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Emma Carter’s Battle to Conquer Traumatic Brain Injury

In early November 2015, Emma Carter was a high school freshman at Grayslake North High School when her life changed during a weekend travel soccer game. In the final moments of the game, Emma was dribbling a soccer ball down the sideline with speed when she was tackled from behind by an opponent. She sustained body contusions and injuries to her ribs and other parts of her midsection, and although banged up, she returned the following week for her final game of the soccer season.

However, as the soccer season concluded and she transitioned back into school for finals, Emma began to complain of concussion-like symptoms not originally detected when she was evaluated after the November soccer game. It became evident that she could not concentrate and she reported daily headaches coupled with balance and vision difficulties. Eventually, she was diagnosed with a concussion in January of 2016, her second from in-game play.

And as Emma's concussion symptoms became worse, her focus worsened as well. When trying to read, words would move and jump around on the page and she was unable to retain information.

This lead her to withdraw from school in March, and eventually, from everyday life, as she showed worsening neurocognitive deficiencies when trying to participate in conversations with her friends and family.

Having hit a stagnation point in her recovery process, Emma was referred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Initial assessments confirmed that Emma would need to engage in an aggressive rehabilitation program to regain cognitive abilities.

With aspirations of studying Genetic Engineering, Emma put her dreams on hold given her new reality — one where she needed to reset her expectations and learn to set new limits when studying and performing daily activities, as well as the cost of being able to achieve said goals.

But, as she comes to terms with accepting the changes in her life, Emma wonders, " when will I feel better? " and her mother Kelly is worried about how they'll foot the bill.

This GOFundMe Emma Carter TBI Page is being setup by the Chicago Kickers Soccer Club to help provide Coach Kelly Carter, a mother of three children with financial assistance in this time of need.

Please Help!


Recent graduate of Grant Community High School/Chicago Kickers Jenna Pecorini (above #13 White Uniform)finished her sophomore season at Cape Fear Community College. Pecorini was a two year starter for the Sea Devils in Wilmington, NC. Cape Fear competes at the NJCAA Division 1 level in Region 10. During Pecorini’s two seasons on the field at Cape Fear the Sea Devils were 28-10, and outscored opponents 137-42.

Cape Fear Sea Devil Head Coach Ryan Deppa, “Jenna took a major step to leave Illinois to come to North Carolina to begin her college career at Cape Fear. Jenna proved to come up big for us on a consistent basis through her two seasons here. Whether it was scoring big time goals, or just making big plays on and off the ball, Jenna's talents helped her make a name for herself in Region 10.”

During Pecorini’s freshman season she helped the team earn a regular season Region 10 title, and the Sea Devils concluded the 2015 season as the Region 10 Tournament runner up. Pecorini held down the attacking mid position her freshman season with 8 goals and 10 assists, which helped her earn NJCAA Region 10 first team all-star honors.

Pecorini returned in 2016 with another strong performance on the field, playing as an attacking mid and also a wing player for the Sea Devils. Pecorini notched 9 goals and 4 assists in the 2016 campaign which included the game winner in the Region 10 Championship in Raleigh, NC and a repeat position on the first team of the Region 10 all-stars.

The Sea Devils finished the season at 17-3 which included earning the Region 10 Regular Season title, the Region 10 Tournament title, the NJCAA D1 District L Champions title, which included a key goal from Pecorini that helped the Sea Devils make history by making its first trip to the NJCAA Division 1 Championship Tournament in Melbourne, FL in November. Cape Fear Sea Devils finished 2016 ranked #8 in the NSCAA National Poll and #13 in the NJCAA National Poll.

Willy Zettlmeier

Willy Zettlmeier, 79, was born Jan. 28, 1937, in Germany, and passed away Nov. 6, 2016, at home with his family by his side.

Beloved husband of the late Erika; loving father of Bill Zettlmeier and Renee (Keith) Mehring; dear Opa of Erika, Karsten and Max; fond brother of Maria (Alex) Gedstad, Walter (Loni) Zettlmeier, Hilda Schuff and the late Rudy Zettlmeier; dear uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Willy was the former owner of Continental Delicatessen in Arlington Heights, a member
of the Chicago Kickers Soccer Club, a woodworker and avid Blackhawks fan.

Visitation Thursday, Nov. 10, 3 to 8 p.m. at Matz Funeral Home, 410 E. Rand Road, Mount Prospect.

Lying in state Friday, 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas of
Villanova Church, 1201 E. Anderson Drive, Palatine.

We are sadden to announce the passing of Eduard (Eddie) Blechner (October 17, 1937 - October 25, 2016). Mr. Blechner was one of the originals who was part of our beginning in 1958 (see photo below).

Eddie located in the Chicago area after leaving Germany after WWII. He and his family and siblings have been staunch Chicago Kickers members and continue to be so. Eddie’s son Kurt was our past President and his daughter Renee represented us as Miss Chicago Kickers. His children and grandchildren also were a big part of our youth program as both players and coaches.

Eddie is survived by his wife Katharina, daughters Carmen and Renee; daughter-in-law Jenny and son Kurt, and grandchildren Daniela, Kyle, and Travis.

Eddie, thank you for all your support over all these years. We truly are going to miss you!

Arrangements are as follows:

Friends may call at he church for 8 a.m. service wake time.

The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 29th at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Elkhorn, WI.
Procession to the Cemetery right after Mass and then the family will be serving a meal after the ceremonies for all who came to celebrate Eduard’s life.

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