Detroit landmarks to shine blue, green lights to honor Nick Gilbert and spread NF awareness

May 17 is World NF Awareness Day

Detroit landmarks lighting up in blue, green for #WorldNFAwarenessDay (Bedrock)

DETROIT – Landmarks throughout Detroit will be lighting up in blue and green lights to spread awareness of neurofibromatosis on World NF Awareness Day.

This lighting event also honors Nick Gilbert, the son of Detroit billionaire and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, who recently passed away.

Gilbert, 26, passed away on May 6 from a lifelong battle with neurofibromatosis. The 26-year-old passed away peacefully at home.

Gilbert was diagnosed as a child with neurofibromatosis (NF1), a genetic condition that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow on the brain, spinal cord, and skin. There is no cure.

“There is nothing to like about NF nor all of the things that can happen to people who have NF. I don’t have to like it. But I also don’t have to be a victim just because I was born with NF. I did not choose to live with NF,” Gilbert once said to the Children’s Tumor Foundation. “But I do have a choice on how I live. And I choose to live life by enjoying every moment and to always look on the bright side of everything.”

Neurofibromatosis (NF1), which Gilbert had, is also known as the von Recklinghausen disease. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NF1 is the most common of neurofibromatosis. There are a variety of symptoms and medical problems that can change within one’s lifespan living with this condition. To learn more about the symptoms, click here.

The Gilbert family established a nonprofit in 2017 to fund groundbreaking NF research. NF Forward co-funds different initiatives for research, including vision restoration and gene therapy. Jennifer Gilbert, Nick Gilbert’s mother, is the organization’s president and board member. You can learn more about the nonprofit here.

Below are theDetroit landmarks that will be lit up with blue and green lights:

  • 150 West Jefferson, Detroit
  • 321 Lafayette, Detroit
  • Ally Detroit Center, Detroit
  • Comerica Park
  • Federal Reserve, Detroit
  • Ford Field, Detroit
  • Fox Theatre
  • Huntington Place, Detroit
  • Kennedy Square, Detroit
  • Little Caesars Arena
  • One Campus Martius, Detroit
  • One Woodward, Detroit
  • Quincy Mine Hoist Association
  • The Stott, Detroit
  • The Z Lot, Detroit

Click here to see landmarks across the United States that will be lighting up in the official NF awareness colors.

“Nick Gilbert embodied eternal optimism despite the adversity he faced due to his diagnosis. He used his experience and passion to teach the world about neurofibromatosis. We will grieve his loss every day, but today, on World NF Awareness Day, we are also thankful that his memory can be honored by educating people about this illness in hopes of one day finding a cure.”

Executive Director Laura Grannemann, Gilbert Family Foundation

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.