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9th Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Chicago Awards Dinner Raises $950,000 to Accelerate Development of New Cancer Treatments


Actor, Director, Producer and Writer Bonnie Hunt and Legendary CBS Sports Commentator and Author James T. Brown Celebrate with Chicago?s Business Community

Chicago, IL — April 29, 2010

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) raised over $950,000 at the 9th annual Chicago Awards Dinner, held Wednesday evening at the Four Seasons – Chicago. Funds raised at this premier fundraising event, attended by more than 500 Chicago business and community leaders, will support the MMRF’s efforts to accelerate the development of next-generation treatments for patients with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, and to find a cure for the disease.

CBS commentator and author James T. Brown served as keynote speaker and Reverend Dr. Ozzie Smith, who lost his wife, Barbara Westbrooks Smith, to multiple myeloma, received the MMRF Courage and Commitment Award. Actor, Director, Producer and Writer Bonnie Hunt served, once again, as Mistress of Ceremonies.

“We are so thankful to those who made the MMRF Chicago Dinner such a wonderful success, especially our special guests, James Brown, Reverend Dr. Ozzie Smith, and our dear friend and emcee Bonnie Hunt, as well so many others whose generosity and commitment to multiple myeloma patients and their families are just remarkable,” 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 and, soon after, founded the MMRF.

“The MMRF is to be commended for the inspiring progress they have made. This annual dinner is a way for the Chicago business community to celebrate these remarkable achievements while also raising significant funds for research to make the next breakthrough treatment possible,” said Hunt, who formerly worked as an oncology nurse in Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is a member of the MMRF’s Honorary Board of Directors.

Through funds raised at events like the Chicago Awards Dinner, the MMRF has become a leader in breaking down barriers slowing medical research and in fast-tracking the development of better, 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 a pipeline of promising compounds that represent the next generation of treatments.

“The MMRF is breaking down barriers slowing medical research and accelerating the advancement of life-extending treatments. With the support of their impressive partners and through the MMRF’s hard work, dedication, intelligence and commitment a cure can be found. This event is an opportunity for Chicago’s Business Community to contribute to the development of next-generation treatments,” said Brown.

Vice Chairs for the Dinner include: AON, Katie and Mark Chelsky; The Damico Family Foundation; Jane and Bob DeBaun; Allison and Brian Feltzin; William P. Hite – United Association; Barbara and Anthony Kesman; Kirkland & Ellis, LLP; Becky and Lester Knight; Connie L. Lindsey – Northern Trust; Alex Mahoney – Celgene Corporation; McNamara Purcell Foundation; Sandy and Tom Mihelcic; James Moriarity – Morgan Stanley; Ronny Mosston – Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company; Peggy and Dick Notebaert; Michael J. Sacks – Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P.; and Marnie and Matt Spiegel.

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 over $140 million since its inception to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide. An outstanding 93% of funds raised go toward research and related programming. The MMRF has supported 40 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies and has facilitated 24 clinical trials through its sister organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). 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 2009, approximately 20,000 adults in the United States were diagnosed with multiple myeloma and approximately 11,000 people died from the disease.

For further information please contact Anne Quinn Young at 203.652.0212 or email quinnyounga@themmrf.org.