The teenage patients at Edward Hospital have a local Boy Scout to thank for a library full of books, journals and activity books.
Nathan Lichucki, 14, a second year student at Walther Christian Academy, knows what it’s like to be hospitalized and bored.
The Lombard teenager receives regular infusions at Edward Hospital to treat his rare disease. He has been coming to Edward Hospital every few weeks for over 8 years since his diagnosis. After treatment one day in August 2021, he had another stop to make when he delivered over 900 Child Life Service items to a teen library for pediatric patients at the hospital.
âOften, children are hospitalized for several days at a time,â Nathan says. “I thought if the kids could have something to occupy them at least for a while that would be very beneficial. I have been to the hospital many times, more than I can count, and you are very bored. , especially when you start I feel better but I can’t go home yet. “
In her experience, most people donate for young children, but teens are generally excluded from donations.
Nathan, a longtime scout of Troop 202 in Lombard, rose to the highest rank in Eagle Scouting.
Part of the requirements for achieving this rank is showing leadership in organizing a community service project. Nathan raised donations for the Teen Library as part of his Eagle Scout service project from family, friends and fellow troop members.
Only 4% of Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle, and to do so, they need to plan, lead and execute a large-scale project that will have a positive impact on their community.
Nathan is an extremely active Scout. It has won 72 merit badges, numerous special awards including the EPA 50th Anniversary Award and the Scouting World Conservation Award.
Only 21 badges are required for the Eagle Scout rank.
Scouting is part of his daily life; he usually works on a merit badge and keeps a list of those he wants to work on.
He used the Merit Badge program to deepen his knowledge and explore new topics.
Nathan says: “The most difficult badge of merit was nuclear science. It took me several months and I had to build and run several experiments, including a cloud chamber which roughly took up the room. eat for a few weeks. Others really fun were the pulp and paper where I made paper from scratch, and I had to be creative with materials I had at home, I ended up using some of the my mom’s sewing supplies to make the frame! “
He worked with the Child Life team at Edward Hospital to compile a list of library items, including books for ages 12 to 17, blank journals, puzzle books (crossword, sudoku, etc.), small games, movements, paints and canvases, crayons / colored markers and coloring books for adults.
Nina Sittler, a certified child life specialist at Edward Hospital, said she liked Nathan’s project to focus on an age group that is often overlooked for donations.
âOne unique element that Nathan incorporates are the book series,â says Sittler. âWe often received individual books in a series, but rarely the entire series. It would be nice to offer the entire series to one patient. “
Nathan sent letters to friends, families and businesses asking for donations for the library. It has also set up an Amazon Wish List that anyone can access and purchase items to ship to their homes. He and his family expect to continue collecting donations on an ongoing basis to help keep the teen library stocked – and they bring them in every few weeks when he comes here. Since that initial delivery, he and his family have continued to donate – an additional 137 pounds, 84 toys for Christmas presents and 67 blankets were dropped off in November and December.
Nathan is passionate about improving our environment and is eager to solve problems related to wildlife and their survival. He will study wildlife conservation and specialize in animal ethology at the university.
On October 6, Nathan passed his Eagle Board of Review and is officially an Eagle Scout. His interest in Scouting was inspired by his four uncles, all of whom achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and his grandfather, who was a Scout Leader for 20 years.
Nathan’s mother, Becky Lichucki from Lombard, was there to help and guide Nathan on his way to Eagle. She has been a part of Scouting for many years and continues to guide and help other Scouts.
Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst Health children’s services at www.eehealth.org/services/children/.