Our Heroes

The mission of the Super Jake Foundation is to bring hope and help to patients and families fighting neuroblastoma. Since neuroblastoma is a rare and mysterious disease, most treatments are experimental and therefore not covered by insurance. In addition, treatment is extensive and normal life ceases to exist as these kids are in and out of the hospital almost weekly for treatments and tests. As a result, one or both neuroblastoma parents often end up having to quit their job to care for their sick child. Sadly, in addition to battling this often times deadly disease, many families end up struggling financially, with many declaring personal bankruptcy. To help, in 2008, The Super Jake Foundation launched The Super Jake Super Hero Grant Program to provide financial support to patients and their families. We are proud to announce that we have awarded more than $300,000 in Super Hero Grants to more than 100 families in Illinois and Wisconsin.



Age 3, Geneva, IL

Leif is a curious, strong-willed, brave, and sweet little boy. Leif was diagnosed with High-Risk Neuroblastoma in April 2023. He loves model trains, fire trucks, singing, painting, puzzles, and school.


Age 1 1/2, Thornton, IL

2 1/2 year old Jase was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in November 2015. Jase’s diagnosis was likely delayed as he also had a baby sister born very prematurely. Jase has undergone chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplant, radiation, and then chimeric antibody. Due to his treatments, Jase also has developmental delays and sees several others doctors as he continues to fight this beast (those eyes! that smile! despite that horrible treatment).


Age 2, Aurora, IL

Blake was diagnosed at the age of 2 in January 2015 with Stage 1 Low-Risk Neuroblastoma and opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS). Now 3 1/2 years old, he is anxiously awaiting the arrival of twin baby brothers in December 2016! Treatment was tough on Blake and his family; since treatment he is loving playing with trains, cars, and his iPad. As you can see in the pictures he loves ice cream! He also  led theSt. Patrick’s Day parade in St. Charles this year and his wish granted with Make a Wish with a trip to Disneyland! He continues to have multiple doctors appointments and check ups.


Age 1 1/2, Burbank, IL

Adorable 20 month old Hailey was diagnosed in October 2015 with neuroblastoma and underwent surgery. At a 3 month check up, another tumor appeared and she had re-lapsed and now is undergoing chemotherapy and other treatment to battle this disease. While being in the hospital is no fun, her cute personality and sense of humor still shines through. On a recent visit with board member Melissa Gilland, Hailey was teasing her by putting 2 pacifiers


Age 6, Milwaukee, WI

In January 2015, super adorable 5 year old Ethan was diagnosed and is battling intermediate risk neuroblastoma. It is not fun being 5 years old and being in a hospital feeling very very lousy and not play outside like a 5 year old should. Ethan has recently undergone surgery with more treatment to come.



Age 5, Bolingbrook, IL

In October 2015, then 4 year old Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Before diagnosis, Alex was full of energy  and a very happy, outgoing child who loved nothing more than to play with his friends and, of course, a piggy-back ride from his hero, his dad. With diagnosis, he has had to stop going to school and playing with his friends to protect him from other illnesses as he goes through the brutal treatment of chemotherapy. He has early aspirations of becoming a chef when he grows up and is looking forward to getting better so he can enjoy a day at the zooto see all of the animals, especially his favorite, the tortoise. Alex spends a lot of time in the hospital, in the car traveling to and from the hospital nearly 2 hours away, and at home in bed.


Age 1 1/2,Wausau, WI

In September 2015, adorable Charlotte was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma. She has undergone chemotherapy, surgery, bone marrow transplant, and in July was half way done with radiation. Each treatment brings new challenges and illness; for example, with radiation, her kidneys began to not function properly causing more hospitalization, medication, and close monitoring. Prior to radiation, she had an infection that quickly required her to be in the hospital again and antibiotics and radiation was delayed due to elevated liver enzymes. The family has spent many months at Ronald McDonald House. She is a sweet girl with a big smile despite all the awful hospital stays and treatments. She always cheers up when her big brothers come to visit her as they definitely are silly together.  Charlotte loves every moment she is at home and can be outside playing.  While in the hospital, her ipod helps keep her busy.


Age 10, Wheaton, IL

Sweet 10 year old Kate loves reading books (396 last year alone!), playing softball, piano, and tae kwon do. In November 2015, Kate was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma. She has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation preventing her from being the active kid she once was and wants to be. However, she was recently able to achieve her goal of not being in the hospital for her 10th birthday after months of being in the hospital undergoing a stem cell transplant.  Follow Kate on her FB page Kate’s Crusaders.


Age 11 months, Freeport, IL

Lendell just started cooing to his mom’s voice when he was diagnosed at 3 months old in January 2016 with neuroblastoma. Lendell loves Spongebob Squarepants, The Minions, and of course, Clifford the Big Red Dog. His heroes are the Chicago bears and maybe with enough work and support he will be able to play for his favorite team, The Bears. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy and his coos have now been replaced by a lot of crying and discomfort with the chemotherapy.


Age 9, Streamwood, IL

Before April 2015, Sadi was growing up a very happy, healthy kid, loving art, music and being around her family. School was one of her favorite things and she loved to help others. Since her diagnosis of stage IV high risk neuroblastoma, she hasn’t been able to enjoy those activities the same, and misses playing in the water and with her friends the most. Like many of our heroes, she is not even aware of how strong and inspirational she is to all of us as she continues to fight this monster.


Age 3, Chicago, IL

Adorable and full of life, Zoe turned two in June and had just moved with her family to a new home with a backyard she could play in! She was so excited but soon started having trouble walking until she could no longer walk. Zoe was diagnosed five months ago with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma. Zoe is now spending much of her time in the hospital undergoing treatment and, despite warm summer days upon us she is still unable to play in her backyard.


Age 2, Buckingham, IL

2 1/2 year old Super Hero Dustin was diagnosed in November 2015 with Stage 3 High Risk Neuroblastoma. Before diagnosis, Dustin loved playing with his brothers and sisters; now the time he gets to spend is few and far between with all of his hospital stays and treatments. Being sick is not easy; even a simple fever sends him off to the hospital and usually a stay for at least a few days.  Dustin loves to play and stay busy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Paw Patrol are his favorites. Dustin  has a major crush on his nurse who always goes home to tell her boyfriend about her patient crush.


Age 4, Chicago Heights, IL

Super Jake Hero Lonnie earned his angel wings June 16, 2016 due to complications with his treatment for neuroblastoma. Lonnie was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in October 2015. He underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy with stem cell, radiation, and a chimeric antibody study to fight this monster that eventually took him to heaven. Lonnie loved the “Flash”, reading Goodnight Moon, and watching his favorite movie, Big Hero 6 and Peppa Pig while spending time with his family. Most of all, Lonnie loved his family.


Age 10, New London, WI

10 year old Anna was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma in July 2015. Anna loves to dance, ride horses and play softball. With her diagnosis and treatment, she has really not been able to do any of the things she loves since last summer. In fact, she has only been able to attend 10 out of 35 dance lessons and only 45 of the 180 days of school. Anna has endured chemo, antibody treatment, radiation, bone marrow evaluation, and more. Her treatment has caused hypotension, capillary leak, hives, fever, severe pain, weight loss, anxiety, fevers, and more. In summer 2016, her family took a trip to South Dakota to escape the awfulness of cancer and re-group as a family.


Age 4, Chicago, IL

Liam was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in March of 2010 when he was 2-years-old and he finished treatment near the end of 2011. Liam was just like every other little boy who enjoyed playing with his family and buddies before this cancer diagnosis. After over a year and half of treatments Liam and his family were happy to move on to the next chapter in their lives! Liam relapsed in February of 2012 and he is currently in treatment to beat neuroblastoma again.

Liam’s favorite superhero is SpiderMan.
Some of Liam’s favorite foods are pizza, peaches and candy.
Liam loves aliens and dinosaurs.
Liam would like to be a “working man” when he grows up.


Age 2, Lake Villa, IL

 Connor was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in October of 2011 and was just 7 months into his treatment when he passed away on May 1, 2012.  Connor was only two years old. The Super Jake Foundation awarded Connor and his family a grant to pay for a huge third birthday celebration. Sadly, Connor didn’t make it to his birthday. The family was able use the funds to pay for outstanding medical bills and funeral expenses

Connor’s favorite colors: Blue and green.
Connor’s favorite food: Pizza, hot dogs and chicken nuggets.
Connor’s favorite tv shows: Cops, Scooby Doo and Batman.


Age 2, Kansasville, WI

Jackson is a delightful 2-year-old boy who was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in January 2012. Jackson is currently in treatment and preparing for his stem cell transplant.

Jackson’s favorite color is blue.
Jackson’s favorite foods are bananas and macaroni and cheese.
Jackson loves reading and watching movies about penguins, especially Happy Feet.


Age 5, Chicago, IL

Kelise is a spunky 5-year-old girl currently battling relapsed neuroblastoma. She was originally diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in June of 2009. After Kelise completed her treatment of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and stem cell transplant she was doing great. In August of 2011, the doctors determined she had relapsed and is currently in treatment.

Kelise’s favorite color is purple.
Kelise attends preschool and her favorite part of the day is recess.
When Kelise grows up, she would like to be a fashion designer or a teacher.


Age 14, Elgin, IL

Gilberto is 14 years old and fighting stage IV neuroblastoma; he was diagnosed in February 2011.  Because of this disease, Gilberto was unable to attend school for many months.  He missed being with his friends and other children on a daily basis.  Gilberto is currently in treatment and doing well!

Gilberto’s favorite superhero is SpiderMan.
Gilberto would love to go to China and visit the Great Wall.
Gilberto’s favorite part of school is math and his favorite book is The Hunger Games.
Gilbert would like to be a doctor when he grows up.


Age 3, Chicago, IL

Jatorie has been battling stage IV neuroblastoma since March 2011. He has completed numerous rounds of chemotherapy and had multiple surgeries. On October 26, 2011 he received a stem cell transplant and was in the intensive care unit for some time due to complications. He is feeling better and continuing to fight off this cancer. The Super Jake Foundation awarded Jatorie and his family with a grant to help with expenses associated with his cancer diagnosis. Jatorie’s mom, Contoria, had to quit her job to care for her son throughout treatment. Contoria has overcome many things in her life and says that everything has prepared her for this; she feels she can handle more than she ever imagined and she appreciates every day with her kids.


Age 15, Genoa City, WI

Michaela was a healthy and vibrant 7 year old when she went to the doctor for a sore throat. During the visit, the doctor noticed she had an enlarged spleen and ordered a CT scan; the scan revealed that Michaela had a large tumor in her abdomen that originated in her adrenal gland. More scans and tests proved that Michaela was suffering from stage IV neuroblastoma. Like many kids fighting neuroblastoma, Michaela underwent numerous rounds of chemo, radiation, surgeries, and has received a stem cell transplant. Michaela did well with her therapy and was in remission for over a year. Unfortunately, Michaela re-lapsed and underwent treatment again in 2011. Michaela is NED (No Evidence of Disease); in October 2016 is her 5 year mark of being cancer-free – a truly wonderful milestone!


Age 4, Oak Park, IL

Michael endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplant, radiation and 5 cycles of antibody treatment. Michael lost weight, his hair and suffered slight hearing loss, endured numerous blood transfusions, bloody noses, infections, nausea, and lost a year of his childhood. But this Super Hero never lost his courage or his smile.

Today we are excited to say that Michael is NED (no evidence of disease)!! In Michael’s own words, “My super hero medicine worked!”


Age 2, Chicago, IL

Stathi was diagnosed with stage IV intermediate-risk neuroblastoma at just 8 months of age. The Super Jake Foundation awarded Stathi and his family a grant in 2010 to help with everyday expenses including a mounting insurance deductible associated with his out of network cancer treatment. Both of Stathi’s parents were forced to miss work to care for their son. Stathi has undergone 14 rounds of chemo followed by 6 months of Retinoic Acid and he still has a handful of little lesions and tumor tissue remaining in his body. He is currently being monitored with monthly doctor appointments, blood work, and tests and scans every few months. Stathi has also been battling an intestinal infection since September 2011 called C-Diff, which has proved to be extremely hard to get rid of; they are on their 4th round of antibiotics. Stathi’s development is fantastic; he is talking English and Greek and repeating everything his mom and dad say.


Age 17 months at diagnosis

Diagnosed Sept 2017 with Stage 4 Intermediate-Risk Neuroblastoma
Weston, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
Merrik has been a rock star through his treatments. While in the hospital, he loves driving a little car around the HOT unit and waving at all the nurses. He is an energetic, happy, mischievous loving little boy. He loves to try and keep up with his older brother and sister. His best friend is the family’s golden retriever, Kado. If there is a ball around, you can bet Merrik and Kado are playing catch/fetch.


Age 2 months at diagnosis

Diagnosed Sept 2017 with Stage 4S Neuroblastoma
Stillman Valley, IL (Treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital)
Adorable Lucas was diagnosed as a newborn and went through treatment. As of November 2018, he is 1 year with no evidence of disease and still continues to have quarterly hospital visits and scans every 6 months. The fear never goes away. Lucas’ family continues to pay it forward including a whole town fundraiser in Sept 2018 for which they donated back to Super Jake.


Age 2 ½ years at diagnosis

Diagnosed Nov 2017 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma
Kenosha, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
TJ is full of life, spiderman loving, game playing and can’t wait for his baby sister to arrive in February! He is going through his final antibody treatment at present and they cannot wait to ring the bell with big prayers that there is no evidence of disease.


Age 6 months at diagnosis

Diagnosed Dec 2017 with Neuroblastoma
Lindenhurst, IL (Treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital)
Beautiful Vivienne LOVES her siblings (1 older brother, 2 older sisters) and lights up every time she sees them. She has the best and brightest smile. Despite the rough past year with the treatment she has had, she continues to grow and thrive. She LOVES her dog, listening to music, and singing songs. Her family quickly learned that even a simple fever means at least a night or two stays in the hospital, away from home her house, her siblings, and her pup and usually her siblings without their mom and dad as they are at the hospital with Vivienne.


Age 2 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Nov 2015 with Stage 3 High-Risk Neuroblastoma; Relapsed Feb 2018
Buckingham, IL (Treated at Comer Children’s Hospital)
Before diagnosis, Dustin loved playing with his brothers and sisters; now the time he gets to spend is few and far between with all of his hospital stays and treatments. Being sick is not easy; even a simple fever sends him off to the hospital and usually a stay for at least a few days. When in the hospital, Dustin loves to play and stay busy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Paw Patrol are his favorites. Dustin also has a major crush on his nurse who always goes home to tell her boyfriend about her patient crush, Dustin.


Age 4 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Jan 2012 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma; Most recent relapse Jan 2018
Milwaukee, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
Tahani has been fighting neuroblastoma for 6 years and has had multiple relapses. Her bright spirit and warm smile bring sunshine on even the hardest days.


Age 4 ½ at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Nov 2017 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma
Menominee Falls, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
Beautiful, feisty and positive Jillian. Life hasn’t been easy from the beginning with a variety of medical issues including educational autism all before her neuroblastoma diagnosis. She loves Barbie, and Disney Princesses, especially Aurora. She also loves books, music, painting, and dancing, especially ballet. She also loves butterflies, birds, and the Fourth of July fireworks and parade. Recently, part of her frontline treatment damaged her eyes and has also greatly affected her kidneys and bladder. The family continues to work with her medical team trying to offset the negative side effects of her neuroblastoma treatment. And yet, through it all, she still smiles.


Age 2 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Sept 2017 with Neuroblastoma
Joliet, IL (Treated at Comer Children’s Hospital)
Before diagnosis, life was a blessing for Ava and her family. Since then, the family describes life as if it is standing still and trouble breathing. They always feel like they are waiting to see how Ava responds to treatment and a sinking feeling the doctor won’t have good news for them. Despite these feelings, Ava continues to bring laughter as they search for other options to battle her disease.


Age 3 ½ at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Aug 2016 with High Risk Neuroblastoma;
Relapsed Jun 2017 and Apr 2018
Des Plaines, IL (Treated at Comer Children’s Hospital)
Caleb was enjoying simple family life, time outdoors, little getaways, and fun with neighborhood friends not knowing the difficulty that was ahead. Caleb is undergoing experimental treatment to fight his disease. He loves superheroes. He plays in his “hospy-tal” room. His feeding tube is a normal part of his life, and he no longer says “no pokey” when the nurses come into his room. His smile still lights up the room, and he still smiles often. He has lost a little hearing (high frequency), but other than that, he has emerged relatively unscathed. And Caleb’s family still maintains the most important thing of all: hope.


Age 3 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Oct 2015 with Neuroblastoma; relapsed Mar 2018
Hillside, IL (Treated at Loyola)
Since 2015, Cristian has battled neuroblastoma facing chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, antibody treatment, and countless other procedures. Instead of playful and being with friends, he is constantly at the hospital. With wonderful summer weather, he has not been able to be in the pool like most 6-year-olds should because of worry for his line getting wet.


Age 2 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed Jun 2018 with Neuroblastoma
Lomira, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
Jackson has undergone surgery and chemotherapy in addition to many hospital stays. It has been a big adjustment for his entire family and his 2 siblings. Thankfully he still shows his feisty self even when he isn’t feeling great.


Age 2 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed July 2018 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma
Marinette, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
Sweet Arianna was busy being a silly toddler until her diagnosis which finds her spending lots of time in the hospital with radiation, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and more. Her two older siblings are upset as their mom and baby sister are never home.


Age 4 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed May 2013 with Neuroblastoma
Chicago, IL (Treated at Comer Children’s Hospital)
Before diagnosis, Taylor was non-stop running around, laughing, at her friend’s house and being outside. Now with her diagnosis and long-treatment, she is often laying down as too much activity causes her to lose her breath. She can no longer run around, can’t really go to school, doesn’t go to her friends' house as she is always attached to oxygen given the harsh treatment for neuroblastoma. At 10 years old, she is becoming a pre-teen but struggles to do so with her relapse.


Age 4 at Diagnosis

Diagnosed May 2018 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma
Shawano, WI (Treated at Children’s of Wisconsin)
Adorable 4-year-old Jacob was constantly following his big brother around and playing until his diagnosis. He was in the hospital for over 5 months after his diagnosis with multiple complications and still has a lot of treatment left. His older brother rarely gets to see him and Jacob is sad to not be his shadow. Yet, his smile and laughter still light up a room.