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Ninth Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Laugh for Life: New York Raises Over $620,000 for Blood Cancer Research


Cat Greenleaf, Host of NBC?s Award Winning ?Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf?, and Award-Winning Comedian John Pinette Celebrate with New York Area Supporters

New York, NY — May 17, 2011

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that its 9th annual MMRF Laugh for Life: New York comedy event, held May 16, 2011, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City, raised over $620,000 to 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.

“We are so grateful to those who made the MMRF Laugh for Life: New York such a wonderful success, particularly our special guests and performers, as well as the many supporters of the MMRF whose dedication to multiple myeloma patients and their families is extraordinary,” said Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient and Founder and CEO of the MMRF.

Cat Greenleaf, host of NBC’s “Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf” served as Master of Ceremonies for the inspirational and heartwarming event, which was attended by over 500 people. Celgene Corporation was the event’s Corporate Chair. Additional sponsors included Signal Genetics as a member of the Leadership Circle and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company as the Presenting Sponsor. Sol J. Barer, Ph. D., Executive Chairman of Celgene Corporation, was honored with the MMRF Corporate Leadership Award. Mark Alles, President – Americas of Celgene Corporation, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Barer. John Pinette, an award-winning comedian, headlined the evening, with comedian Sherry Davey also performing.

“The MMRF is to be applauded for the astounding progress they have made. With the support of their impressive partners and through the MMRF’s hard work and strategic thinking, a cure will surely be found. This annual event is an opportunity for New Yorkers to celebrate the remarkable results the MMRF has achieved while also personally contributing to the development of next-generation cancer treatments,” said Greenleaf.

Geraldine Ferraro, former Congresswoman and member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors, was honored with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award. Her daughter Donna Zaccaro Ullman, Principal of Homestead Finance LLC and member of the MMRF Board of Directors, accepted the award on her mother’s behalf. Ferraro, who passed away in March following a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma, took an active leadership role in the MMRF Laugh for Life: New York event for many years.

"My mother, Geraldine Ferraro, would have been incredibly honored to receive the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award,” said Zaccaro. “She was committed to advocating for cancer research and advancing progress to develop next-generation myeloma treatments. I am proud to accept this award on her behalf.”

The MMRF Laugh for Life: New York was started in 2003 by three sisters, Carol Goldschein, Sue Korn and Cindi Stern, to honor Carol’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma and to celebrate life through laughter.

“Thanks to the work of the MMRF, myeloma patients have been living longer than ever before. Unfortunately, we know that myeloma drugs do not work forever,” said Sue Korn, Co-Founder of the MMRF Laugh For Life: New York event. “We must continue to support the work of the MMRF to help advance the next generation of treatments that are urgently needed for Carol and all other multiple myeloma patients.”

Through funds raised at events like Laugh for Life: New York, the MMRF has become a leader in breaking down barriers slowing medical research and in fast-tracking the development of more effective cancer treatments. The four treatments the MMRF helped bring to market are now standard therapies for multiple myeloma patients 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.

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.

Contacts
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Anne Quinn Young
203-652-0212
quinnyounga@themmrf.org