In July 1998 Jack Felts was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Jack, always a strong fighter, underwent a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and full body radiation. Jack returned home September 1998. It is believed that Jack contracted Hepatitis C through blood transfusions received during his Leukemia treatment. Jack became a patient of the Walter Payton Liver Center in October 2006 and was soon added to the liver transplant list. On December 31, 2008 Jack received a liver and kidney transplant. Unfortunately, cancer cells were already present in Jack's own liver and the cancer later metastized. Although Jack continued his fight he was never able to leave the hospital. Jack passed away on April 27, 2009 from hepatocellular carcinoma.
Proceeds from the Jack Felts Memorial Golf Classic will benefit the Jack Felts Hepatology Patient Fund at Loyola University Medical Center. The Jack Felts Fund is used to help families of patients from the Peoria area with housing and transportation during their loved one's stay at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, just west of Chicago.
Every year approximately 250 patients are served in the Peoria Area by the team at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Scott Cotler and his team travel from Chicago to Peoria twice a month to provide medical care for patients requiring advanced care for liver diseases. This allows patients and their families to receive the highly specialized care they need in their local community.