Man Charged in Theft of Donation Jar for Cancer Patient

Money being collected for woman battling cancer was stolen from convenience store's counter on Nov. 5

Charges have been filed against a man who allegedly stole a donation jar intended for a cancer patient.

Joseph Campione, 45, of Palos Hills, was charged with felony theft and is being held on $100,000 bond.

Authorities said Campione walked into the Shop Mart at 13650 Cicero Ave., in Crestwood on Nov. 5 and after making a purchase, grabbed the jar and left. The store's surveillance cameras recorded the incident.

Money collected in the jar was meant for Kelly Stawicki, a 28-year-old colon cancer patient, and her medical bills.

Stawicki was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in April. She had half of her colon removed in August and is undergoing seven-hour chemotherapy treatments every other Monday because the cancer spread to her lymph nodes.

A 2002 graduate of Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Stawicki was unemployed when she was diagnosed, having been laid off from her job doing data entry for a plastics manufacturing company four months prior.

She has been unable to buy insurance because of her pre-existing condition.

Stawicki is currently going to school working to earn her degree and technical management. She's also actively looking for work.

"I'm not picky. If a job were to come my way, even if it had nothing to do with my degree, I would take it," she said.

There was a bright side to the theft of the donation jar, though: The media attention prompted an anonymous donor to give $10,000 to Stawicki this week. The generosity of others has been overwhelming, she said, with more financial help rolling in every day.

Donations can be made at Charter One bank to the "Kure for Kelly" fund.

Campione's arrest record dates back to 1994 with retail theft and DUI charges.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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