Congratulations to Madison Dunker
Janet Adkins Memorial Scholarship Winner
Uncle Bob and William
2012 IYSA Soccer Expo
Janet in March, 2011
IYSA Awards Banquet
Click for EXPO website
On March 9th, cancer-sucks.org is Donating $1,000
which will be awarded to an ODP player awarded the
Janet Adkins Memorial Scholarship
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By Marty Maciaszek
Janet Adkins has been the biggest fan of her son Jeff's girls soccer teams at Rolling Meadows.
Jeff marveled at how many people from all teams would come up to his mom to see her at games. She has been a fixture in the soccer community the last 20 years as an administrator of the Illinois Youth Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program.
But Jeff Adkins became concerned when he didn't see his mom at some of his games this spring, including the season finale, and when he did see her at a regional play-in game.
"She appeared tired and fatigued but she works all day," Jeff said of his mom, who has also been a District 211 bus driver for 20 years.
"But it was a Friday and I figured it was a long week and thought, OK, she's a little tired."
Then she started describing some symptoms that sounded like a stroke and was finally persuaded to |go to the hospital.
"Nothing appeared unusual," Jeff said.
Then came the news the 56-year-old Atkins was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor. Jeff said it was the size of approximately two golf balls.
But Jeff Adkins has found out how much his mom meant to so many people since her surgery May 25.
On Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be the Janet Adkins Fundraiser at Poplar Creek Country Club in Hoffman Estates.
And the Chicago Red Stars women's professional soccer team will have a Janet Adkins Fundraiser Night at its Aug. 22 game at 5 p.m. against the F.C. Gold Pride at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.
Both events are to help Adkins with day-to-day costs such as the mortgage, food and medical prescriptions.
"The thing has become ridiculous in terms of the amount of support," Jeff Adkins said. "I'll get three to five e-mails a week from people I've never met personally. It's awesome she had that effect on people."
Janet didn't start playing soccer until she was 26. She was asked to be a part of a senior women's team when she took 6-year-old Jeff to sign up to play in Hoffman Estates.
Janet played until she was 41, coached for 15 years and has been responsible for helping identify top talent for the ODP program. She received the 2005 Illinois Women in Soccer award from the Illinois State Soccer Association.
"She kept very busy," Jeff said of her soccer and bus driving jobs.
Now she's busy fighting to recover after 75 percent of the tumor was removed. Doctors didn't want to take out any more for fear of damaging good brain tissue.
Janet is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She lived with Jeff and his family for about a month but there were health-related concerns with his 2- and 4-year-old children.
So Janet is back at home and her daughter Jamie, who played on Schaumburg's 1993 state championship soccer team, moved up from Florida to help after taking a leave of absence from her teaching and coaching job. Janet's ex-husband Hal and his wife have also been very supportive.
"Her spirits are really high and she has a good appetite," Jeff said. "She's not nauseous and she's had a little hair loss, but all things considered she's in really good shape. We've been pleasantly surprised."
Insurance will cover her medical expenses but with her 211 sick days about to run out, Jeff said her insurance premiums are jumping from $1,000 to $6,000 a year. Her sick days with the IYSA have also run out and her disability insurance won't be enough to cover her day-to-day expenses.
A $10 donation is requested for Sunday's Poplar Creek event, which will include entertainment by a Jimmy Buffett impersonator. There will be a silent auction including autographed jerseys from the Red Stars and Fire, former St. Viator product Jonathan Spector's West Ham English Premier jersey, the World Cup jersey of United States backup keeper Brad Gusan and the English Premier League jersey of US World Cup starting keeper Tim Howard.
Former Conant star Jenny Grubb, who is coaching at a New Jersey high school and in her first year as an assistant with Sky Blue FC, sent some memorabilia for the auction. She was coached in youth leagues by Janet Adkins.
Flo Dyson, the president of the Illinois Women's Soccer League who got Janet into soccer, is paying for the benefit.
And half of all full-priced tickets at the Aug. 22 Red Stars game will be donated to Janet's fight against cancer. The team also gave the family four suite tickets for the game.
"The outpouring has been wonderful," Jeff said.
Jeff said Janet plans to attend both events and will be on the field at halftime of the Red Stars game with ODP players.
And hopefully by the time the spring rolls around, the biggest fan of the Meadows girls soccer team will be back in familiar territory.
"The thing that always got me, every game my mom came to she was always talking to people in the stands and not just from my team," Jeff said.
"She would stay on the fence and people would go up to her and go out of their way to see her."
The same will probably be true the next two Sundays.
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