Honored Kid

Joseph Beilke

Age 25
Joseph Beilke Kid Photo


Joliet, IL, US


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Date of Diagnosis

January 2000


In treatment

Treated At

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

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My Story

Joseph was diagnosed with neutropenia at the age of 17 months; he is still fighting neutropenia today at the age of 13. He has been in a tough fight almost his entire life with many trips, hospital stays, blood draws and bone marrow biopsies. In December, after his annual biopsy, results came back abnormal. Another biopsy two weeks later confirmed the abnormal result. Joseph was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) as well as his neutropenia. In MDS, the bone marrow does not make enough normal blood cells for the body. One, two or all three types of blood cells — red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets — may be affected. The marrow may also make immature cells called blasts. Blasts normally develop into red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. In MDS, the blasts are abnormal and do not develop or function normally. Joseph needs a bone marrow transplant. Joseph and his two brothers have an incredible passion for the sport of hockey. He feels as though it is being taken away from him. We don’t want this to be the case; we want him back on the ice where he is happiest. Although Joseph has blood cancer, he wants to help everyone. Last year he signed up for a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event with some of his team mates Team Rink Rats. St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding the most promising research to help find cures for kids with cancer. The Foundation raises money for childhood cancer research primarily through head-shaving events. Team Rink Rats were the highest grossing team. Joseph shaved his head with the rest of the boys, not thinking of himself but others. This long battle has been draining the family both mentally and financially. It’s a long road ahead…we cannot change this disease, but we can support how he will fight. Joseph is a fighter and WILL WIN!!

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