Ailing Bourbonnais teen needs 2nd appointment at Duke

Ailing Bourbonnais teen needs 2nd appointment at Duke

12/21/2007, 10:53 am

Another medical appointment with a Duke University specialist must be made for Balei Chinski, a Bourbonnais 13-year-old suffering from a rare immune deficiency disease.

Cheryl Chinski, Balei’s mom, said that Balei became ill when she arrived in Durham, N.C., for her appointment last week, and was later diagnosed with an infected lymph node. Chronic infections are part of her “Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease” (SCID), a rare illness affecting about one in 500,000 people, according to

Chinski said Balei spent three days at Provena St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee soon after their plane landed in Chicago on Saturday.

“She had a high fever and was physically unable to walk, her joints were so swollen,” said Chinski of her daughter’s condition, due in part to her juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Balei was to have traveled to Duke aboard an Angel Flight, a plane trip provided by a nonprofit network of pilots who fly for free those who need medical treatments. However, it was grounded due to weather.

After reading a Daily Journal article about Balei and her troubles, Derek Denoyer of Kankakee donated his frequent-flyer miles to book the flight that got Balei and her mom to the appointment just hours before it was scheduled.

Denoyer said he plans to do the same thing for their next appointment with Duke’s immune disease specialist, Dr. Rebecca Buckley.

“They had a really good rapport,” said Chinski of Balei and Dr. Buckley. “She asked Dr. Buckley if she would be able to help her and she told Balei she was sure going to try.

“The doctor told Balei that she was very good at what she did, and if there was something out there to help Balei, she’d find it,” said Chinski.

~ Janet Cremer


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