The following is paid content, sponsored by Amgen Oncology.
When your child dies of cancer, there are infinite ways you could respond to that trauma. You could crawl up into a ball and stream a lot of Netflix (something I appreciate between the hours of 10 pm – 6 am). You could start training for 5Ks and marathons to raise $ and awareness (not a fan of sweat or blisters). You could be mad at the world and drown your sorrows in alcohol or full sugar soda (those bubbles, tho) and no one would blame you.
I dabbled in some of those after the death of my daughter, my dear Donna, but all of my coping, adaptive and maladaptive, seems to lead back to one crucial thing: research. Cancer research has been at the core of much of my efforts on behalf of childhood cancer advocacy for ten years now. I’ve written about it, spoken about it with a room full of doctors, nurses, and scientists, and even shaved heads and baked cookies trying to earn money for it.
This weekend in Chicago, there is an opportunity to learn more about cancer research. Amgen Oncology is hosting live street art events on Saturday and Sunday to introduce their proprietary BiTE® technology at two Museum Campus locations. The BiTE® technology uses engineered proteins to enable the human body’s own immune system to target and fight cancer cells. Powered with that concept, two artists are using their skills to help the rest of us visualize what BiTE® technology looks like.
Yesterday afternoon I watched local artist Nate Baranowski create his vision of this research. BiTE® technology is a targeted immuno-oncology platform, meaning it is engineered to use the immune system to fight cancer. BiTE® molecules are designed to engage (or “bridge”) patients’ own immune system cells to a specific protein that appears on the surface of cancer cells. By creating this bridge, the immune system cells are able to more clearly detect and fight cancer cells.
How cool is that?
Watching Nate work, I felt hope. Real hope for what this research represents and what Amgen Oncology may accomplish with their BiTE® technology. You should stop by to see and learn for yourself. On Sunday, June 2, another artist will set up in the plaza in front of the Shedd Aquarium creating their own unique vision of BiTE® technology between 1 and 5 PM.
Better yet, Amgen Oncology has coordinated with Donor’s Choose to donate $20K to fund science education in Chicago Public Schools’ classrooms! Share this blog post to spread the word about Amgen Oncology’s BiTE® technology all while supporting Chicago’s school children.
Cancer research + supporting science education for kids = good things, and you know how I feel about Good Things.