(August 22, 2022, Irvine, Calif.) — City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, is sending the iconic Great Park Balloon in Irvine, California, into the sky with a message of hope for ending the disease that affects 1 in 3 Americans in their lifetime. The balloon’s inaugural flight will take place today as the first patients walk through the doors of City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center four miles away.
Grateful City of Hope patients will lift off in the giant Great Park Balloon wrapped with a simple, yet powerful message to “Rise Above Cancer.” The initiative, co-led by City of Hope and FivePoint, is a joint expression of optimism for Orange County’s 3.2 million residents and a national call to action to come together to eradicate cancer.
Cancer is highly complex. In 2022, about 1.9 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States — and 38% of all cancers can be prevented.* City of Hope is urging Americans to get recommended cancer screenings and treatment at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center, where every physician and staff member is solely focused on preventing, treating and curing cancer.
“Cancer touches us all,” said Annette M. Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “Advanced cancer care and groundbreaking research are helping turn the tide against cancer, and we’re asking everyone in Orange County to ‘Rise Above Cancer’ with us. Everyone in the community, including our friends and family, can share in this hope on the horizon. Let’s work together to lift our community to new heights of hope and health.”
“Preventing cancer is the best way to beat it,” said Edward S. Kim, M.D., M.B.A., physician-in-chief, City of Hope Orange County and vice physician-in-chief, City of Hope National Medical Center. “As we welcome our first patients to City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, we are beginning a new era of hope in our fight against this disease.”
The Great Park Balloon is sponsored by FivePoint, developer of the adjacent Great Park Neighborhoods community and a longstanding collaborator of City of Hope. FivePoint extended the invitation to City of Hope to be part of Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine in 2018. Since then, a shared vision between City of Hope and FivePoint to make world-class health care a foundational and accessible component of the community has become a reality. City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center is on 11 acres of land at Irvine’s FivePoint Gateway and will be seamlessly connected to Orange County’s only specialty cancer hospital, opening in 2025.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome City of Hope Orange County and their renowned team of cancer specialists to Irvine,” said Dan Hedigan, chief executive officer, FivePoint. “Today’s introduction of a creative balloon design is a symbolic way to celebrate City of Hope’s arrival in Irvine because they are a game changer in taking the quality of cancer care to new heights. We are honored to stand alongside their team and support their lifesaving mission because it will have such an enormous impact on the lives of people in Irvine, the region and around the world.”
The uplifting initiative is personal for grateful patient and Orange County resident Todd Kennedy, who is living with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer.
“With the help of my doctors and health care team, I’m proof that people can rise above cancer,” said Kennedy, who vividly remembers his first visit to City of Hope. “As I walked in, I was full of fear; when I walked out, I was full of hope.”
The opening of City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, Orange County’s most advanced comprehensive cancer center, significantly advances the shared vision of healthier communities. Despite its reputation for healthy living, Orange County is not immune from the national statistic for cancer incidence. In fact, the cancer incidence rate in the county is projected to increase by 18% over the next decade.
“The City of Irvine is thrilled to welcome City of Hope to our community. Since arriving in Orange County, City of Hope has been a dedicated partner committed to improving the health and well-being here,” said Farrah N. Khan, mayor of the City of Irvine. “Rising above cancer is important to every one of us.”
Join the Cause and Declare #HopeIsHere
City of Hope and FivePoint are inviting community members to get screened and support everyone impacted by the disease. Community members are invited to take free rides on the balloon and post selfies using #HopeIsHere and tag @cityofhopeOC.
The inspirational message will remain on the Great Park Balloon until the end of September. It was designed by Orange County artist Meredith Moody, whose mother, aunt and brother each had cancer.
“I am honored to lend my talents and be part of City of Hope’s growing presence in my community,” Moody said. “As I hope my art touches people’s hearts and lives, I hope City of Hope will always lift the lives of people with cancer for years to come.”
The Great Park Balloon: Sponsored by FivePoint is open for special hours on Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 22 to 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Beginning Aug. 25, the balloon will continue its regular operating hours: Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (weather permitting). More information about the balloon can be found here.
City of Hope Is Orange County’s Most Advanced Cancer Care
City of Hope, one of only 52 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country, is delivering world-renowned treatment, research and cancer cures to Orange County.
Patients at City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center receive fully integrated, multidisciplinary care — from prevention through survivorship — in one convenient location where every physician and staff member is solely focused on treating and curing cancer. They have access to City of Hope’s 575 physicians and more than 1,000 researchers and scientists who only focus on cancer, and nearly 1,000 Phase 1-3 clinical trials conducted at City of Hope each year.
The outpatient cancer center features a suite of market-leading technology, 67 spacious exam and treatment rooms, an infusion center designed around patient preferences, and a full-service salon and specialty shopping experience.
City of Hope’s Orange County cancer care network currently includes four regional clinics — two in Newport Beach, one in Huntington Beach and one in Irvine. The cancer center, the regional clinics and the planned hospital will create Orange County’s largest network dedicated exclusively to cancer treatment and cures.
To make an appointment for a screening or treatment, call 888-333-HOPE (4673).
About City of Hope
City of Hope's mission is to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today. Founded in 1913, City of Hope has grown into one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and one of the leading research centers for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. As an independent, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope brings a uniquely integrated model to patients, spanning cancer care, research and development, academics and training, and innovation initiatives. Research and technology developed at City of Hope has been the basis for numerous breakthrough cancer medicines, as well as human synthetic insulin and monoclonal antibodies. A leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy, such as CAR T cell therapy, City of Hope’s personalized treatment protocols help advance cancer care throughout the world.
With a goal of expanding access to the latest discoveries and leading-edge care to more patients, families and communities, City of Hope’s growing national system includes its main Los Angeles campus, a network of clinical care locations across Southern California, a new cancer center in Orange County, California, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. City of Hope’s affiliated family of organizations includes Translational Genomics Research Institute and AccessHopeTM. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Five Point, headquartered in Irvine, California, designs and develops large mixed-use planned communities in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Francisco County that combine residential, commercial, retail, educational, and recreational elements with public amenities, including civic areas for parks and open space. Five Point’s communities include the Great Park Neighborhoods® in Irvine, Valencia® (formerly known as Newhall Ranch®) in Los Angeles County, and Candlestick® and The San Francisco Shipyard® in the City of San Francisco. These communities are designed to include approximately 40,000 residential homes and approximately 23 million square feet of commercial space. For more information, visit FivePoint.com.
Kelsey Dalton, Media Relations Specialist
City of Hope Orange County
Eric Morgan, Vice President, Community Affairs