the Spirit Fund.
The mission of the Henry Schueler Foundation is “to provide funding toward innovative, leading-edge research in the field of pediatric high risk leukemia and the fungal infections children are at risk for contracting while their body’s immune systems are compromised during chemotherapy treatment.” Henry, also known as Hank, was diagnosed with a rare subtype (hypodiploidy) of acute lymphoblastic leukemia or “ALL” in November 2006. After chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Hank was in remission and back to doing what 14 year old boys are supposed to do.
In September of 2007, Hank relapsed and started another round of chemo. In late September, Hank developed a fungal infection, which is common for people going through chemo, but the combination of the infection and leukemia led to Hank’s death on December 14, 2007.
In 2010, Ignite the Spirit reached out to the Henry Schueler Foundation to offer their support and proposed a fundraising bike ride. Ignite the Spirit is an organization designed to help Chicago Fire Department families when they need it most and support other community groups. The partnership between Ignite the Spirit and 41&9 has raised over $150,000 to support pediatric cancer research over the last three years.
Due to prior commitments like the SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG National Conference (more on that tomorrow!), Steve couldn’t make it all the way to Fenway, but he did make it to The Big House in Ann Arbor, MI to help raise money and support pediatric cancer research.
Way to go Steve, we’re proud to be part of the itelligence team!