Northwestern doctor honored for cancer research, treatment

CHICAGO -- A Northwestern oncologist and hematologist was honored Wednesday for his efforts in cancer research and treatment.

At the request of firefighters Patrick Jessee and Lt. Michael Schubert, the Chicago city council passed a resolution to honor Dr. Leo Gordon for his work.

“Because of you, countless patients will get to spend this holiday season with their families,” Ashley Bloom, with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, said.

Dr. Gordon treated Jessee for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011 and Schubert for Hodgkins Lymphoma just a year and a half ago. He's now in remission and feeling 90 percent normal.

“I told the doctors thank you all the time but it never seemed like it was enough,” he said.

So Lt. Schubert and Jessee wanted to do more to honor their doctor. Members of the fire service have a 50 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with a blood cancer than the general population.

Dr. Gordon humbly refused to take all the credit. He said his staff is getting this honor as well. But these two men are the kinds of success stories that keep him working toward a cure.

Jessee's birthday is in between Thanksgiving and Christmas and he thanked Dr. Gordon for giving him the past six years of life.

For Jessee, the next month is a time for reflection and introspection and figuring out what he can do to give back.

Because of doctors like Dr. Gordon, survival rates have increased exponentially and new treatments options have emerged.

Those in the research profession said there is clearly a lot of hope for the future.