Luke's Lids for Kids

Luke's Lids for Kids

Saturday, August 16, 2014

End of Summer News

Morning friends!!  So here we are the middle of August, kids are getting ready to head back to school, days are full of trying to put in those last minute summer plans, and LL4K has just finished up its summer donations!  Yes, LL4K has been busy this summer donating hats to a couple of different organizations and fundraising for another.  It's been a good summer indeed!

First off, the summer started with my kids Jonah and Krishtian running a LL4K lemonade stand for the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in June.  This was our first experience with Alex's Lemonade Stand and it was such a fun experience and so well organized!!  When we registered our lemonade stand, the foundation sent us a box full of marketing goodies which were very helpful during our actual sale.  If you have never participated in this event, I would encourage you to check them out, it really was a super fun experience for the kids and people who stopped by were just so generous and wanted to help.  Everyone who stops by has a story to tell because cancer affects everyone - most people want to tell you the story of their own cancer experience or of someone they know and love.  LL4K and my boys will continue to support this amazing organization and we hope you will check them out too!!

Our next project to tackle this summer was collecting and decorating hats for Special Days Camp, Every Day A Hero Celebration, and to go in goody bags for children at Vanderbilt Hospital in Tennessee!  Luckily, thanks to some generous donations we were able to get hats out to each of these events with a grand total number of hats and hairbows donated totaling 300!  That is a lot of glitter paint, sparkles, and references to summer sports!  :)  LL4K is very humbled to be able to  be able to support these organizations as they work towards improving the lives of children battling cancer and other chronic conditions. 

This summer we also added a new member to our Facebook administrative team...our youngest brother Andrew will be helping LL4K out with social media work and marketing!  We really needed to add some help because Luke of LL4K and his family welcomed their second child this May and my family will be welcoming baby #3 this October so things are getting fairly hectic this year for our families and we need to add some support to our team! We will also be welcoming a third grandchild this fall as our sister Kim adds to her family as well!  Lots of blessings in the Gyomory Family! Please take a minute to welcome Andrew to our team and cheer him on as he adds this new role to his day!  He is the youngest of the Gyomory kids and full of energy and creative ideas (both of which tend to be lacking in new parents)!

We hope that you continue to support the mission of LL4K, we are grateful to be able to help in whatever small way we can.  Of course, I wish we could do more but we do what we can.  As we close out the month of August and embark on the month of September, which happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we hope you will continue to follow our Facebook page and help us spread the word of our mission.  LL4K will be making a push during September to collect gift cards to donate to hospitals for parents and for hats for our winter donations.  We will be doing our part and hope you will join us on this journey.  We are grateful and humbled with the support of you our friends and hope you know how much we appreciate all you do to support us!  God Bless Friends!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Summer Fun

As I sit here and write this I realize that I have been very lazy in keeping up with this blog but I guess that comes with being a busy mother of two crazy boys with another baby on the way.  I had a pretty rough start to this pregnancy with morning sickness so I apologize for not being more diligent in keeping you, our loyal supporters, up to date on all things Luke's Lids for Kids! 

To start, we want to wish Luke of LL4K and his family a great big congratulations on their newest family addition, Baby Easton who is just a doll!  We got to see him last weekend and let me tell you he is adorable!  Congratulations to Luke, Heidi, and Big Brother Ryan!  For those who have joined us recently, Luke is my brother and a survivor of Hodgkin's Disease which is a form of lymphoma.  He has been in remission for a number of years and we do this to try and inspire other young people, but especially children, to keep their spirits up by donating fun and funky hats and headbands.  Just something small but fun to make the hair loss that results from chemotherapy and radiation maybe a little bit easier to cope with.  Each and every hat and headband is made with a whole lot of love and they are all prayed over before they are sent out so that hopefully the recipient can feel the love that comes with them.

Next up, this past spring a young girl from the Lansing, MI area captured the attention of the nation during the NCAA Basketball Tournament because of her association with the Michigan State University Basketball Organization.  She was known as "Princess Lacey" and she passed away shortly after MSU was knocked out of the tournament.  Her story became national news because of her inspiring battle with cancer and the devotion of the Spartan Basketball Team to her and we at LL4K were definitely inspired by this story and decided to make a donation in her honor to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.  We are humbled that Sparrow Hospital is accepting our donation and hope that this will be another partnership with LL4K.  Here is a picture of a one of the bows that will be going to Sparrow Hospital (MSU colors with a single princess ribbon in honor of Lacey).

In the last few months we have received a number of hat donations from supporters and I wanted to take a minute to thank those people...Jeannie Martinez is a gifted woman who has crocheted a number of beautiful hats and headbands for LL4K, we are so blessed to have her support!  My Aunt Jody Brusie has become a huge supporter of LL4K recently, making sure our bins are never empty and that we do not have to worry about fulfilling our donation requests!  Thank you Jody for being such a wonderful and caring person, you will never know how much you are loved!  She has also recruited friends to help and we are humbled that one of her friends has started making us beautiful and soft fleece hats!  These hats are going to be perfect for our winter campers at Special Days!!  Thank you and know that LL4K feels blessed for your support and we pray for your family!  My son Jonah has some friends from school whose mother heard about our project and donated a bag of very adorable and stylish hats for our kids, so Thank You Farrell Family!!   We love you guys!!  Lastly but always first in our hearts, Thank You to our parents and family for all that you do to support LL4K!  The hats, the shipping (GyomoryGuyInc - FedEx team extraordinaire), the promotion (my mom has made LL4K a household name in our hometown of North Branch); without your support this project would not be possible!!  We are humbled by the support of everyone who helps us keep this project going!  If I have missed anyone from the last few months, I apologize and blame it on preggo brain!  God Bless You All!
Looking towards the summer!  LL4K has committed to supporting 2 big events this summer with hats and headbands and we are excited to do so because both events are wonderful programs that celebrate some incredible kids and families.  We will be supplying Special Days Camps with hats as usual and camp starts at the beginning of August.  For those who are new to LL4K, Special Days is a camp for children with cancer and their siblings.  I worked at Special Days for a number of years as a counselor and it has a permanent spot in my heart because of the care of the staff and the love of the campers!  It is truly a wonderful place and we are honored to continue our support of Special Days!  We will also be supplying hats and headbands to an event in Kansas City called Every Day a Hero.  Every Day a Hero is a party for families of patients receiving Pediatric Oncology and/or Hematology services in the Kansas City area.  Last year was our first time supporting this event and it was a honor to do so.  The organizers of this event put so much care and thought into making this a night of fun and it is an honor to be able to support them again.  So....that being said if you feel compelled to help us support these wonderful events please contact us at  We would love to be able to provide enough hats and headbands for all the children attending. 
Thank you all for your continued support of LL4K, truly we could not do this without your support and prayers!  My mom always reminds me that if this wasn't truly making a difference then the whole project would have fizzled out a long time ago but instead every time I feel like we will not be able to come through on a donation we receive a call or email from someone wanting to help.  God has his hand in this and for that we are blessed.  I wish we could do more but what we do we do with love!  God Bless Friends!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Times

Hi friends, I'm sure you may have wondered what's been goin' on here at LL4K?  Or maybe not but that's okay too!  :)
Since my last post, we have been busy busy busy and hopefully today I will be able to update you and inspire you to join our mission if you haven't yet done so!  Since September (when I last posted) we have made donations to our local hospitals, including Lurie Children's Hospital and St. Jude's Research Hospital's Midwest Affiliate.  The hats that were donated to those two hospitals were created by a group of 7th and 8th grade Confirmation Candidates from my local church.  We hosted a hat making party and they were able to get service hours for participating and to say that they were successful would be an understatement!  These kids came to our event with lots of hats and supplies and ended up decorating over 50 hats for our kids!  I was so impressed by their enthusiasm and caring attitude!  These donations also included hats that were made by a group of the cutest 1st grade Daisy Scouts who were able to earn badges for their work.  Their hats were so sweet as they practiced their sewing skills on them (they are far more talented with a needle and thread than I am that's for certain)!

Luke's Lids for Kids also received before Christmas a bag full of beautifully knitted headbands by a local supporter, Jeannie Martinez.  She is incredibly talented and her works of art are just perfect for our kids.  We were also contacted by a family from North Carolina who asked if they could donate some hats that they had purchased from a store closing sale - how many hats you ask - 500 hats I say to you!  Yes, the Cavanaugh Family generously donated 500 hats to Luke's Lids for Kids; new baseball hats which our kids just love!  I am truly grateful for their generosity especially as we had started to deplete our supply after Christmas.  It was truly a blessing to see those hats on my porch after the start of the new year.

Most recently, LL4K made our annual donation to Special Days Camp winter camp.  As I have shared before Special Days is an incredibly "special" place and I am grateful to be able to partner with them for winter and summer camps.  Our donation to Special Days included hats from the Cavanaugh Family, my friends the Koral Family, my parents Jack and Deb Gyomory, my Aunt Jody Brusie, headbands from Jeannie Martinez, and hats from the LL4K supply.  I know the kids had a wonderful weekend at camp and truly hope they enjoyed all the different hats that were sent to them.

What's coming up you ask?  Well let me tell you!  Next week we are hosting another hat making party with the 7th and 8th graders, I am very excited for that and I am sure it will be just as successful.  I would like to be able to make a hospital donation in time for Valentine's Day, maybe with a few extra treats included.  We are planning for our annual Special Days summer camp donation and I am considering hosting a hat making party for the campers during summer camp.  I am hopeful I will be able to get that worked out as I would like to also bring my sister along to give the girls a glam make-over as well.  If you might be interested in joining us for that or helping to supply donations please feel free to contact us!  In general, we are always looking for new donations so please please spread the word about LL4K!

And I would like to end with one of the most important developments for the LL4K Family!  My brother Luke finally has received his own Lid!  He has been hounding me for one forever, so for Christmas I finally relented and made him a hat (pictured with his hat and my Goddaughter Natalie)!  Also even more wonderful news for Luke and his family, their family of 3 will soon be expanding to a family of 4 as Ryan will be getting a new baby brother this spring!  So this picture of their family will soon be including a sweet newborn coming this spring!  Please send them lots of love, prayers, and congratulations!

As always thank you for following us and continuing to support LL4K!  It is truly a labor of love for so many different reasons!  I hope you find a reason to be inspired by the work we do and will want to join our mission to bring smiles to kids living with cancer.  It's an ugly disease, it's a pain inducing disease, and it is a life changing disease but if you meet kids who are living with cancer you will see smiles through the tears and hope in their eyes.  It's my prayer that this small gift we are giving them makes that smile a little bigger and that hope a little brighter.  God Bless friends and please feel free to contact us at

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Happened Over Our Summer Vacation....

Hi Guys!!  I know it's been a while since I've posted anything about LL4K, so sorry about that.  I'm sure you are all desperate for news!  :)

In case you are not following the Luke's Lids Facebook page, September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.  On our Facebook page, we have been sharing stories of children, their parents, and their physicians, who are fighting or who have fought this monster that is cancer.  If you haven't checked any of them out, I encourage you to do so.  We also wanted to do a gift card fundraiser for the parents staying at our local Ronald McDonald House so if you are interested in participating please message us at (which incidentally is also our new email).

So what happened over our summer vacation....well it started with a box of hats that were delivered to the St. Jude's Hospital Midwest Affiliate in Peoria, IL in honor of our Grandma Schaller who passed away this spring after a battle with COPD.  Probably the most meaningful donation we have made because it was done in her honor.  Next up was a donation and visit to Special Days Camp in Michigan.  I LOVE Special Days but I think you probably all already know this, I have spoken about the wonderful work of Special Days on many occasions.  It was such an honor to be able to get back out to Special Days this summer with my boys!  We visited during Partners Week which is the week designated for the siblings of children fighting cancer.  My boys had a blast and it has made me think that maybe I want to start working during camp again, but we will see!  I'll keep you posted!  :)  Last, but certainly not least, LL4K made a donation to an event in Kansas City called Every Day A Hero which was for the children and families who receive treatment at the children's oncology clinic in Kansas City.  It was hosted by a mom, Beth Walker, whose son has received treatment there and she wanted to be able to do something to give back.  It was such an honor to be a part of this event and from the looks of the pictures it had an amazing turn out!  I'm sure the kids and their families had a wonderful and very blessed time!

Now that we are headed into the fall our donation bin is pretty well dried up at the moment...sadly.  But, never fear I'm sure that we will be on our way to filling it back up again.  It has seemed to work out that every time I feel like this project cannot continue, I receive an email from someone wanting to help in some way.  You all, our supporters, are God's hands in this work.

This fall, we will be hosting a hat making extravaganza for a number of Confirmation Candidates at my son's school.  They will be bringing and decorating hats and headbands to be donated just in time for Halloween! If you are interested in donating to this event (supplies or hats) please send me a message (  This is also a great time to bring up an idea; since school is back in full swing, if you know of a youth group, scout troop, or other organization that is looking for a new service project why not mention LL4K!  We would love to help you set up a hat making extravaganza!  If you are local to North Branch, MI or Chicago, IL we could even send a representative from LL4K to your event to help you host and facilitate it!  We had 2 different scout troops do this for us last year and the hats were magnificent and so creative!  Any questions send me a message at

Thanks again friends for all the love and support!!  We love our kids and we love our supporters and feel so blessed to be able to continue this work of creating smiles and building awareness for childhood cancer!  Any questions or ideas please feel free to contact us at  God Bless!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mid Summer Report

Wow, is it really the middle of July already??  Where in the heck did the summer go?!  Well for LL4K middle of July means a couple of very important deadlines are coming up fast!!  First up we have Special Days Camp  - we will be supplying them with 100 hats for their youngest campers!  I am busily getting to work embellishing the hats that I have right now and hopeful that we will be getting enough donations in the mail to complete our order!  I'm also hoping that I may be able to take my family up to Special Days for one of the days as we have been invited to come and hang out!  I haven't been to Special Days since I was a camp counselor last, about 13 years ago so I am hoping to get this worked out.  I would love for my kids to have the opportunity to spend some time with the Special Days kids as they are an amazing bunch for sure!!  :)

Next up, we will be donating hats to an event on August 25th in Kansas City called Every Day A Hero.  This is a party planned by the mom of a young boy who has battled an immune disease for the patients and families of children receiving hematology and oncology services in the Kansas City area.  They are expecting 150 families so we have a huge order to fill for this awesome project!  If you are on Facebook please check them out!

I'm not looking too far ahead of these two projects as they are both pretty big orders to fulfill but we will do it!  Somehow, someway we always make our goals and I have no doubts we will be able to do that again!  I'm really grateful for all the help, all the support, and all the love for this project.  It's just a small thing but it's a small thing being done with great love!

One other small personal email was hijacked last month so Luke's Lids for Kids has a new email -

Please feel free to contact me if you know of a project we could help support or a child who could use a funky hat or two.  Thanks again and God Bless!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer is a comin'!

So I write that Summer is a comin' because today certainly did NOT feel summer like, ugh!  I'm so ready for days in a row that are 70 degrees and above!  Anyways, that is my only real complaint for the day!  :)

Now for the good stuff!  I am sending out a packing to Children's Hospital of Illinois, the St. Jude's Midwest Affiliate Hospital, this week full of hats and headbands that were collected by my family during my Grandmother's Memorial Mass.  The previous post was all about her and the amazing life she shared with my Grandpa and so in her honor my family brought hats and headbands for Luke's Lids to send to St. Jude's.  St. Jude's Children's Hospital is a place that held a special spot in my Grandma's heart and so it seemed only appropriate that these hats go to the children there.  It is a blessing to be able to donate these hats in honor of my Grandma, Rosemary Schaller. We love and miss her dearly but know she is rejoicing being reunited with my Grandpa!

Luke's Lids is also planning to donate the hats that were made by North Branch Brownie and Cub Scouts groups next week to Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.  We are also planning to again donate hats to the Special Days Summer Camp at the end of July, so we will be working towards getting donations for those wonderful children!  That is always a big donation so if you feel called to donate, we would be greatly appreciative!

I do not think I have mentioned this previously but I was emailed by the mom of a young woman named Kylie who for her birthday asked her friends to bring hats to donate for Luke's Lids instead of bringing birthday presents for her.  I just wanted to take a moment to give Miss Kylie another Thank You!!  You are a blessing to Luke's Lids Kylie!  The hats she sent will make a lot of kids feel quite stylish I am sure!!

I think that is about all the news that I have to report at this time.  Just wanted to give you a quick update as to what was going on with Luke's Lids.  We are working on a couple of different events, one of which is confirmed and that is a hat making event with the youth group at my local church for the 8th grade Confirmation Candidates to receive service hours.  The other event I am still in the process of working on but will share the details if and when it works out.

Thank you again for all the support of Luke's Lids!  We love being able to bring about a little bit of sunshine and fun into the lives of children fighting cancer.  The deserve only the best we can offer, truly.  Please remember to continue to pray for those children and their families.  Living with cancer in your life alters the way you see life and I can only speak as the sister of a cancer survivor but I know that it really teaches you to let go of the silly stuff and instead try to be just be silly!  A smile can go a long way to making a difficult day a little better!  Hugs friends and God Bless!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Look at what we started!

This blog is supposed to be about Luke's Lids for Kids happenings but today I want to tell you a love story because this is how I process things, I tend to write about them.

This is a story that begins with a man named Lynwood and woman named Rosemary, who met and fell in love and had a daughter Debbie, then went on to have five more children (3 boys and 3 girls).  Those six children went on to grow up and marry the loves of their lives and start their own families.  In all, 24 grandchildren were born and those grandchildren have started having families of their own and 15 great-grandchildren have been born thus far (many more are to come I am sure of this).  Not included in these extraordinary numbers are all the people who have married into this family and so far that number stands at 12.  If you are keeping count that's 57 people (and counting) who have come into this family all because 2 people, Lynwood and Rosemary, fell in love more than 50 years ago.

My Grandpa, Lynwood, he passed away almost 4 year ago after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis although to know him was to know that MS was not who he was, MS was the part of his life that made for some inconveniences and gave him material for laughing about things in life (especially how nice the WalMart greeters were to people who came into the store on an amigo cart!).  His quality of life was so wonderful because of my Grandma, Rosemary.  Grandpa never spent a day in a nursing home or had any of his care done by in-home nurses.  His care was lovingly provided by his Rosie.  She told me after he died that it was easy to be his caretaker because she loved him so much that it wasn't even a decision she had to make, it's just what you do when you love someone.  After he died, Grandma had to relearn how to live her life and she did.  Grandma and Grandpa's dog Clyde spent their days together, Grandma whipping up amazing dinners in a moment and Clyde getting the leftovers (lucky dog).  Then last year, Grandma because really very ill and suddenly things were different.  Clyde who had been by Grandpa's side from the time he came to live with them came to live with me because Grandma had bring an oxygen machine home to aid her breathing, as you see, she suffered from COPD.  The hospital who was caring for her last year sent her home to die but they did not know her or her strength.  She worked so hard to get better and she did, little by little, her strength returned and her vitality returned.  But you see, the thing about Grandma is death does not scare her.  She is a woman of EXTRAORDINARY faith in God, she prays the scriptural rosary daily multiple times a day, she and my Grandpa went to Eucharistic Adoration faithfully for years (as I well remember being dragged to church on Fridays nights with them to pray before any sleepover fun could be had), and going to Mass is just who they are.  So the idea of death being scary was not something she believed.  She told me when my other grandparents passed away that Heaven was more beautiful now and that God just needed them there, because her faith in God is greater than anything else.

Tonight Heaven has become even more beautiful.  She was surrounded by her children as it should be and I know that Grandpa is there beside her smiling at all the love surrounding them.  I emailed my 5 year old son Jonah's preschool teacher the other day to tell her what was going on and ask if she had any book recommendations to help explain this to him as Jonah is quite close to Grandma and she gave me the name of a book called The Invisible String.  So first thing I went out and bought this book and attempted to read it to Jonah.  It's not a story about death so much as it's a story about the love between people.  It talks about how everyone we love has an invisible string between them and the love you feel travels along this string no matter how life separates you.  It's a profound message.  As I started thinking about this message it lead me back to what Grandma and Grandpa started.  All these children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren...that's a whole lot of strings and you know what happens when all those strings cross and cris  cross each other, you create a net.  This is why, in our lives, even when things are difficult or hurt, we never truly fall.  Grandma and Grandpa have given us a net to fall into, a net that is held together with love.  How amazing is this, because they loved each other so very much the legacy they have left us with is the knowledge that no matter how hard our lives get, we will never be alone without love because they are leaving us with the greatest of safety nets at which they are the center.  That is an extraordinary gift my friends and I feel so privileged that I am one of the lucky ones who gets to be held up by this net, especially right now.

So you see this is a love story. Love between a man and a woman, love between children and parents, and love for God.  There are so many lessons I've learned from my Grandparents, so many things gifts they have left us with, but this story must come back today to my Grandma.  Another very wise woman yesterday said to my dad, this time is the process the soul goes through to separate from the body in preparation for that journey to Heaven. I was present when my other Grandma made her journey to Heaven and I remember thinking "where's the boom, where's the thunder, something to recognize this amazing person is gone to Heaven" but I now know that the recognition must happen in Heaven itself, a celebration of that soul coming home.  I'm sure Jesus will be waiting with open arms for Grandma and will get the second hug from her (I'm certain Grandpa gets the first) and to know that she will be watching and guiding us from above is truly a miracle but always in the center of the net they have created.  Their love is where the string begins and always goes through as new lives are born in to this family.  So yes, I do believe that Heaven is about to become a much more beautiful place soon.  I love you and always!