Iris is an 89-year-old resident at Brookdale Niles in Illinois. Family has always come first for Iris, who is now the oldest member of her family. Her Wish of a Lifetime was to attend her family reunion in Scottsdale, Arizona, where her family would be celebrating her cousin Norma’s 70th birthday. It had been 15 years since she’d seen Norma, and up to 20 years since she’d seen some of her nieces, nephews, and other cousins who live outside of her hometown of Chicago.
Iris has a passion for giving back. For over 10 years, she read stories to sick children in the Children’s Ward of the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. She was involved with numerous cancer research organizations as well as many Jewish organizations, volunteering her time as a board member and fundraiser. Today, she is the Officer and Chairwoman of the Resident Council at Brookdale Niles.
Growing up, Iris’ household was always the hub of family gatherings in South Chicago. As time passed, Iris’ family members moved away from the city, and although she maintained long distance relationships with them, she was unable to visit on a regular basis. She was also forced to deal with the unfortunate and sometimes unexpected passing of her closest family members, persevering with a positive attitude.
Iris and her daughter visited Scottsdale, where they reunited with cousins, nieces, nephews, and two generations of grandchildren to celebrate Iris’ cousin Norma’s 70th birthday. Iris hadn’t seen some of her family members in over 15 years.