CHICAGO (CBS) — You probably don’t know their names; they’re not famous, but they are heroes.
Wednesday morning, at its 17th annual Heroes Breakfast, the American Red Cross honored some very good people who do some fantastic things.
Raydell Lacey started the non-profit Not Before My Parents to help parents who lost children to violence, after her daughter was killed by gunfire in 1994.
She also started a chess club to teach kids strategic thinking, and help them think before reacting. Lacey also set up monthly chess matches between the kids and Chicago police officers so they can build positive relationships with police.
“I’m really not a crybaby, but I’m crying today,” she said. “Someone asked me how do you do this? And I replied isn’t this what you’re supposed to do? Love our children and take care of our community.”
Eleven other people were honored at the Heroes Breakfast, including Marqus and Ashley Valentine, from Lisle.
When he was 6 months old, Marqus was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. He’s now 35, and he and his sister At six months old, doctors diagnosed Marqus with sickle cell anemia, and originally was told he likely wouldn’t live past age 10. Later, he was told he likely wouldn’t make it to 30.
He’s now 35, and he and his sister founded the non-profit Sick Cells to raise awareness about sickle cell disease and push for better health care coverage.
“In today’s world, when you hear hero, you think cape and spandex. When I hear hero, I hear scrub pants, stethoscopes, and doctors. So to receive this award and be up here right now is very special to me,” Marqus Valentine said.