Advocate patient takes part in Chicago Bears pregame ceremony

  • Derek Faurbo smiles at the Chicago Bears pregame ceremony.

    Derek Faurbo smiles at the Chicago Bears pregame ceremony. Courtesy of Advocate Aurora Health

Updated 11/28/2022 10:33 AM

Advocate Condell Medical Center patient Derek Faurbo was recognized as the Chicago Bears' special guest during the Bear Down Flag Ceremony on Nov. 6.

In partnership with Advocate Health Care, the Chicago Bears invited Faurbo, 51, of Volo to help unfurl the Bear Down flag and participate in pregame activities at Soldier Field. He was joined on the field by his brother, Todd Faurbo, before returning to the stands to watch the Bears face the Dolphins.


When Faurbo started experiencing shortness of breath while climbing the stairs in his home, his wife, brother and son "teamed up" and convinced him to go to Advocate Condell Medical Center, even though he resisted at first, thinking it was just stress.

When he got there, doctors told him he had not only suffered a few small heart attacks, but that he also had stage 5 kidney failure. Despite his troubling diagnosis, Faurbo credits the team at Advocate Condell for their "outstanding" coordinated care, a word he emphasized he doesn't use lightly.

"They came in and they treated me like a person," Faurbo said. "They took interest in me. The experience I had through the people that helped me and took care of me definitely makes me think twice about avoiding the hospital."

Dr. Jawad Munir, Faurbo's nephrologist, said it's important to not ignore your symptoms, and that Faurbo's story is a reminder to others who dislike going to the hospital that it's better to get checked out earlier rather than later.

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"Anytime someone has shortness of breath or chest pain, it could be the sign of a serious condition," Dr. Munir said. "Coming to the hospital allows us to aggressively work on the problem and get you better."

A lifelong Bears fan, Faurbo planned to bring the same three people who pushed him to go to the hospital to the game with him. He said the game is a bright spot he looked forward to as he continued his thrice-weekly dialysis.

"It's a blessing to have those three with me in a place that means a lot to me," Faurbo said. "I can't even put it into words. It means the world to be able to share something that you love with the people you love."

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