Help Patrick and mushroom research

$17,005 of $16,000 goal

Raised by 60 people in 20 months
Hi, I am Patrick Leacock, a mycologist and botanist working in Chicago and the Midwest. Donations are requested to support my research and educational activities. These funds will rescue me from a financial crisis, and also cover medical expenses (exams, surgery, and ongoing treatment), allowing me to continue work in 2017. Funds raised in excess of the goal will support me during the upcoming field season and citizen science outreach.

Wild mushrooms are my passion. Each foray is a treasure hunt, finding them, learning their identities, and most importantly documenting their presence and discovering new species. Local research involves mushroom surveys from May to October and education and citizen science projects with the local mushroom club. We have study plots where we have begun to investigate mushroom diversity in relation to oak trees and invasive buckthorn, which is thought to have a negative impact. Support is needed for me to work with and educate the team of volunteers.

My 19 years of research with colleagues and volunteers has added a wealth of data on the mushrooms of the Chicago region. The previous flora of 405 species was done one hundred years ago (W. S. Moffatt. 1909, 1923. The Higher Fungi of the Chicago Region). Our current mushroom flora is nearly 1,000 species (agaricomycetes). This myc0flora will be posted and updated online then published when complete.

I run the MycoGuide website [] to share my knowledge of mushrooms and mycology with the public. Over 100 pages are available now but I have much further to go to cover the large number of species in the Midwest and provide related resources to study them.

These mycology projects are under-funded by a large amount each year. The past year has been especially tough. Working on a shoe-string budget is not a healthy situation. For six years I have been self-employed with contracted projects. I currently have short-term employment.

I wish to continue training amateur mycologists in the methods for mushroom studies and wrap up the documentation of my collections to be deposited in the local herbarium. Contribute today and share this campaign with your family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you for all of your support.
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I have surgery this Monday, July 17th, to reconnect my colon and patch up the large hernia (behind the ileostomy) that became intolerable. Hopefully when this heals I will be able to be active once again and regain some strength. Chemotherapy will resume and hopefully the side effects, particularly the neuropathy, will not get much worse. I am grateful for the support and thankful for the Chicago friends that have helped me repeatedly with errands and clinic trips and forays. I did have to start making Cobra payments, not being eligible for Medicaid. I will have to find another income source in addition to teaching.
Chanterelle page from
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Hi folks!
This update is long overdue. I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, both here online and the friends helping me with trips to the clinic and other tasks. After many tests the end of last year, I had surgery in January to remove a colorectal tumor (the doctors also removed the sigmoid colon with diverticulosis). The tests and labs were clear, showing nothing with the nodes or other organs. After recovery, and an abscess healed, chemotherapy was started. This week I have #5 of 12 chemo rounds. The loop ileostomy (done to allow colon connection to heal) slowly developed a hernia. If I decide the large hernia becomes intolerable then chemo will be interrupted to perform the reversal surgery (reconnecting small and large intestine). Otherwise that surgery is this fall after chemo is done.
I am finishing a temporary position at the museum so will be switching to Medicaid (Cobra is too expensive). I am teaching botany at the Art Institute this fall and mycology next spring. I taught a mushroom class yesterday and will be doing other workshops this summer and a class in the fall. I am looking forward to the big NAMA foray in September; our planning for that has gone well.
Cheers, Patrick
Patrick with bust of Rolf Singer
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One of our recent additions to the known fungi for the Chicago Region is Peziza varia. It is similar to Peziza repanda. Our collection has cups that flatten in age. Pale yellow brown interior. Whitish outer coating. Weak brown stains. Spores are verrucose (minutely warted); some spores with bump at one or both ends; No oil droplet.
Peziza varia
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Our newest addition to the mycota of the Chicago Region: Xylaria acuta. Identified this week by volunteer Nicolle Omiotek and collections assistant Wyatt Gaswick (Field Museum). Collected in 2014 during plot-based research in McHenry County, Illinois. This is a seldom recorded species with only 18 specimens on MycoPortal for North America from Wisconsin to New Hampshire.
Xylaria acuta, McHenry County, Illinois
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$17,005 of $16,000 goal

Raised by 60 people in 20 months
Created March 12, 2017
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13 months ago (Offline Donation)
Lita Tomas
15 months ago

Anything for a mushroom hunter friend of John Denk!

15 months ago (Offline Donation)
16 months ago
Andy Bishop
17 months ago

Get well soon Pat!

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