Thankful for Care at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center

NorthShore patient Ernie Billittier
and his wife Peggy 

Ernie Billittler has always been active. He works out at a gym, bikes, runs and kayaks. He prides himself on getting yearly physicals from his primary care physician at Northshore—and has for the past 20 years. So, when the 50-year-old felt a lump in his groin, he went to get it checked out.

Test revealed he had lymphoma. Billittier had multiple rounds of chemotherapy at Kellogg Cancer Center but experienced no improvement. More tests revealed a suspicious spot on his spleen, which was then removed. A biopsy showed transformation to a more aggressive type of lymphoma. 

His team of physicians at NorthShore recommended a stem cell transplant in which his own stem cells would be harvested and healthy cells implanted back into his body. While recovering as an inpatient for two weeks, he became very familiar with the nurses and physicians at Kellogg Cancer Center. He now honors their personalized care with a yearly gift to Kellogg Cancer Center. “I have a lot of reasons to support NorthShore,” he said. I was fortunate. I came through the transplant very well, thanks to the care I received.”

It's been six years since my transplant, and I'm feeling great,” said Billittier, now 58 and a director for a large printing company. I've made gifts every year, he said. The staff at Kellogg Cancer Center was great, and NorthShore positively impacted my life, my profession and my family.

Billittier is monitored with a yearly blood test, and he watches for any symptoms—but right now he's focusing on his wellness and looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild in March.

Donations from grateful patients like Ernie Billittier play a vital role in nearly every aspect of care at Kellogg Cancer Center. Donations advance research, provide patients with support services and expand cancer care. If you're interested in supporting Kellogg Cancer Center, please visit

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