Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) 6th Annual Chicago Awards Dinner Raises Over $700,000.00 to Accelerate a Cure for Blood Cancer

Norwalk, Conn. — May 16, 2007
Olympic Skating Medal Winner Scott Hamilton, and Actor and Director Bonnie Hunt Joined Forces for the Cause

Norwalk, Conn., May 16th — The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) raised over $700,000.00 at its sixth annual Chicago Awards Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, where over 400 people gathered Wednesday night to support its mission of accelerating a cure for multiple myeloma. While multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer, the five-year survival rate is only 32 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers.

"I fell in love with the MMRF a few years ago after attending one of their events. Meeting Kathy and feeling her passion, drive and energy—seeing just how innovative and groundbreaking this organization was, I knew that I wanted to use them as an example in my life to better my efforts to make a difference in the cancer community," Said Scott Hamilton, Olympic Gold Medal Winner, and two-time cancer survivor. He is a constant reminder that with fortitude and determination, anything is possible. Scott provided the evening's keynote address with much enthusiasm and inspiration.

Actor, director and long time MMRF friend, Bonnie Hunt, a former oncology nurse, served as mistress of ceremonies and juxtaposed her witty humor with seriousness, to bring attention to the cause. "We are so seldom humbled to that real part of our hearts—that place that helps us realize how fragile life is. I bless the day that I met Kathy Giusti; knowing her has been a gift and a source of inspiration," said Bonnie Hunt.

"Chicago continues to show great generosity and support in helping the MMRF achieve its goal," said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF. "I've always thought of Chicago as a second home and consider all of you here tonight my dear friends". She added, "The MMRF is proud that more than 95 percent of the money raised tonight will go directly towards innovative research programs that will expedite the development of new and effective treatment options for multiple myeloma."

"The substantial funds raised last night will provide the much needed fuel to speed treatments to patients and find a cure for multiple myeloma by funding critical research and catalyzing collaboration among research centers and industry," said Kathy Giusti. The MMRF and the MMRC (Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium) are now widely recognized across the scientific community as pioneers in breaking down barriers that slow medical research and drug development. Their innovative research and unique business models, built with a focus on speed, accountability, and results, are now being emulated by other disease groups and research entities. And, the treatments they have helped bring to myeloma patients are now being used to treat patients with many other forms of cancer.

Hamilton and Hunt were joined by an extensive list of Dinner Chairs including: Pam and Joe Damico of the Damico Family Foundation; Jane and Bob DeBaun; Brian J. Feltzin of Sheffield Asset Management, LLC; Joseph M. Hogan of GE Healthcare; Becky & Lester Knight; Michael D. O'Halleran of Aon Corporation; William A. Osborn of Northern Trust Corporation; Edward J. Phillips of Edward and Leslye Phillips Family Foundation; David P. Purcell of Continental Advisors, LLC; Philip J. Purcell of Continental Investors, LLC; Michael J. Sacks of Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P.; Pat and Bill Wilson, for the event.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cell, represents one percent of all cancer diagnosis and two percent of all cancer deaths. Despite recent advances in treating multiple myeloma, the five-year survival rate for multiple myeloma is only 32 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. Approximately 50,000 people in the United States are living with multiple myeloma and an estimated 16,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Although the peak age of onset of multiple myeloma is 65 to 70 years of age, recent statistics suggest that incidence is increasing, and at an earlier age.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

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, a newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patient, with the unique mission of accelerating the search for a cure for multiple myeloma. As the world's number one funder of myeloma research, the MMRF has raised more than $70 million to fund more than 130 research grants at more than 70 research institutions around the globe. Currently, the MMRF is funding more than 30 new compounds and approaches — in pre-clinical testing and Phase I, II and III clinical trials — that show promise in treating patients at all stages of the disease. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.


Anne M. Walker
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
203-652-0205 direct

Jeffrey Spiegel
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium
203-652-0222 direct