Good News Sunday: 103-year-old World War II veteran from Fox River Grove bowls in a league every week

Good News Sunday: 103-year-old World War II veteran from Fox River Grove bowls in a league every week

  • 103-year-old bowler Ed Berthold of Fox River Grove laughs with his girlfriend Bridget McGuiness, 93, at Bowlero in Deer Park during his regular weekly bowling league last week.

      103-year-old bowler Ed Berthold of Fox River Grove laughs with his girlfriend Bridget McGuiness, 93, at Bowlero in Deer Park during his regular weekly bowling league last week. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted12/4/2022 7:30 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

To help celebrate his 103rd birthday last week, Fox River Grove resident Ed Berthold did what he's been doing for more than eight decades: bowled a score far above his age.

 

In fact, the World War II veteran posted a 156-pin performance during his over-50 league's weekly gathering, a performance that included knocking down a difficult 3-7 split. On the season, he's averaging a score of 116.

"When you hear about a 103-year-old bowler, you picture a hunched over, decrepit little guy. But when you look at him, you'd think he's 80," said Gail Evans, the bowling league's president. "He's amazing."

His daughter, Barb Berthold, also bowls in the league and drives him between his Fox River Grove home and the Bowlero in Deer Park. She said one of the keys to both her dad's longevity and bowling prowess is his determination.

One of the highlights of Berthold's birthday celebration -- apart from the strike he rolled in the fourth frame -- was when members of the Palatine American Legion Post 690 Color Guard visited to thank him for his service and presented him with a special hat and shirt.

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"There are quite a few veterans in our league," Evans said. "The majority of the league is in their 70s and 80s. We're old!"

For the full story, click here.

Former principal helps nursing home residents cultivate garden

Linda Kunesh leads a team of master gardeners who share their expertise with senior residents of the DuPage Care Center. Here, Kunesh holds a book featuring pictures of her fellow gardeners at the county-owned nursing home in Wheaton.
  Linda Kunesh leads a team of master gardeners who share their expertise with senior residents of the DuPage Care Center. Here, Kunesh holds a book featuring pictures of her fellow gardeners at the county-owned nursing home in Wheaton. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Retired school principal Linda Kunesh has been tending to a garden at a DuPage County nursing home for more than a decade.

In many ways, the therapeutic garden at the DuPage Care Center has become a teaching space.

Every Thursday, May through September, Kunesh and other trained volunteers ring a bell at about 10:15 a.m., make their morning announcements and share weekly lessons with the nursing home's residents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

They learn how to deal with plant diseases and the occasional pest, and how to grow herbs and vegetables -- tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, you name it -- in their own garden beds at the Care Center.

Some residents are visually impaired, so Kunesh accentuates the tactile experience of gardening. Others have no use of their hands. If they have a doctor's appointment or can't work in the garden that week, another resident, a friend of theirs, will pitch in to help and harvest their crop.

"We make whatever accommodations we need to make," said Kunesh, 71, still a teacher at heart.

Her passion goes a long way. What started as a modest in-ground garden has blossomed into a 12,000-square-foot world of horticultural beauty that has received awards and thousands of dollars in grants.

"Some of these residents are dealing with such major medical issues," Kunesh said. "This gives them a time to kind of forget about what their ailments are."

For the full story, click here.

Double transplant recipient grateful this Thanksgiving

Patricio Collera of Vernon Hills walks on a treadmill post lung/liver transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Patricio Collera of Vernon Hills walks on a treadmill post lung/liver transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. - Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine

Thanksgiving Day held special meaning for Patricio Collera of Vernon Hills. It marked three months since the 63-year-old learned the organs he needed would be available.

In August, as Collera was wheeled into the operating room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago for a rare and complicated surgery, he told his wife, Evelyn, it might be the last time she would see him alive.

When he awoke after the seven-hour procedure with a new liver and new right lung, Collera wasn't sure where he was.

"Am I dreaming, or am I alive?" he asked.

Collera's path to the transplant surgery began after he developed a bad cough in 2017. He was diagnosed with a lung disease and nonalcoholic liver disease, causing scarring of the lungs and liver cirrhosis, according to Northwestern. He had to go on oxygen 24 hours a day and stop working as a nurse.

Collera was listed for a double lung and liver transplant on Aug. 15. Nine days later, he learned the organs were available. He spent two weeks hospitalized after surgery, but his prognosis is good, and it's "highly unlikely" the other lung will need to be replaced, according to his medical team.

If he could talk to the donor, what would Collera say?

"I promise that I will not waste (the) lung and liver," he said. "I will live a good life. Because without your organs, I wouldn't be here anymore."

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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