Emmy Foster and IRSF

In April 2011 at the age of 2 1/2, Emmy Foster was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a debilitating, neurological/movement disorder which has robbed her of the ability to talk, use her hands or do any physical activity independently.  A group of Colleen and John's friends have organized a fundraising event in partnership with Revolution Brewery to raise as much money as possible to go toward...

1.  Emmy's medical fund for important therapies, equipment, medications and supplies for Emmy 
2.  The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) whose mission is to fund research for treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome while supporting those affected by the disease. 

Here are three ways you can support our cause...
1.  Join us at Revolution Brewing in Chicago (3340 N. Kedzie) on Sunday, May 18th for "Cased Meats for a Cause"

Revolution Brewing has very generously offered to throw an outdoor party in conjunction with local celebrity chefs and the fine folks at Farm. Butcher. Table.  All proceeds will be donated to Emmy's medical fund and to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.  This large public event is set for 3-6 pm. It will be a fun filled afternoon with Chicago celebrity chefs and local bands in the large back lot at Revolution Brewing located in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago, IL.  Tickets are $50.00 and will be available for purchase at 


We promise a great afternoon with fantastic beer, food and music!  Emmy will not be joining us due to the size of the event (it may be a little overwhelming for her) but we're looking forward to kicking back with family and friends.

2.  Bid on Items at our Online Auction

Because the event will be large, we have opted to do our auction online.  The auction will be going live on May 5th at 8pm.  We will be sending out a reminder when it goes live and the bidding can begin.  We have collected a lot of great items!  Take a look at what's available and get the details at...


3.  Give a general donation on this site. 

Emmy's Story

We welcomed our daughter Emelia Lou to the world on August 21, 2008.  We brought her home, introduced her to her big sister and began watching her thrive.  We were overjoyed to watch her hit her milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, saying her first words and feeding herself.  And then things began to change.

At about the age of 2 we noticed she wasn't speaking as much.  She tried and tried to get the words out but it was as if she just couldn't get her mouth to cooperate.  She began dropping her toys while her hands seemed to make movements she was unable to control.  Her breathing became very irregular and she was unsteady on her feet.  We took her to a neurologist and described what was happening and on that day, Friday, April 22, 2011 our lives were changed forever.  This was the day we first heard the words Rett Syndrome.

Rett Syndrome is a debilitating, neurological/movement disorder caused by a spontaneous gene mutation every baby girl has an equal chance of acquiring.  It is characterized by a period of typical development followed by regression, including loss of speech, hand use and most gross motor function.  Girls suffer from multiple medical complications such as seizures, scoliosis and severe digestive issues.  Life expectancy is uncertain, but most girls live into adulthood and require around the clock care. 

Our sweet Emelia battles this disease every minute of every day.  And although Rett Syndrome has taken so much, it has not taken the light from her eyes, the smile from her face or her desire to live life to the fullest.

To learn more about Emmy's story check out her family blog

To learn more about all of the outstanding things the International Rett Syndrome Foundation does, check out their site

  • Gary & Cathy cornfield 
    • $100 
    • 91 mos
  • Tom Hager 
    • $100 
    • 91 mos
  • luanne hampton 
    • $30 
    • 91 mos
  • Barb Lemme 
    • $25 
    • 91 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 91 mos
See all


Kelly Schwarz Wallin 
Mount Prospect, IL
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