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Background Information

Employment History

Emergency-Room Nurse

Good Shepherd Hospital

University of Illinois Hospital


nursing degree


Web References

Northwest Herald - Online

www.nwherald.com [cached]

Leslie Wilkans, in a sense, is returning to her roots.

Wilkans, 34, an emergency-room nurse at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington and a single mother in Crystal Lake, is running the 26.2-mile course to benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.Toward that end, Wilkans raised $4,386 for the nonprofit agency.
She embraced the sport two years ago when she got a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, Apollo.Last fall, she began training seriously.Every Saturday, she runs with the Lake Zurich Alpine Runners at Lake Zurich High School.
She runs between 3 and 16 miles at a stretch, three to four times a week.She logged a personal-best of 18 miles Sept. 4.
Her long road began last Thanksgiving with the 5K (3.1-mile) Crystal Lake Turkey Trot.The 5-mile Polar Bear Run followed in December at Lippold Park and the Fifth Third Half Marathon in St. Charles June 6.She finished first in her age group at Algonquin's Founder's Day run in July.
Wilkans said she wanted more mileage out of running, so looked for an organization to benefit.The AIDS Foundation piqued her interest.
It is very lonely disease," Wilkans said.
She also encountered AIDS patients while working at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago.Wilkans graduated from UIC with a nursing degree in 1999.
"I'm a people person.I love ER nursing.It's a job that requires a lot of expertise and skill," Wilkans said."I'm with people at a critical moment.
They are discovering their sexuality earlier," Wilkans said."This is a good way to tell Marc about the dangers.He knows I'm a nurse, but he's also my son."
Wilkans collected $950 from a 50/50 raffle.She secured a combined $400 in donations from the Crystal lake Professional Firefighters Association and the Professional Firefighters of Lake Zurich.
Wilkans will be among 125 people participating in Hawaiian run.
Wilkans credited running for reducing stress and providing an opportunity to socialize with friends.She sleeps better.And because she is a nurse, Wilkans knows enough about the body to successfully treat injuries using rest, ice, compression and elevation.
"The 'runners' high' doesn't necessarily happen when you're running.It's when you are done," she said.
Donate by phone: Leslie Wilkans at (815) 353-7586
Information: (312) 765-0210

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