Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Leo Men, Leukemia & Every Heart and Hand

Leo High School thrives because of Hearts and Hands.   Since the late 1960s, I have heard rumors from people who had it on very good authority that Leo was "on its last legs."  Leo does not exist because of legs -  The June Taylor Dancers did.

Leo High School lives on Hearts and Hands operating according to the dictate - Deeds Not Words/Facta Non Verba. There is plenty Factae.  Last Friday night almost 700 Lions attended the annual Alumni Banquet at the Lexington House representing classes of alumni from the 1930s to the Class of 2004.  One of themes of the evening that seemed to table hop began with Dr. Tim Wollner as a challenge to the Lions.

It is call to help.  Leo Alumni pump support into this great school like a heart the size of Texas.  More so Leo Men jump in to help people in need.

Here is Dr. Tim Wollner, MD.

For those of you who do not know me, I am Dr. Tim Wollner, Leo High School graduate, class of 1975. I am a busy family physician who has had the added privilege of being the Leo High School team physician ever since the amazing Dr Tom Driscoll came into my office and asked me to take over for him, some fifteen years ago.

There is a specific reason I want to tell you one chapter of my Leo story. It involves Leukemia and “WE WILL FIGHT AS ONE STRONG BAND FOR THE HONOR OF THE ORANGE AND BLACK.” We have all learned many lessons from our experiences as Leo Men. There are a few that have been profound for me, and have served me well. The first was actually first verbalized by my mom, “Everyone has a story to tell.” The second was the most important Leo High School Theology class exercise I ever had. The message was, “Be sensitive to the needs of others.” As a person and a physician that has been a great lesson to try to live up to.

Another lesson happened about ten years ago while on the poorly lit sidelines of a Saturday night Leo football game. A linemen showed me some bruises on his arms. I didn’t think there was much to them, no different than the numerous bruises I always had as a small middle guard / middle linebacker in my playing days, wearing number 56 at Leo High School. The following week I found out the young man had acute Leukemia. I visited him in the hospital as he started his chemotherapy toward a full recovery. I will never forget the game against De La Salle that he came back and played in a year or so later.

Fast forward ten years. By now I have seen dozens and dozens of children and adults over the years with concerns of bruising. Of course, they were all fine. Then one day a special family member of one of the Leo Alumni Honorees at the April 27, 2012 Spring Banquet saw me at the office for bruising. Thankfully, I recalled the lessons from the Leo football sideline. This prompted me to help in a small way to enable this special young girl to get a quick diagnosis and treatment for acute Leukemia. She is now progressing very well toward recovery.

Sadly the last paragraph of this Leo story is not working out well right now. I would not be a Leo man and probably not a physician if not for my childhood friend, best man at my wedding and Leo man, from the class of 1974, Scott Fulwiler. Scott’s son-in-law Paul Ziemniarski, is a great guy, and a great big guy. Unfortunately, this big man is being hit extremely hard by his treatment for Leukemia right now. Paul is at Rush Medical Center as I write this plea to you; fighting to beat this tough cancer. Anyone familiar with recent Leo football knows of a former Leo student athlete, named Carlos. Carlos was surely the biggest player in all time Leo football history! Well our fellow Leo man, Scott Fulfiller’s son-in-law, Paul has got Carlos beat in stature, but he needs our help in beating his Leukemia.

There is a benefit Friday, May 18th, 2012 at Bourbon Street, Merrionette Park, IL at 6:00 P.M. Tickets are $30.00 in advance, or $35.00 at the door. If you cannot make the benefit, but can make a donation, please send your gift to any Archer Bank or Scott Fulwiler, 82 Iliad Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477. Checks should be made payable to Benefit for Paul Ziemniarski or you can go online at benefitforpaulz.bbnow.org. For more information go to benefitforpaulz@yahoo.com.

Let’s give a strong Leo hand to Scott and Paul!

Thank you,

Tim Wollner, D.O., A.B.F.P., Leo High School Class of 1975

Count on it, Doc!

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