Normal Moments relies heavily on key referrers to help families learn about our services, including social worker and child life specialists from all the Chicago area hospitals with pediatric specialty units as well as members of palliative care teams and rehab centers.

We are also grateful to those businesses that are critical to our success through donated and/or discounted services, sponsorship of special events and programs and significant direct donations.

Of course, our continued existence relies directly on our enthusiastic volunteers who step forward to fulfill the various needs of our families and our organization, sometimes on a weekly basis and sometimes only once a year, but every program’s success is dependent on the volunteers who share their time, talents, and treasures with us! Our volunteers come from diverse walks of life and span an age range from 18 – 80. They live in the heart of downtown and in the farmlands of Illinois. They are wealthy and they are stretching to pay their own bills. What they all have in common, however, is a deep sense of compassion and a belief in doing what they are able to help others in distress. All volunteers agree to a fingerprinted background check and attend a personal screening & training session with a Normal Moments representative.

Board of Directors


Patricia Fragen – Founder

Patricia Fragen founded Normal Moments in 2007 as a way to honor her daughter, Melissa Fragen, who died from an osteosarcoma. The rapid growth and success of Normal Moments stem from her amazing support system… Read More


Sheryl Diller

Very familiar with the experience of sitting by one’s child’s side in the hospital, Sheryl was happy to sign on as Treasurer of Normal Moments. She is an enrolled agent of the IRS and her strength and determination are a big part of our success. Read More


Frank Herbik

Frank Herbik has been actively involved with Normal Moments from inception, helping families directly before joining the Board of Directors.   Frank met Tricia and Melissa in 2000 when Tricia started doing accounting work for DSM Enterprises Inc. an electrical contracting company Frank owned. Read More


Jessica Yee

Jessica Yee works in the Ethics & Conduct department at BMO Financial Group in Chicago. Inspired by her mother, who would always bring homemade meals for friends or family who were sick or needed help, Jessica learned the importance and impact of caring for others at a young age.  Read More

Jack Short

Jack Short is the Director of Tenant Services for Stage 773 on the north side of the city, but he is so much more: music director, cabaret pianist-producer, pit musician, cat-lover, and warrior. Jack knows first-hand the trials and tribulations of battling a critical illness. We are so glad to have his perspective, determination, and skill-set on our team!


Stella Zaimi

Stella Zaimi comes from Athens, Greece where she worked in the hospitality industry and at the age of 20 was the Owner/Operator of a highly successful restaurant. When Stella came to America in 2000 as a single mother, she became a citizen within just a short 3 years and exceled quickly even though she did not drive or speak English. Stella built up and managed a thriving Greek restaurant. Read More


David Orlicz – (aka The Original David for whom all others are named):

David is the goal for all our volunteers; to be able to step in to a family’s life during a time of great stress and do what it takes to simplify their lives. While not pet-sitting or helping in other ways, David is a music teacher & performer.  Read More


Brian Tait

Brian is a technical guru, an interest he shared with Melissa. He was a strong male role model in her life along with being a frequent visitor to the hospital. (Tricia says thanks for the sushi nights.) He shares responsibility for our web development. Read More


Sherri Arrigo

Sherri is about as ideal a board member as we could request, bring medical and legal knowledge to the request, bring medical and legal knowledge to the table. She is currently a practicing attorney with a specialty in medical malpractice defense, a second career after one in nursing. We are grateful for the wealth of knowledge, skill, and compassion she offers Normal Moments and its community. Read More


Kelly Michelson

I am an attending physician in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. In addition to my clinical practice, I do research in areas related to communication and decision making in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and in Palliative Care. Read More


Melissa Fragen – Honorary Board Member

Melissa planned to become a pediatric oncologist from the age of 8 and was diagnosed with cancer at 15. She died before her 17th birthday after helping found Normal Moments “because everyone deserves a David”. Melissa devoted herself to giving throughout her life, touched all who knew her, and is the impetus for the organization. As her friend, Laura, wrote, “Melissa is one of those people you usually just get to read about in books. I was honored to know her.”..


Normal Moments Showcased on “Living Healthy Chicago”

See how Ella’s family is getting help from Normal Moments.


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