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Home Features Inside the Bubble Chicago television personality, Ryan Chiaverini, runs to honor mom

Chicago television personality, Ryan Chiaverini, runs to honor mom

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Northwestern Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center Foundation in Chicago recently held a Cancer Survivors Walk. It was the 24th annual to celebrate being cancer free and to honor the loved ones that lost their battle.

For Chicago TV personality, Ryan Chiaverini of ABC 7's Windy City Live, this was a very special and emotional day. Chiaverini participated in the 5K walk/run to honor his mother, Edna, who he lost a few months ago to cancer. He formed a team called 'Team Edna' and everyone wore T-Shirts with the logo 'Team Edna.'

The setting was a beautiful sunny day in Grant Park. The mood was very upbeat. There were souvenirs, T-shirts- music, a wall to sign with your loved one's name, and a performance by the famous Jesse White Tumblers, who never cease to amaze audiences.

Chiaverini was the guest speaker of the event. He thanked everyone for coming, including his TV family, Val Warner, and Ji Suk Yi, who came to offer their support.

"I really want to thank everyone for coming. I want everyone to know that cancer is not a death sentence," Chiaverini said. "It is about hope and inspiration. It is about survivors celebrating and a time to spend sharing the wonderful memories of our loved ones."

Chiaverini reflected how we should try to remember things that make us laugh about our loved ones.

He said, it is a time to laugh, a time to be moved to tears, and a time to spend in thought.

Chiaverini encouraged everyone to listen to Jimmy Valvano, an American college basketball player, colorful coach for North Carolina State Basketball, and broadcaster give an enlightening speech in 1993 at the ESPY Awards (see link below).

ESPN founded the V Foundation in honor of Valvano with one goal in mind: To achieve victory over cancer.

Chiaverini told the audience how he was running and thinking about a song by Michael Buble in his head reminding him about his mother. (her fave artist). An interesting story he told was how his mom liked resale shops and was always looking for items. Adding that one day his mom walked into a shop with his niece and they bought a necklace of a bunny. His mom and the niece loved it, until they came home and the niece showed it to her mother. The mother said, 'That's a Playboy bunny! Take that off." The audience laughed, but it was moments like this that everyone reflected.

Actor Jim O'Hair (Jerry) of NBC's Parks and Recreation, an Emmy Award winner and Chicagoan, walked in support with family members, Beth and Molly. Molly was diagnosed with cancer in June 2016.

Lara Wilson of Chicago was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. "I must tell you, it was a fight, but it was support like this that got me through."

A gentleman, who wants to remain anonymous said, "I'm not a cancer survivor, but I'm a driver. I'm not a cancer patient, but I'm a cancer fighter."

Chiaverini added that his mom wanted no funeral. It was a celebration of life, and he explained that no matter if you lost a loved one, or are a survivor, that's what it is about.

"I took it hard when my mom passed. I've had my moments, just like everyone," Chiaverini said. "Again...to see all these people here, I thank you and lets toast a toast to ourselves and our loved ones." After the event that is exactly what Chiaverini did.

Jimmy V's speech



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