The Chicago skyline will flicker orange in September as buildings honor the “Heroes Among Us,” extraordinary individuals who have shined a bright light on blood cancer awareness. The Leukemia Research Foundation has received approval from the Building Owners Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) to encourage its members to light up the skyline. Nine buildings in Chicago have agreed to participate.
“We chose the color orange because it symbolizes hope and optimism, reflecting the great strides that the medical community has made in blood cancer research,” said Kevin Radelet, executive director, Leukemia Research Foundation.
Blood cancers are a group of diseases that affect the production and function of blood cells. The three main types are leukemia (found in blood and bone marrow), lymphoma (affects the body’s lymphatic system) and myeloma (impacts plasma cells). Nearly 172,000 people in the U.S. are living with a blood cancer, according to Radelet. Close to 32,000 people in the Chicagoland area alone have been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
According to renowned cancer expert Patrick Stiff, M.D., Chicago is now leading many of the cutting-edge research and knowledge therapy for blood cancer. Dr. Stiff is the Coleman Professor of Oncology at Stritch and medical director of the Division of Hematology-Oncology at Loyola University Medical Center.
“Loyola Medical Center was one of the first institutions to do stem cell transplants,” noted Dr. Stiff. “The University of Chicago Medicine has contributed to the newest advances in pediatric immunotherapy. Northwestern Medicine is executing several ground-breaking gene therapy trials. Patients in Chicago are getting the latest and the best of the best novel therapies for a variety of blood cancers. And that is something to celebrate.”
The Leukemia Research Foundation has been collaborating closely with BOMA/Chicago and local companies to make this year’s awareness campaign uniquely special.
Dr. Stiff and four other individuals have been recognized as this year’s “Heroes Among Us,” by the Leukemia Research Foundation. They received the honor because of their relentless dedication to research, their never-ending support of family members living with these diseases and their courageous determination to help others.
In addition to lighting up the Chicago skyline orange, many of the buildings and several local companies will also be posting information about Blood Cancer Awareness Month in their lobby, on their website, on in-office captivate screens and in emails.
The buildings and organizations that have agreed to honor Blood Cancer Awareness Month with orange are:
- The Wrigley Building (400-410 North Michigan Avenue)
- 875 N. Michigan Ave.
- Prudential Plaza (180 N. Stetson)
- 233 S. Wacker Dr.
- 181 W. Madison
- 55 W. Wacker
- 425 S. Financial Place
- 150 N. Wacker
- 1 N. Dearborn St.
- Make Offices (One N. State)
- The Alden Network