If a cancer diagnosis has taught Norman Todd and his wife Ladonna one thing, it’s that life goes on and you might as well live it to the fullest. In 2015, shortly before Ladonna had the upper-left lobe of her lung removed due to cancer, Norman was diagnosed with rectal cancer. More than 45 treatments later, he’s feeling good—and more appreciative than ever of everyday life. The couple spends about half their time at the Evening Star Campground near Topeka, Illinois, and Norman says he’s enjoying their time together there even more these days.

He’s also hoping to play a role in helping future patients discover that same quality of life by taking part in a Foundation-funded clinical trial. Participants are testing a chemotherapy drug that may eliminate the need for radiation prior to surgery—which could help reduce side effects and get patients into the operating room faster. “I appreciate all that the people who went before me did to help develop new treatments, and I want to do what I can to help someone else in the future.”

Norman Todd May 8, 2017

When he hit 237 pounds and found himself out of breath after climbing the stairs, Calvin Pettitt of Peoria decided it was time to take action. He bought some workout clothes and shoes, and then started walking regularly on the track next to Bradley University’s Shea Stadium. The weight started dropping fast—too fast. It was kidney cancer. “My grandfather and my mom both died of cancer. I thought it was a death sentence.”

With God, his extended family and the team at Illinois CancerCare by his side, Calvin proved it’s not. He had his kidney removed, joined a clinical trial and now feels good enough to start taking laps around the track once more. “I prayed a lot. I told God I just wanted to see my children and grandchildren progress a bit more before I leave this earth.”

Calvin Pettitt May 8, 2017


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12:00 am
Come celebrate the beginning of May with “May”k-overs and Margaritas! There are so many great events to celebrate- May Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Day – and we want to combine them all in[...]
Senara Health & Spa
May 18 all-day
12:00 am
Cancer survivors, their families and caregivers are honored at the Peoria Chiefs game on Saturday, June 10th. Survivors and their families receive free tickets to the event and a tee shirt. Illinois CancerCare staff and[...]
Dozer Park
12:00 am
New this year! A family friendly event to compliment the already established Golfin’ in the Wild, Mini Golifn’ is a golf outing perfect for everyone in your household. This event will feature a miniature golf[...]
Illinois CancerCare
12:00 am
Join the Central Illinois Parrot Head Club for an all day event touring both sides of the Illinois River in the Peoria area and stopping at beach themed bars along the way!  The event concludes[...]
Jul 21 all-day
12:00 am
Begins and ends at The American Legion – Bartonville Food, Music, Raffles, 50/50 drawing, cash and other prizes Founded in 2008, Bikers for Ta-Tas is a committee steered not-for-profit organization highlighted by a fundraising motorcycle[...]
The American Legion
Aug 11 @ 3:00 pm
3:00 pm
You won’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to golf on the unique terrain of Wildlife Prairie Park that all skill levels can enjoy! This unique, nine hole golf course[...]
Wildlife Prairie Park
Nov 3 @ 8:00 am
8:00 am
The Theresa Tracy Trot is a 4 mile run or 2 mile walk along the East Peoria Riverfront and Levee District. It is held in honor of Theresa (Naramore) Tracy, a young wife and mother[...]
East Peoria Riverfront Park
Nov 4 @ 11:00 am
11:00 am
Doors open at 11:00 a.m. Live Auction starts at 1:00 p.m. This champagne brunch features new and gently used handbags, totes, wallets, coin purses, etc. that will be available by live and silent auction during[...]
Burroughs Farm
Nov 9 @ 6:00 pm – 6:15 pm
6:00 pm
Par-A-Dice Hotel