Barbara Timmer was the glue that kept a loving family together—an adored and vibrant wife, mother, friend and active Park Ridge volunteer.
So her diagnosis and swift death from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), one of the most common types of leukemia among adults, stunned all who knew and loved her.
“We were at one of our regular family dinners in my parents’ home, when mom received the phone call with the diagnosis,” recalls daughter Sarah Trimmer Stetler. All were shocked when Barbara passed away less than five weeks later. “We don’t want any other family to have to go through this,” Sarah says, fighting tears.
AML begins in the bone marrow and grows rapidly from cells that would normally become white blood cells.
Barbara J. Timmer Family Foundation
The Park Ridge community’s outpouring was so great that the Timmer family—including Barbara’s husband John, and daughters Sarah, Anne and Kristine—established the Barbara J. Timmer Family Foundation to fund research, family support and education through the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF), which is based in Wilmette.
Last year, much of Park Ridge turned out for a September fundraising walk, which raised more than $50,000, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting LRF. LRF is dedicated to funding research and medical studies to work toward a cure for all blood cancers.
The Legacy Lives On
The Timmer daughters are now raising their own families in Park Ridge. They gather with each other and their father often—at least every Sunday evening. Five grandchildren under the age of two are now part of those lively dinners.
The second annual fundraising walk is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5, with registration at 10 a.m. The Timmer family invites the broader community to participate in keeping Barbara’s spirit alive. The ultimate goal is to help families that face a leukemia diagnosis. For more information, visit the Barbara Timmer Foundation website.