SYCAMORE – For the second year in a row, members of Sycamore’s Zakk Attakk hope to be the top fundraisers for the ninth annual Race to Wrigley 5K run benefiting Chicago Cubs Charities and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
To that end, Melissa Carrier West and her 5K teammates are hosting a fundraiser starting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sycamore Veterans Home, 121 S. California St. The suggested entry fee is $10.
West said the motivation for the team, consisting of her, Zakk’s mom Megan Carrier, Kat Carrier, Sandy Williams, Linda Drake and Heather Kruis, is 5-year-old Zakk Carrier.
“Zakk was born with gastroschisis,” West said. “It’s a birth defect where [Zakk was] born in July 2008 with his intestines outside his body.”
According to the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov, the defect is very rare with about 1,870 babies born with the condition each year. The website says that the defect occurs early during pregnancy, when the muscles that make up the baby’s abdominal wall do not form correctly.
A hole occurs allowing intestines, and sometimes other organs, to extend outside the body. Because the intestines are exposed to amniotic fluid, they can become irritated, causing them to shorten, twist or swell.
West said her nephew’s case was so severe, doctors were unable to place the intestine back inside his body, and he received a small bowel transplant in October 2012.
“He’s spent about half of his life in the hospital,” West said. “If not for the staff at Children’s, we would not have gotten him this far.”
West said last year, the 5K team was the top fundraiser for the Race to Wrigley, earning them pre-game recognition at a Cubs game. They raised $5,975.
“Our goal this year is at least $7,000,” West said. The race is April 12.
The Saturday event will feature a Cubs preseason game on TV at 3:10 p.m., a silent auction, 50/50 raffles and a brat lunch served by donation. Anyone unable to attend the fundraiser can donate online at