By Yunyi (Jessie) Liu
Haji Healing Salon in Hyde Park, about a 15-minutey bus ride from the Red Line, can be challenging to find without help from a friend.
But customers entered the salon steadily on a recent Sunday morning and salon owner Aya-Nikole Cook greets them as they arrive.
“It’s such a beautiful place,” says Khadijah Kysia, an acupuncturist at the salon who lives in Humboldt Park on the West Side. When Cook invited her to work at the salon and provide community acupuncture treatments, Kysia intended to reject the offer at the very beginning. Continue reading
By Yunyi(Jessie) Liu
More than 2,500 people climbed the 80 flights to the top of the Aon Center, the city’s third tallest skyscraper, to help children battling illness and families at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
The annual “Step Up for Kids” event on Sunday earned $629,772.52 up to now, just shy of the $800,000 goal. All the funds raised benefit the Lurie Children’s Department of Family Services, a division of the hospital that focuses on the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of patients and their families. K.I.D.S.S. for Kids, a fundraising organization affiliated with the hospital, has organized the event for the last two decades.
Stair-steppers gathered from across Chicago, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, according to Ted McCartan, director of Community Engagement at the hospital,.
The event ran from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Chicagoan Terry Purcell championed the competition with an astonishing 9-minute, 44-second climb, followed by Robert Liking at 10 minutes and Tara Linn 10 minutes and 44 seconds.
The 21st Aon Center Step Up for Kids brought 2,500 climbers up the 80 stories of Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Families climbed together. Each climber had pledged to raise a minimum of $150 and paid a $50 admission fee. Here, a mother pins on her son’s registration badge. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Participants to the left waited in a long line to get onto the stairway. On the right, those who finished climbing headed outside after an elevator ride back to the first floor. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Everyone seemed full of energy. Staff in blue shirts clapped with participants and cheered them on. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Grace Henry(middle), 89, climbed the 80 flights.Three generations of family were there including her two sons in the photo. As the oldest person registered, she went all the way up to the top in 34.5 minutes. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Anne Street, making a heart gesture (middle), came with nurses who had taken care of her 16- month-old-daughter before the toddler died of congenital heart defect. ”She is brave, she never cries, and always has a smile on her face,” said Street’s mother, Lorrie Pintozzi, speaking of her daughter. .(Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Wearing a L-shaped vest that commemorates her daughter, Street’s friend hugged her and said how proud she is of her friend. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Street’s little girl Lorraine Christine Street with her nursing assistant.. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Street showed her baby’s sweet face to all her friends, speaking of her in a choked voice. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Jessica Cole, who is pregnant, climbed 80 flights carrying her 19-month-old son. ” I want to climb it with both of them,” said Cole. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Children from the British International School of Chicago, in Lincoln Park, take photos in front of the signing board. This isn’t the first time the school is here. For students,, climbing to the top of the thrid tallest building in the Windy City is a remarkable feat that comes with an outstanding sense of achievement. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Kids from the British International School of Chicago in Lincoln Park, celebrate their achievement. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Ben Adelman came to the climb with his father to donate to the cause. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Participants who just finished the Step Up walking like models on the catwalk at the top. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
This little climber made it to the top. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Friends take a break, sitting randomly on the ground to snap pictures after the long journey. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
A participant signs a Step Up shirt. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
The Step Up wall memos show why people step up. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
Photo at top: Kids from the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, completed the climb. ( Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)
By Yunyi(Jessie) Liu
Chicago Public School teacher Erika Woaniak, who works in Oriole Park Elementary School in West Town, said she has relieved her guilt regarding many of President Donald Trump’s positions through stepped-up self care.
”I used to think I should have been out knocking on doors for a candidate who is an ally,” she said. But now she takes time for herself. ”Also I’ll remind my students they’re allowed to have a break as well. So if they don’t get A on their math test that they really wanted, that’s OK.”
An American Psychological Association Study conducted after Trump’s election shows that 66 percent of American adults – both democrats and republicans – said the future of the nation is causing them significant stress. To reduce that stress, Woaniak, media strategist Joanna Klousky and journalist Jen Sabella host ”The Girl Talk,” focusing on self care for the January gathering.
Continue reading One year after inauguration, self care becomes indispensable for some