ALGONQUIN – Although 14-year-old Talia Freund lost her battle with metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma Monday, her family has pledged to continue her battle to fight childhood cancer.
Freund, formerly of Algonquin, was diagnosed about nine months ago and died peacefully among her family and close friends at her home in Mazon, according to her obituary.
Throughout her battle, Talia always kept a smile on her face and was dedicated to helping others who were going through what she was, said her father, Greg Freund of Algonquin.
“We have to go continue that fight, and try to make sure as many kids as possible can be saved,” Freund said.
Donations to Team Talia and her family while she was fighting cancer totaled more than $30,000, her family said.
More than $20,000 was raised at a fundraiser in March in Mazon, Freund said, and nearly $10,000 was raised through the Shamrock Shave at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church later that month.
Talia fought her battle like a warrior, said her mother, Tabitha Freeman. In March, Talia told the Northwest Herald she just wanted to be treated like a normal person, not a cancer patient.
“She fought this battle with such a kind, strong heart that it’s admirable,” Freeman said. “I don’t know how she did it.”
Family and friends are working on setting up a foundation in honor of Talia to fund childhood cancer research. Talia’s wish was to have memorials made to the Team Talia account at the First Community Financial Bank of Mazon to go toward cancer research.
Talia was a freshman attending Seneca Township High School.
She had dreams of becoming a special education teacher and had a passion for cosmetics, according to her obituary.
In addition to her parents, she is survived by stepfather, Joseph Freeman of Mazon, and brother, Owen.
A celebration of Talia’s life will be from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington St., Morris.
The visitation will be at 10 a.m. May 6, followed by Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 111 S. Hubbard St., Algonquin. After the Mass, a celebration will be at Haegers Bend Community Center, 3226 E. Bend Drive, Algonquin.