Help Tracy Bucciarelli fight Stage 4 breast cancer!

For: Tracy Bucciarelli
Indian Head Park, IL
Organizer: The friends of Tracy Bucciarelli
Help Tracy Bucciarelli fight Stage 4 breast cancer! (Tracy Bucciarelli)
of $30,000 goal
50% Complete
Raised by 133 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Tracy Bucciarelli is a single mom to a nine (9) year old son named Jason. They are long-time members of our community and reside in Indian Head Park. Jason is a 4th grader at Highlands Elementary School. Tracy is a registered nurse, who dedicated her entire professional career to taking care of premature infants in the NICU unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

In June, 2012, Tracy received the devastating news that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Less than 5% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer start at a Stage 4. Tracy’s oncologist revealed that there is no cure for Stage 4 breast cancer, and the median survival rate is 2-3 years. Tracy will be celebrating her third year of survival this coming spring. She credits her survival to God.

Since her diagnosis, Tracy can no longer work. Her treatment plan includes oral chemotherapy, monthly infusions and daily narcotics for pain management. After 20 years of dedicated service to the NICU, Tracy hung up her scrubs and sadly resigned from what she called her “dream job.” Tracy feared her regimen of narcotics might impede her judgment, and she could not expose her tiny patients to such a risk. Since she left her job, Tracy has been volunteering her time to Highlands Elementary, as a room parent, helping to count Box Tops, and taking photos for the Variety Show.

After she left her job, Tracy applied for Social Security Disability and maintained her health insurance through COBRA. Her COBRA payments were $800.00/monthly, and her limited resources did not allow her to extend the health insurance to her little boy. Due to her medical and financial issues, paying her mortgage became a struggle. Her lender placed her townhome in foreclosure. She has, so far, been able to remain in her home, but every month it is a struggle to keep her home.

On January 31, 2015, Tracy received yet another blow when her COBRA health insurance expired. She was forced to apply for Medicaid. Sadly, Tracy has just recently discovered that Medicaid will not cover two very important medications, including a cancer drug called Afinitor, which is a newer drug that Medicaid restricts due to its high cost of $15,000.00 per month. She has pleaded with the pharmaceutical company, and they have given her two weeks of samples for the Afinitor. However, her future use of this medication remains uncertain. Since it is the only cancer drug Tracy is currently responding to, she is terrified that she will have to stop using this drug.

It remains perplexing to understand why a person like Tracy, who has given her entire life to the nurture and care of others, must herself, undergo so much pain and hardship. This is why we, as a community, must come together and give this little family our wholehearted support!

All funds raised will be used for Tracy's medical costs.  

UPDATE:  We are so stunned with the amount of support from the community.  It has surpassed any of our expectations.  Tracy is so thankful.  We are now looking into creating a trust for Tracy's benefit, to be used to pay her mortgage and any medical deductibles and out of pocket medical expenses she will have.  We would like her son, Jason, to get the balance of the fund, should there be any balance remaining.  We hope this change will be acceptable to everyone who has donated.  We just didn't expect this outpouring of support.  Thank you, everyone, so much!

Beata McCann (Tracy's friend)

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 18, 2016

Posted on August 18, 2016

After a long and inspirational battle against cancer, Tracy Bucciarelli, 49, of Indian Head Park, Illinois, passed away peacefully on August 10, 2016, surrounded by her immediate family.

Tracy was born in Stamford, Connecticut, raised in Evanston, Illinois, and lived in Chicago before moving to Indian Head Park. She attended Evanston Township High School (ETHS), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later earned a Master’s degree in Nursing f...rom Elmhurst College.

An outstanding athlete as a youth, Tracy set numerous swimming records at ETHS and excelled at track and field. During her high school summers, she worked as a life guard at Gilson Beach in Wilmette where she was credited with saving two lives. She later competed in the Chicago Triathlon finishing first and third in her age bracket.

Her calling as a neo-natal intensive care (NICU) nurse at Northwestern Hospital was appropriate given her love of life and inner strength. She spent 26 years at the unit, dedicating her attention to at-risk newborns and she remained close to many of their families.

While Tracy’s passions included the outdoors, photography, comfort food, and travel, none of these were greater than her simple love of being a mother to her son, Jason. She and her son often found peace and tranquility camping near the water or hiking the hills of The Great Smoky Mountains. Tracy could often be found at the La Grange Highlands Elementary School coordinating special lunches or photographing students and teachers for the annual Variety Show. She cherished camping with Boy Scout Troop 216 and was working towards her Scout Master certification. She dedicated her life – and her struggle to beat her disease – to her son.

Tracy is survived by her son; her siblings Renee, Peter, Aimee, John, Jason, and Ian; her mother, Gisela Martin and Aunt Helga; and her father Peter Bucciarelli and Aunt Enes. She was also the loving Aunt to nieces Sara, Juliet, Fiona and Elena, and nephews PJ, Will, Anthony, Nicholas, Jack, and Ethan.

Funeral arrangements will be private and a family memorial mass will be held at St. John of the Cross in Western Springs, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, the Bucciarelli family suggests Memorial Donations be made to your local Hospice affiliate or to the You Caring trust set up by Friends of Tracy Bucciarelli. Initially established to help cover medical and housing costs, the purpose of this trust was amended in 2015 to include funding support for Jason’s education. (…/help-tracy-bucciarelli-f…/321641 or to the “Tracy Bucciarelli Fundraising Trust” at Countryside Bank.)

Posted on August 13, 2016

Posted on August 13, 2016

Dear Tracy's supporters,

It is with a heavy heart that I post this final update.  Tracy Bucciarelli passed away on August 10, 2016, leaving many family and friends who loved her dearly and will miss her humor and strength.  She was a fighter, and we will always remember her.  She was an inspiration to many, and she touched so many lives.

There will be no services; Tracy's family will have a private ceremony.

We have been asked about a donation fund for her son, Jason.  When we first set up this fundraising page, a trust, managed by trustees, was created to manage the funds.  Upon her death, Tracy stipulated that the remains of this trust go to Jason.  In the past year, this trust helped pay for Tracy's housing costs.  Now, the balance of the assets in the trust plus any new donations will be used for Jason's college costs, etc.

If you would like to donate to Jason Bucciarelli at this time, any donations made on this site will go directly into this trust for his future expenses.  Alternatively, you can give Jennifer Hallett or Beata McCann any donations and we will make sure they are deposited into Jason's trust account.  Finally, you can go directly to Countryside Bank and ask to make a deposit into the "Tracy Bucciarelli Fundraising Trust."

Thank you to everyone for your support.  It meant a lot to Tracy.  She was surprised and touched by the outpouring of love from the community and her family and friends.

The friends of Tracy Bucciarelli

Posted on July 24, 2016

Posted on July 24, 2016

Hi everyone,

Tracy has been released from the hospital.  She is currently in hospice.  All chemo and other treatment has been ceased.  Sadly, the cancer is now progressing quickly.

Please continue your prayers for Tracy and Jason.


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