CHICAGO (CBS) — A new piece of electronics in use at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn was designed to make kids feel better, but you will not find it in the operating room. It’s an Iron Man pinball machine.
Joe Dacy’s son, Zach, was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago, at age 3. He’s cancer-free now.
“We’ve always loved and had pinball machines,” Dacy said, so during Zach’s treatment, Dacy wondered if he could spread his love of pinball to other children who were sick like his son.
“Kind of crazy idea I had at one point was, when he was done with treatment, how could we give back to the Chicagoland area, and I had no idea how, but I wanted to see a pinball machine get put into a local children’s hospital.”
He found someone equally into pinballs, who already had a charity that provides children’s hospitals with pinball machines: Project Pinball. Together, they were able to get a machine from Melrose Park-based Stern Pinball to put in the family room at Advocate Children’s Hospital.
Now cancer-free, Zach was not very talkative, but he did come up with the wording that’s on a plaque he affixed to the side of the pinball machine as a message to children who are hospitalized: “Do Everything You Can. Never Say Never.”
Project Pinball founder Dan Spolar said, so far, his group has donated nine pinball machines to children’s hospitals across the U.S.
Lisa Boland, manager of child life services at Advocate Children’s Hospital, said the new pinball machine would be permanently placed in the hospital’s family room for 2- to 10-year-old kids.
“It is just going to bring so much joy to all of our patients and their siblings, as they are here in the hospital being treated,” she said.