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Fundraiser has star-marked donations

Minooka family uses star power to support son's cancer struggle

Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Bill Allen of Minooka, left, received signed DVDs and Blu-rays from Phil Plowden, the location manager for the shooting of the movie "Jupiter Ascending." Plowden got the discs signed by stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. They will be raffled off during the Attack ACC fundraiser on Saturday in Mokena.
(Photo provided)
This bombed-out-looking house on Van Dyke Road in Minooka is down the street from the Allen's residence. It was used in August for filming the sci-fi adventure "Jupiter Ascending."

MINOOKA – The Attack ACC fundraiser Saturday at Hickory Creek Junction near Mokena will have autographed DVDs and Blu-rays signed by actors Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis for auction.

A Minooka family obtained the star-signed DVDs to support the cancer research needed for their son, who suffers from adenoid cystic carcinoma.

The son, Bill Allen, 27, and his family live on Van Dyke Road north of Minooka and were able to get the signatures during the filming of the movie, “Jupiter Ascending.” The futuristic movie was filmed in a farmhouse near the Allen’s home in August.

During production, the Allens got to know Phil Plowden, who was the location manager for the movie. Plowden was able to get Channing’s and Kunis’ signatures on copies of previous movies the two have made. Both are starring in “Jupiter Ascending.”

The movie by Chicago filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski brought plenty of excitement to the rural street.

“The first time they were filming was like a zoo over here,” Carol Allen, Bill’s mother, said. “There were cars on the road. People were walking through our cornfield to try to get close to the house where the shooting was taking place.”

By the next day, Kendall County deputies had cordoned off the road and only let those associated with the filming onto the street, but Carol Allen said the road still had more traffic – with vans of extras, film crews and limos carrying the actors – than it normally has all year.

The film producers picked a dilapidated looking farm, but put two months of repair work in to make it movie-worthy, Allen said.

The entire front of the house was altered to be removed during filming, and a bombed-out looking front was designed to fit the science fiction theme of the movie.

The filming days not only brought many onlookers but also some of the filming was done from a helicopter that landed at another neighbor’s house. The First Baptist Church on Van Dyke Road was used for staging actors and extras. Other staging was done at District 201’s Aux Sable School in Joliet.

“It was a huge undertaking,” Carol Allen said.

She is grateful Tatum and Kunis contributed to the cause of her sons rare cancer.

Bill has had three surgeries in about four years, Carol said. The cancer started in his jaw and has metastasized to his lungs. At this point, although no more surgery is recommended, Bill’s doctors are recommending he tries to be part of some of the experimental trials that are being done at the University of Virginia.

This is the research the Saturday fundraiser will benefit.

According a publication from the University of Virginia, Adenoid cystic carcinoma is a rare form of cancer that most often develops in the salivary and lacrimal glands. A very slow progressing disease, it is unrelenting and often metastasizes to the lungs and liver.

The survival rate for the disease is 89 percent after five years, but drops below 40 percent after 15 years. To date, there is no known effective drug treatment for ACC, and it is unresponsive to radiation therapy.

Saturday’s fundraiser includes a run starting at 9:30 a.m. and a walk starting at 10 a.m.  The DVD’s and Blu-rays will be raffled off after the walk and run. The cost to participate is $25 for adults and $10 for students and children.

The Hickory Creek Forest Preserve is at U.S. 30, one mile west of Wolf Road.

For more information go to www.attackacc.org

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