I am writing to remind you that Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and I are hosting a fundraising benefit tonight to help cover some of the medical costs and living expenses of 49th Ward Committeeman David Fagus, who is struggling with a serious illness.
The benefit takes place TONIGHT (Monday, April 15th), 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., atThe Oasis, 6809 N. Sheridan. Free parking is available one block north in theback parking lot of Leona’s Restaurant, 6935 N. Sheridan.
David plans to attend the event and thank you personally. Please stop by and wish him well.
Complimentary food, including wings, beef sandwiches and vegetarian pizza will be served courtesy of JB Alberto’s. And The Oasis will providecomplimentary beer and soft drinks. In return, we ask you to make as large a donation as you can to help David pay his medical bills and cover his living expenses.
Chicago Reader columnist Ben Joravsky recently wrote a very nice piece on David. Here’s what he had to say:
Committeeman David Fagus, down but not out!
Posted by Ben Joravsky on 04.13.13 at 09:00 AM
About a year ago, David Fagus’s life was a blur of activity. He’d just started a new job with the county, and he was running for reelection as Democratic committeeman of the 49th Ward.
“I was on the go all the time,” he says.
And then it came to a crashing halt.
“I got this infection,” he says. “I didn’t think much of it. But it got worse.”
Eventually, he went to the emergency room and discovered that his kidney was failing. It’s been hell ever since.
“I have polycystic kidney disease-or PKD,” says Fagus. “I’ve been in and out of the hospital for about a year. It’s an inherited disease. My father had it.
“One of my kidneys shut down. Not sure if the infection brought it on. We don’t know. I had to go on kidney dialysis. I didn’t have strength or stamina. It was like climbing Mount Everest to get up the stairs. A couple of times I fell and couldn’t get up. It’s been pretty rough.”
Obviously, there’s never a good time to be stricken with kidney disease, but the timing couldn’t have been worse for Fagus. He’d just left a job with the state to take one with the county, so he wasn’t eligible for full medical benefits.
Unable to work, he quickly used up his sick days and had to resign. Without a regular paycheck or health benefits, he ran through his life savings, came close to losing his house, and racked up about $500,000 in medical bills.
His 75-year-old mother moved to Chicago from Ohio to help him get by. It’s all almost too painful to recollect.
“I’ve been getting better,” he says. “I can drive to dialysis. I want to get back to work and live a regular life. But unfortunately my blood pressure’s low. So they can’t put me on a kidney transplant list.”
On Monday, 49th Ward alderman Joe Moore and Cook County Board commissioner Larry Suffredin will cohost a fund-raiser for Fagus from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at the Oasis, 6809 N. Sheridan.
As you may or may not know, Alderman Moore and I haven’t been seeing eye to eye on local politics these days. But we do agree on this: Fagus is a good guy who could use a little help from his friends.
“There’s no political position less glamorous than committeeman,” says Moore. “Dave spent the last 20 years behind the scenes toiling for people like me and working for the betterment of the Rogers Park community. This is our chance to show him some appreciation.”
Curiously, Fagus and Moore did not start out as allies. Moore came out of Cook County clerk David Orr’s organization. Fagus was part of a rival political group headed by former Democratic committeeman Lee Preston.
In 1991, when Moore first ran for alderman, Fagus supported his opponent, Bob Clarke.
“Actually, he was Bob’s chief of staff,” Moore recalls. “When Lee Preston stepped down and Dave decided to run for committeeman, we met for lunch. He said he didn’t want to be committeeman unless he could work with me and David [Orr]. I said, ‘That sounds good to me. Let’s join forces.’ We’ve been friends ever since.”
Please help our friend make ends meet. To donate to David’s care, CLICK HERE.
You also may pay by check made payable to “David Fagus Benefit Fund.” Bring the check to the benefit, or mail it to:
David Fagus Benefit Fund
c/o North Community Bank
6945 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60626
Please note: Your donation will be considered a gift to David to help cover the cost of his medical coverage and living expenses. It is not tax deductible, nor is it a political donation.
Feel free to forward this email to your friends and neighbors.
On behalf of Larry Suffredin and myself, thank you for your help and support of our friend, neighbor and community leader.
P.S. A special thanks to The Oasis and JB Alberto’s for their generous donations of food and beverages for tonight’s event, Leona’s Restaurant for the use of their parking lot, and North Community Bank for maintaining the benefit fund.