Back in August, we mentioned the need for support for Kyle Costigan's family, as his mother, Sandy, was facing stage four kidney cancer. This weekend in Wind Lake, Wisconsin, family and friends held a benefit for Sandy that sounds just wonderful. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus was at the event, and did a beautiful job relaying the themes of the day.
Saturday was an emotional mix of good and bad for 58-year-old Sandy Costigan, who learned in February she had stage 4 kidney cancer.
The good was evident as soon as you walked in the door and saw gifts, more than 100, donated for raffle and auction.
There were 88 gift baskets, with items including free rounds of golf at Muskego Lakes Golf Club and a 90-day pass to the Wisconsin Athletic Club in West Allis.
There were two UW football helmets, signed by Kyle Costigan's teammates; a basketball signed by UW men's coach Bo Ryan; a hockey puck signed by UW men's coach Mike Eaves; a baseball signed by members of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers.
There were colorful T-shirts with the words "Sandy's Angels" available for $10 apiece.
Although this was a pro-UW crowd the Sandy's Angels T-shirts were the uniform of the day.
There was food, drinks and tears everywhere.
"It is overwhelming," Dennis Costigan said.
So, too, was the financial support offered before Saturday.
The financial support, while not everything, is purely outstanding. The GoFundMe page set up by Sandy's niece raised more than $14,000 in barely more than two months. More support came from former UW and current Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who donated an amount that left the family "stunned." They declined to say how much, because that's nowhere close to being the most important thing here.
"He said if there is every anything he can do," Sandy Costigan said, her voice breaking before trailing off. "He left his cell phone number. I couldn't believe it."
I've already pullquoted a heavy portion of Potrykus' story, so please do read it when you have a chance. Here again is the GoFundMe page set up for Sandy; donations are still being accepted if you are willing and able.
We will be keeping Sandy and the Costigan family in our thoughts -- she sounds like one heck of a trooper.