Donations flowing in to help Villa Park teacher recovering from brain injury

  • Elise Boni and her fiancé Ryan Forner have planned a July wedding.

    Elise Boni and her fiancé Ryan Forner have planned a July wedding.

Updated 1/13/2016 12:45 PM

Friends, supporters and strangers have flocked to a fundraising page to assist a popular Villa Park elementary school teacher recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

Members of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority created a YouCaring page last week to keep friends and family updated on Elise Boni's condition and give them an outlet to donate to help pay her mounting medical bills. Boni, 26, was a member of the sorority when she attended Illinois State University.


The Daily Herald posted a story about Boni's condition on Friday evening and since then, 84 new donors have pledged roughly $11,000 to the cause. The story also was shared more than 765 times on Facebook.

Supporters have increased their fundraising goal from $30,000 to $40,000 as donations topped $31,000 since the site was created on Jan. 2.

"We are extremely grateful for all the support Elise has received from our family, friends and community," Elise Boni's mother, Barb Boni, said of the rapid response. "The kind words from so many have lifted our spirits and we are encouraged each day as she continues to show progress toward recovery. Thank you for your generosity and encouragement."

Boni, a fifth-grade teacher at Villa Park's Ardmore Elementary School, suffered a seizure on the morning of Dec. 4 caused by a blood clot and bleeding in her brain.

After a hemicraniectomy, which removed a portion of her skull to relieve pressure from the swelling, Boni spent nearly a month in Northwestern's neuro-critical intensive care unit. Her mother, Barbara Boni, said Elise recently was transferred to an acute rehabilitation center where she has begun relearning how to walk, speak and regain daily functions.

After a month of inpatient therapy, Barbara Boni hopes her daughter will be released home to continue outpatient rehab.

If you'd like to help, visit Boni's "YouCaring" Web page at

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