Families With Sick Children Receive Final Donations from Sydney Ives Foundation


There was an emotional embrace between 14-year-old Grace Maschmeyer and Tasha Ives, as the teen received a $4,000 donation meant to help her and her family as she undergoes cancer treatment. Maschmeyer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in April 2016, something that takes a toll on her every day.

“I went to school on a different schedule,” Maschmeyer explained. “Like, I went to school later cause I needed more sleep. Chemo’s really hard. And I took a cab to school.”

The donation from Tasha and Dean Ives is about more than just the money. Their daughter, Sydney, died from an inoperable brain tumor when she was just 11 years old. The couple says the support they received during that time from the Rockford community was astounding, so they started a foundation in Sydney’s name to pay it forward.

“People just did it without a non-profit, to help take care of us,” said Tasha. “And we wanted to spill that love out to other families, and kind of duplicate what had been done for us.”

The Ives recently made the decision to dissolve their foundation so they can do more work through Saint Jude’s Research Hospital, but not before donating $4,000 each to four Rockford-area families with children battling health issues.

“We just want them to make a memory with their family if they can, and just really feel the love. It’s kind of the vehicle of love, that we get to hand them a check and kind of link arms with them in their journey and help support them through it,” said Tasha.

The Ives say they hope their actions can inspire others in the community to help those in need. For Grace, some of the money will go toward lessons in a sport she loves: swimming.

“It’s definitely gonna help out a lot,” said Maschmeyer. “My mom, she’s in nursing school right now, so she doesn’t have a job. So money wise, it’s been a little tight.”

“Look around you. If you see someone in need, do random acts of kindness,” said Ives. “Take meals over to their house. Donate some money. Whatever they might need. That’s what people did for us.”

The Ives now live in Nashville to be closer to Saint Jude’s, where they work to help other families coping with what they went through. Dean will run a marathon in Memphis in December to raise money for the research hospital. If you’d like to be one of his sponsors, click here.

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