Up to the point of her cancer diagnosis, Erin Potts was a healthy, athletic teenager. She was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that affects children and adolescents.
Mary Potts’ daughter lived another three years after her diagnosis. She was 18 when she died.
“When Erin was sick, the community supported us in an outstanding way,” Potts said. “And since her passing in 2009, they continue to be just as supportive.”
Potts hopes a new memorial fund established through the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation will do the same for others facing their own cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Scatter Kindness Erin Potts Memorial Fund will support the patient experience program at the Adventist Cancer Institute and Outpatient Center.
The center will house cancer and imaging services provided by both Adventist Hinsdale and La Grange Memorial hospitals. Potts, who works in patient access services at Hinsdale Hospital, has been involved in the planning teams focused on the new center.
While the institute is still in the construction phase, Scatter Kindness will start helping cancer patients coming to the hospital now.
Those supports can be small acts of kindness, such as a special moment to help celebrate a birthday, or a dinner provided to a husband and wife who need a little time for one another, Potts said. Those small acts mean so much when someone is sick.
‘The term Scatter Kindness comes from my desire to see this fund focus on those little, random acts that help patients feel more supported and less alone as they face the challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis,” she said. “Patients need to be seen as more than just the disease that brought them here, but as vibrant individuals.”
Since her daughter’s passing, the community has come together several times to honor Erin, Potts said. For instance, the annual Erin Potts Invitational Volleyball Tournament has raised money for various causes. The fifth annual tournament was just held at St. Cletus School in La Grange.
Proceeds from this year’s tournament, estimated at more than $7,000 so far, will go to establish Scatter Kindness.
For Potts, the memorial fund represents a chance for her daughter’s light to continue to shine.
Anyone interested in supporting the Scatter Kindness Fund can do so by visiting www.hinsdalehospitalfoundation.org, and clicking on the Scatter Kindness link.