Her family, including her husband, Joe, and her three children, Ayden, 15 who is nonverbal and autistic, Andrew, 11, and Emma, 10, are left without Tiffanie, who cared not only for them but for several cancer patients throughout the suburbs, her family said.
Neighbors created an online fundraiser at www.youcaring.com/joerodriguez-975817 that had raised $35,000 as of Tuesday night. The family lived in Huntley for 13 years.
“My neighbor Randy Hart [whose family started the fundraiser] came running over and said, ‘Oh my god, have you looked at the page?’ and I broke down in tears,” Joe said. “I couldn’t believe the amount of love and support we’ve received. Everyone just adored her and she was truly a one-of-a-kind person, and I’m not just saying that because I loved her with all my heart.”
Tiffanie worked at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and received her master’s degree in 2016 from Benedictine University.
“She didn’t go to a patient’s room just to change an IV and get out as fast as she could, but she’d speak with these patients and cry with them and every day she’d come home with genuine stories,” Joe said.
Working in Park Ridge was a long drive, Joe said, traveling 40 miles each way, but she did not want leave her co-workers and patients. But she saw an ad for a new job at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and was inspired to apply, Joe said.
She quickly rewrote her resume, flew past a phone interview and headed out for the interview at 9:30 a.m.
“She was so happy that morning,” Joe said. “She was a little nervous, but I texted her and said she’s going to do great. I had to take a photo of her in her suit because she looked so beautiful. I had no idea it would be the last time I would see her.”