The 21st Show

Wildlife Photographer Thomas Mangelsen; Ending HIV In Illinois By 2030; Camp Kesem


Wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen's "Catch of the Day" is featured in the "A Life in the Wild" exhibit at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. The exhibit is on display until June 2. Thomas Mangelsen

Thomas Mangelsen has spent a lifetime in nature, taking millions of photos around the world. Now, his favorites are part of a new exhibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. Plus, Governor Pritzker says he wants to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030. Today, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health joins us to talk about what needs to be done to achieve that goal. And, Camp Kesem is a sleepaway camp for kids whose parents have been affected by cancer. We’ll talk with one Illinois mother and daughter about their experience.

Thomas Mangelsen has been traveling the world for more than four decades, making millions of pictures of animals and landscapes on all seven continents. His photos showcase anything and everything wild from majestic landscapes to some of Earth’s most powerful predators. His work has been featured in the Smithsonian, National Geographic and Newsweek, among many others.

Today, 40 of his photos are the subject of an exhibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago called ‘A Life in the Wild.’ The exhibit will be at the museum until June 2. We spoke with Thomas Mangelsen on the line from Wyoming. 


Nearly 40,000 Illinoisans are living with HIV, according to the latest numbers. The good news though, is that the number of people getting HIV is decreasing. From 2006 to 2017, new HIV transmissions decreased by 35 percent.  

Now, state public health officials and organizations believe that we could actually eliminate the HIV epidemic in Illinois altogether. Earlier this week, Governor Pritzker announced a plan called Getting To Zero Illinois. The goal? To end the HIV epidemic in our state by 2030.

We were joined by some of the people behind this statewide effort. Dr. Ngozi Ezike is the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. John Peller is President and CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Candi Crause is the director of infectious diseases at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department.


Last year, more than 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer in the U.S, according to the National Cancer Institute. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t just impact the patient. Those 1.7 million people are also children, siblings, friends and parents.

Every summer, an organization called Camp Kesem offers free sleepaway camps for kids who have been affected by a parent’s cancer. They estimate that five million kids nationwide have a parent who is undergoing cancer treatment or who is a cancer survivor. Today, there are more than 100 chapters of Camp Kesem nationally, including one through the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Maggie Vacchiano is the co-director of the Illinois chapter of Camp Kesem. Craig Pessman is on the advisory board of the chapter. They both joined us in our Urbana studio.

Amy Carpentier and her ten year old daughter Muireann were on the line with us as well. Muireann will start her third summer at the Marquette chapter of Camp Kesem this year.

Story source: WILL