Helping Families Fight Brain Cancer

Harley Helping Hands has been overwhelmed by the tremendous generosity we have received from our supporters over the past two years.

We are proud to share with you that due to your support we issued over $260,000 in grants to individuals fighting brain cancer-some of these families have shared their words of appreciation below.

We hope you will continue to support Harley Helping Hands as there are many more individuals that need our help during their fight.


Last year my mother had a bad seizure which led us to find the Brain tumor. Shortly after that I had open heart surgery, my mitral valve needed to be replaced and doctors saved my life. I am only 28 years old. My younger sisters almost lost both of us. We are a family of four girls, my father passed away 15 years ago from a major stroke, and we have been struggling ever since. All theses tragedies have been devastating to my family emotionally and financially. I was losing hope that a blessing would come our way. Then I received a call from Harley Helping Hands saying our letter for help as been received and they are granting us money to help with our financial burdens. I was overwhelmed from the emotion I felt that some light was finally shining on our family, I could not stop crying from relief, I am still crying writing this letter. Every time I replay these devastating events in my mind or have to stand by and watch my mother have seizures, I am torn apart inside. I am so grateful for the generosity of Harley Helping Hands and I am so touched by the people who gave to our family. The chain of goodness and giving will not stop with me. Thank you for putting some warmth back into my family's hearts.
~Denise Lonero, Daughter of Deirdre Lonero
Norridge, IL


I wanted to thank you for the grant I received. It has lifted a huge burden that was resting upon my shoulders. How am I going to pay these medical bills and pay my mortgage and attempt to work and heal at the same time. Receiving this grant has been a blessing. It has given me the peace of mind that I actually will get through this. Granted I had a minor set back of having another seizure, but with this grant I can now afford to see the right specialists and continue to receive the ongoing help that I need. Thank you so much for everything you have done. I wish to someday beat this monster and get back on my feet and perhaps someday donate enough to help someone like you have helped me.
~Nolan Domagata
McHenry, IL


My name is Joe Rice, and I was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in may of 2011. After surgery and the pathology report results me and my family (wife Aubrae and 3 children Haillie-15, Nicholas-11, and Lauren-9) were devastated!! I had to go to part time work and get on ssi diss. Before the cancer, I was a good provider for my family. I feared we would lose our house. We had already had to file bankruptcy on all credit cards and both my cars. Because of the folks at H.H.H. I was able to keep my house! Words cannot explain just how grateful I am to the folks that have supported HHH fundraisers; making it possible for me to keep my family in the only home my kids have ever known. Harley Helping Hands actually gives donations to the victims of this horrible cancer vs. just giving it to research. Not to say research isn't important! But it is also important to directly help the folks suffering from glioblastoma. I didn't know that once you're accepted for ssi, there is a 5 month period where you get nothing! Not a dime of help! That waiting period would have cost me and my family our home if it were not for the grant from Harley Helping Hands! There are many nights me and my wife hold each other in bed and cry ourselves to sleep. But now, we sleep a little better knowing we will not be without a home. Harley Helping Hands...All I can say is Thank You from the bottom of my heart!! Your organization is truly making a difference in peoples lives! Its been 7 1/2 months since my surgery and my last M.R.I. is still cancer free!!! Please pray for many more clean M.R.I.'s in my future. My wife and kids deserve to have a husband and a dad.
~Joe Rice
Machesney Park, IL


I remember when Kit Harley passed since my husband knew him from their days at Augustana College. Little did I know at the time that I would be seeking the help of his foundation just one year later. I suffered from worsening headaches starting in October of 2009 that continued until a tumor was found during brain surgery in December 2010. I was diagnosed with Grade IV medulloblastoma. I had to undergo one more surgery on Valentine's Day of 2011 to get all of the tumor. Since then I've been through 6 weeks of radiation and am currently receiving a year's worth of chemo. Harley Helping Hands came to the rescue to help us pay some of the bills that we found piling up. I am a 32 year old mother of 2 small children and I used to work part-time as a pharmacist. I had to take a leave of absence to complete these treatments so not only were we spending thousands of dollars on medical bills, but we were without one source of income. The generosity and compassion that we've been shown from Harley Helping Hands has certainly made this journey a little easier. Thank you!
~Melissa Konrad
Naperville, IL


When we thought there was nowhere or no one to turn to for help, I stumble upon Harley Helping Hands on the Internet. My dad; Gonzalo Villanueva, was diagnose with malignant brain cancer. I was looking for financial help for my parents on the Internet and I happen to come across Harley Helping Hands Foundation. Words can't express how thankful we are for their wonderful help financially. They were able to help pay for co-payments, medications that weren't cover by his insurance and other medical bills that needed to get paid. We can't thank you enough. Harley Helping Hands is a wonderful organization.
~Noe Villanueva, Son of the late Gonzalo Villanueva
Harvey, IL


When my husband; Terry Young, started suffering some health problems 4 years ago, which subsequently was diagnosed with a brain tumor, we were overwhelmed. Trying to absorb all the new knowledge about Terry's condition, the doctor's appointments; trips to Northwestern for scans and MRIs, treatments, created a new routine for our family that was very hard to manage and continues to be.
Last year, we were introduced to a contact at the Harley Helping Hands foundation. We found a community of wonderful & caring people, eager to help by either sharing their knowledge from their experience or just to make our day to day existence. They have helped our family financially which relieved some of the financial burden from the ongoing medical bills. Their understanding and compassion for our journey has made such a difference in our lives and we can't thank them enough!
~Debbie Young, Wife of the late Terry Young
Schaumburg, IL


What do you do when you are diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 30 and given a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years? You do what my husband did...you become braver than you ever thought you could and you fight!!! Chemo and radiation may kick you down but if you have the will to survive you will battle through. Unfortunately CANCER affects people in many was; emotionally, physically as well as financially. Harley Helping Hands was started by three of my best friends in honor of my late husband Kit. My friends wanted to help eliminate some of the financial burdens brain cancer was putting on our family. Kit was so honored when they presented the foundation to him and instantly started brainstorming on how HHH could help other families quickly. I am eternally grateful for HHH and how it helped me and my children. Even more honored to forever be a part of an organization that will honor Kit and his incredible courage.
~Rachel Balazs Harley, Wife of the late Kit Harley
Arlington Heights, IL


Harley Helping Hands is run by angels disguised as everyday people. Our family was devastated and scared when our son/little brother, Curtis, was diagnosed with a grade 3 brain tumor. Dealing with Curtis' cancer diagnosis and the thought of all of the large medical bills that would come in the mail after the hospitalization just overwhelmed our family. The generosity of your foundation allowed us to focus on taking care of Curtis instead of the financial burden that comes with cancer. We are so grateful for Harley's Helping Hands!
~The Thomas family
Mount Prospect, IL


I would like to thank the Harley Helping Hands foundation for the grant I received. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I live in Chicago and have no friends or family nearby. I have felt very lonely and overwhelmed by this experience. The grant money makes me feel like I can manage my situation just a little bit more; and that this experience won't drain me of y personal resources. I feel like I have support coming from all of you. Thank you for making me feel like I am not going through this alone.
~Samantha Kittle
Chicago, IL


I want to say thanks to all of you who gave us the helping hand that we needed at a time like this. The Harley Helping Hands Foundation is so great to help people out. I can't put into words how much it means to me that you helped me. I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and that was a shock to my son, daughter, family, and friends...But when you have the support and help from others it helps the situation so much. The help of the foundation means so much and I do appreciate what you did for me. Harley Helping Hands is so great to help people that need the help during this tough time. Thank you.
~Joy Lindahl
East Hazel Crest, IL


I was diagnosed with a mass in the right parotid. Unfortunately, the attempted surgical removal of the mass was incomplete. Treatment stabilized my disease for a few years, but there was a recurrence and slow but continued growth and spread of the disease since. Harley Helping Hands came to the rescue to help us pay some of the medical bills. I am not able to work due to the disease, so H.H.H helped pay my expensive narcotics/pain medication as well as my house bills. Despite my disease, H.H.H was able to return the smile to my face with the help provided. Thank you so much.
~Ilhem Zenati
Chicago, IL


We truly cannot thank Harley Helping Hands and its generous supporters enough. This week, with your help, we were able to nearly pay off a hospital bill that has been looming over our heads for months. This is a huge relief to our family. We are so very grateful.
~Teddy and Mandy Ougheltree
Crystal Lake, IL


In April of 2012, my father was diagnosed with brain cancer. He has not been able to work and going to his cancer treatments day after day is very hard on me. The Lord has been guiding me through and I continuously manage to take care of him and the family. When I was struggling with what to do next, I found out about this amazing organization Harley Helping Hands. They have lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders and this organization is a true angel from heaven. This grant will help my father so much more with his needs, I can't thank them enough. I want the whole world to know what they do. Thank you so very much.
~Michelle Jones, Daughter of Michael Jones Sr.
Chicago, IL


With the news of a generous grant, Harley Helping Hands managed to lift our spirits in such a difficult time. After my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, the medical expenses started to add up which became overwhelming. The support and generosity of Harley Helping Hands helped us to pay for my mom's caregiver and medical bills. I cannot thank Harley Helping Hands enough! I feel blessed to have been a recipient.
~Dana Dimitri, Daughter of the late Julie Dimitri
Chicago, IL