MMRF PRESS RELEASES
10th Anniversary of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Chicago Awards Dinner Raises Nearly $1.5 Million for Development of Next-Generation Cancer Treatments
Legendary NBC Sports and MLB Network Broadcaster Bob Costas and Actor, Director, Producer and Writer Bonnie Hunt Celebrate with Chicagoland?s Business Community
Chicago, IL — April 14, 2011
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) raised nearly $1.5 million at the 10th Anniversary of the MMRF Chicago Awards Dinner, held Wednesday evening at the Four Seasons – Chicago. Funds raised at this premier event, attended by more than 600 Chicago business and community leaders, will support the MMRF’s efforts to accelerate the development of next-generation treatments for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.
“We are incredibly grateful to those who made the 10th Anniversary of the MMRF Chicago Dinner the most successful of our Chicago events to date, especially Bob Costas, Dan Jansen, Bonnie Hunt, and Lester Knight, as well as so many others whose generosity and dedication to multiple myeloma patients and their families are just extraordinary,” said Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient and Founder and CEO of the MMRF. Giusti was living in Chicago when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1996.
NBC Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Bob Costas served as Keynote Speaker and actor, director, producer and writer Bonnie Hunt marked her ninth year in the meaningful role of Mistress of Ceremonies. U.S. Olympic Speed Skater Dan Jansen was honored as a special guest. Lester B. Knight, Founding Partner and Co-Chairman of RoundTable Healthcare Partners – located in Lake Forest, served as the event’s Corporate Chair.
“The MMRF has made unprecedented progress in the fight against myeloma. This annual dinner is a way for the Chicago community to celebrate the remarkable advancements achieved by the MMRF while also raising significant funds to make the next breakthrough in treatment possible,” said Knight, whose leadership of the event was dedicated as a tribute to his business partner and dear friend, Bob DeBaun, a former member of the MMRF Board of Directors who lost his courageous battle with multiple myeloma in December 2010.
Through funds raised at events like the Chicago Awards Dinner, the MMRF has become a leader in breaking down barriers impeding medical research and in fast-tracking the development of more effective treatments. The four treatments the MMRF helped bring to market are now standard therapies for patients with multiple myeloma and are being explored as treatments for more than 30 other cancers. Today, the MMRF is supporting more than 70 new treatment approaches and recently spearheaded the first mapping of the entire multiple myeloma genome.
“The MMRF is accelerating the advancement of life-extending treatments for myeloma patients. With the support of their impressive partners and through the MMRF’s hard work, strategic thinking and commitment, a cure will be found. This event is an opportunity to contribute to the development of next-generation cancer treatments,” said Costas.
The Anniversary Committee for the dinner included: Aon; The Damico Family Foundation; Becky and Lester Knight; Julie and Jack McGinley; and the McNamara Purcell Foundation.
Vice Chairs for the event included: Celgene Corporation; Katie and Mark Chelsky; the DeBaun Family; Allison and Brian Feltzin; William P. Hite – United Association; Barbara and Anthony Kesman; Kirkland & Ellis, LLP; Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. McKenna; Sandy and Tom Mihelcic; Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company; James Moriarity – Morgan Stanley; Peggy and Dick Notebaert; J. Christopher Reyes – Reyes Holdings LLC; Michael J. Sacks – Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P.; Marnie and Matt Spiegel; and Rick Waddell – Northern Trust.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
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 over $160 million since its inception to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide, including 70 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies and has facilitated 30 clinical trials through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). As exceptional stewards of its donor’s investments, the MMRF consistently surpasses its peers in fiscal responsibility. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 34 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2010, more than 20,000 adults in the United States were estimated to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and approximately 11,000 people died from the disease.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Anne Quinn Young, 203-652-0212