New York City Port Authority Billboard Raises Awareness of Cystic Fibrosis
September 14, 2011
On the bustling corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in New York City, thousands of passersby every day see a powerful message in lights from the CF community, wrapping around the Port Authority bus terminal.
Fourteen-year-old Sean Squires, who has CF, and NFL Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara are the stars of a 6,000-square-foot Port Authority billboard that raises awareness of cystic fibrosis.
From July through September, the dynamic billboard features NFL Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara and Sean Squires, a longtime fan and friend from New Jersey who has cystic fibrosis. The message reads: “My 14-year-old friend Sean has cystic fibrosis. Help Sean beat this life-threatening disease,” and includes instructions for donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through text messaging.
Bill Squires, Sean’s father, says the billboard was made possible by close friend Gary Neff from Garage-Media, who wanted to help spread the word about CF by donating the entire Mediamesh digital display and PSA design.
In addition to the funds raised for the CF Foundation through the “text to give” component, “the billboard is about raising awareness,” Bill says. “My hope is people will see the message and want to find out more about the disease.”
When Bill witnessed the billboard’s ribbon-cutting in late June, he says the experience was bittersweet. “Sean is my hero, and it was great to see my son in big lights. At the same time, I wish Sean didn’t have CF so his picture would never be up there. I know with more help, we will one day beat this disease.”