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Pedal Power Lit Up Rare Disease Day

In Marburg, Germany, CSL Behring employees wanted to light up a local landmark to celebrate Rare Disease Day. But to be responsible about energy usage, they used battery power generated by pedaling an exercise bike.

St. Elizabeth Church in Marburg, Germany, lit up for Rare Disease Day on February 28, 2023
Photo by Yannick Bechler

On Rare Disease Day, it has become an annual tradition around the world to light up landmarks in the bright colors of the Global Chain of Lights. The university town of Marburg, Germany, where CSL has a large presence in both R&D and manufacturing, usually participates. But the ongoing war in Ukraine has Europeans working hard to avoid unnecessary usage of electric power.

Before going dark on the idea, CSL Behring found a way to supply power to the pink, blue, purple and green lights that illuminated St. Elizabeth Church, a Gothic building in Marburg that opened in the 1200s.

“At CSL Behring, we work hard to make a difference for our patients and the world we live in. With the energy crisis this year, we take this challenge even further: Our employees generated the energy ourselves to power the light installation,” said Michael Schroeder, General Manager, CSL Behring Marburg. “So we can sustainably raise awareness for the challenges that rare disease patients face.”


Oezcan Campinar, SD Maintenance and Utilities, pedals an exercise bike to power lights that will illuminate a Marburg, Germany, church for Rare Disease Day.

The pastor and congregation at St. Elizabeth’s loved the idea and planned to attend the illumination on February 28. CSL Behring brought the bikes so attendees could jump aboard and pedal to keep the lights shining a little bit longer.

CSL Behring also helped light up other local landmarks, including Boathouse Row in Philadelphia, which is nearby CSL Behring’s global headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.