Chamber Director Diagnosed With Brain Tumor
An official from the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, officials said Thursday.
The executive director of the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce has been diagnosed with a Stage IV brain tumor.
Garrett FitzGerald announced his diagnosis this week, saying that doctors at Rush University Medical Center have determined its inoperable due to its location near a speech center in his brain. He is scheduled to begin what was described as "an extremely aggressive" six-week course of radiation and chemotherapy within the week, according to a notice sent around 1:30 p.m. Thursday by chamber representatives.
"It's a tough hand I've been dealt here," FitzGerald said, in a written statement. "But I'm going to fight this with everything I've got." He reports to be otherwise in very good health, which his doctors have told him will be very helpful during his treatment.
Northcenter Chamber President Maribel Selva said her thoughts are with FitzGerald and his family.
"Our prayers and good thoughts are with Garrett during this extremely difficult time," she said, in the announcement. "Our main goal is to stay positive."
Even Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn weighed in Thursday, sending positive thoughts FitzGerald's way. The two knew one another through the Illinois Civil Service Commission, to which FitzGerald was appointed in May of last year.
"I know Garrett and he is a fighter," Quinn said, in a news release. "He will face this challenge and prevail with our thoughts and prayers."
During his many years of volunteer leadership, FitzGerald has served or is serving on the Bell Elementary Local School Council, St. Benedict High School Board of Directors, the Neumann Family Services Board of Directors, and the 4th Congressional District Representative on the Citizens Utility Board.
Local 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar applauded his dedication to the area. He said FitzGerald's contributions have, in many ways, been unmeasurable.
"Garrett is a community leader and dear friend," Pawar said. "Under his leadership, the Northcenter Chamber has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to community organizations and schools while ensuring the Chamber is a financially sustainable organization. The 47th ward is a better place because of Garrett and I am honored to call him my friend."
FitzGerald says he's remaining committed to all of the organizations he works with.
"There are a lot of fights out there," he said, in Thursday's notice. "And as I go through this thing, I intend to fight not just for myself, but for them as well."