MMRF PRESS RELEASES
Cat Greenleaf to Host and John Pinette to Headline Ninth Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Laugh for Life: New York
MMRF Comedy Event to Raise Funds to Support Research of Rare Cancer
NORWALK, Conn. — May 5, 2011
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) will honor Geraldine Ferraro and Celgene Corporation at the 9th Annual MMRF Laugh for Life: New York, which is scheduled to be held Monday, May 16, 2011, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, in New York City. The MMRF’s annual Laugh for Life fundraiser is a premier comedy event, celebrating life through laughter while raising funds to accelerate development of next-generation treatments for multiple myeloma and to find a cure for the disease.
Former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro will be honored with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award. Donna Zaccaro Ullman, Principal of Homestead Finance LLC, will accept the award on behalf of her mother. Ferraro passed away in March 2011 following a long and courageous journey with multiple myeloma. A member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors, Ferraro took an active leadership role in the MMRF Laugh for Life: New York event for many years. In 2002, she passionately testified before Congress for the critical need for increased research funding, and a year later, a bill was signed authorizing $250 million for blood cancer research. Congress then appropriated $5 million to the Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Education Program in 2003 and renewed funding in 2006, enabling the MMRF to provide high-quality educational programs to underserved populations.
"Geraldine Ferraro was a true trailblazer, an inspiration to many, an incredible advocate for cancer research, and a very dear friend," said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF, and a multiple myeloma patient. “We are proud to recognize her commitment to the MMRF and the myeloma community by honoring her with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award and we are grateful that Donna Zaccaro Ullman will join us to accept this award for her mother.”
Sol Barer, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Celgene Corporation, will receive the MMRF Corporate Leadership Award. Dr. Barer previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Celgene for four years and was instrumental in bringing Thalomid and Revlimid forward as treatments for Myeloma patients. Mark Alles, President – Americas of Celgene Corporation, will accept the award on behalf of Dr. Barer. The Corporate Leadership Award recognizes prominent business leaders who have gone above and beyond in supporting the MMRF in pursuit of its mission. Celgene is a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of products for the treatment of cancer and other severe, immune, inflammatory conditions.
Celgene Corporation will serve as the event’s Corporate Chair and additional sponsors include Signal Genetics as a member of the Leadership Circle and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company as the Presenting Sponsor.
Cat Greenleaf, host of NBC’s “Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf”, will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. The inspirational and heartwarming event features an impressive line-up of comedians. John Pinette, an award-winning comedian, will be the headliner for the comedy show and Sherry Davey, an international comedy diva, will also perform.
To purchase tickets to the event, donate an auction item, submit an advertisement for the event program or join a committee, please visit http://benefitoffice.org/laugh or contact the MMRF at (203) 652-0225.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 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.
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.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Anne Quinn Young