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Categories:  Staff

GoFundMe set up for grounds supervisor fighting cancer

John Caruso

John Caruso

UIC grounds staff is rallying around an employee who was diagnosed with cancer last year.

John Caruso, a university grounds supervisor since 2010, began his fight with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November 2016. As he continues his leave from UIC to focus on his health, he has left a void where his communication, morale and presence have been sorely missed.

“[Caruso’s] always been very UIC oriented,” said Carly Rizor, superintendent of grounds. “He always wants to do more. He’s been a mentor to the employees. He was a big piece to the puzzle.

“I just kind of started to see how his loss affected the campus and the university, and people were very concerned. They wanted to know, ‘Hey is there anything we can do?’”

To show support for Caruso and his family during their time of need, Rizor started a GoFundMe page to help ease the financial burden created by medical bills.

She, along with Caruso’s friends and fellow UIC employees, also threw a fundraising party at PhD Pub March 9. The event featured a raffle, auction and refreshments.

Combined, the efforts have raised almost $13,000.

Rizor got to deliver the news to Caruso over the phone.

“It was a really overwhelming experience and a really exciting thing to be able to let him know that for a small amount of time, here’s one less thing you need to worry about,” Rizor said.

Donations can be made on the GoFundMe page through March 31.