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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to congratulate the Gift from the Heart
4Foundation, also known as Dar Serca, on the occasion of its
535th anniversary; and
6    WHEREAS, Almost 40 years ago, Izabela Rybak's late
7husband, Wademar, came to the United States in 1985 on a
8tourist visa seeking treatment for their son, Rafal, who was
9born with cerebral palsy; and
10    WHEREAS, Wademar Rybak wrote to various hospitals
11requesting assistance and quotes for Rafal's treatment, and
12Shriners Hospital in Chicago accepted him as a patient with
13treatment offered at no charge; and
14    WHEREAS, After being granted a tourist visa, Izabela Rybak
15joined Wademar in the U.S., leaving their two teenage
16daughters in Poland with family, coming to Chicago with her
17son; and
18    WHEREAS, Rafal Rybak needed multiple surgeries, so Izabela
19and Wademar Rybak applied for permanent residency; and
20    WHEREAS, After Izabela and Wademar Rybak legalized their



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1immigration status, their daughters joined them in the U.S.
2permanently, and the family was reunited after a year apart;
4    WHEREAS, In 1986, Izabela Rybak met parents of two
5children with the same disability as her son, who then asked
6for assistance with their children's treatment; she submitted
7the necessary paperwork, and their applications were accepted;
9    WHEREAS, Izabela Rybak was required by the hospital to
10sign an affidavit of support that would ensure proper care,
11lodging, and transport to the hospital for the families she
12was helping; she signed the affidavit, even though she was
13unsure of her own financial situation; and
14    WHEREAS, Izabela Rybak requested support on a Polish radio
15station broadcast, and the community responded by donating
16money, furniture, and housing; she then regularly raised
17awareness for this issue on the radio; and
18    WHEREAS, In 1988, Izabela Rybak cofounded and established
19Dar Serca, meaning "a gift from the heart" in Polish, an
20organization to permanently offer assistance to families of
21children from around the world who required trips to the
22United States for specialized care; and



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1    WHEREAS, Dar Serca, or the Gift from the Heart Foundation,
2erected a new building in Schiller Park in 2009 that could
3house six families at a time and provide food, lodging, and
4transportation, which was made possible by donations from the
5Polish community; and
6    WHEREAS, After 35 years, the Gift from the Heart
7Foundation now offers an expanded variety of supportive
8services; it assists children with orthopedic disabilities,
9offers extremely complicated cases expert diagnosis and
10treatment, provides children housing, transportation, and
11translation services, supplies medications, rehabilitation
12equipment, and orthopedic devices, covers living expenses for
13children and their parents from abroad, organizes free summer
14camps for local children with disabilities, and gives children
15with illnesses, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down's
16Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy, the opportunity to attend after
17school programs that improve their way of living and health;
19    WHEREAS, Due to Izabela Rybak's efforts, the Gift from the
20Heart Foundation has helped over 1,300 children receive high
21quality surgeries and medical treatments so they can live
22healthy and happy lives; therefore, be it



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3we congratulate the Gift from the Heart Foundation, also known
4as Dar Serca, on its 35 years of success helping children with
5disabilities across the world receive the lifesaving treatment
6they need in the United States; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That we commend Izabela Rybak for her dedication
8and service to others through the Gift from the Heart
9Foundation; and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
11presented to Gift from the Heart Foundation President Dorothy
12Malachowski, Director Izabela Rybak, and all members of the
13Gift from the Heart Foundation Board of Directors as an
14expression of our esteem and respect.