Chicago, IL – On May 16, 2016, over 500 supporters including patients, healthcare leaders and business executives attended the 15th Anniversary of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Chicago Awards Dinner. The evening raised over $950,000 to fund groundbreaking research in multiple myeloma – an incurable blood cancer. “The MMRF, working with our partners in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and government, is setting the standard for collaborative efforts in all cancers. We have seen unprecedented progress – especially in the promising area of precision medicine – leading to new therapies, better patient outcomes and bringing us closer to a cure,” said MMRF President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Giusti.
The inspirational night opened with personal remarks from Chicago Cubs Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo, both blood cancer survivors. Emmy Award-Winning CBS 2 reporter and multiple myeloma patient, Derrick Blakley, introduced the evening’s Keynote Speaker, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard. Mr. Leonard’s father is currently living with multiple myeloma and delivered a powerful and motivational address. “Anyone in this room who is fighting this opponent, continue to be the fighter, continue to get up from those knock downs, and you know
that Sugar Ray Leonard is in your corner.” For the 12th year, Actress, Director, Producer, Writer and MMRF Honorary Board Member, Bonnie Hunt, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.
The MMRF honored the Andrea and Michael Rosengarden Family with the 2016 Spirit of Hope Award for their commitment to the MMRF and advocacy on behalf of all cancer patients. Andrea is a multiple myeloma patient and the family credits Andrea’s current remission to the MMRF’s leadership in speeding new drugs to market.
“Our family dedicates this award to the hope and strength that the MMRF has given our family, the thoughtfulness that has been extended to us and the tireless dedication of MMRF Founder Kathy Giusti and Dr. Jakubowiak to find a cure for multiple myeloma.”
The MMRF is thankful for the longstanding partnership with leading pharmaceutical companies including Presenting Sponsor, Takeda Oncology and Leadership Circle Sponsor, Janssen Oncology.
The MMRF is an organization founded by a patient, Kathy Giusti, to help patients. The MMRF has a tremendous sense of urgency to speed multiple myeloma research, drive new insights and advance the precision medicine model to find new treatments. The MMRF’s Precision Medicine Model is the only end-to-end system in cancer research today and is leading the way in developing the next generation of treatments and ultimately finding a cure.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated
30,330 adults (17,900 men and 12,430 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma
in 2016 and an estimated 12,650 people (6,430 men and 6,220 women) are predicted to die from the disease.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised more than $300 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result,
the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency.
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