Over 700 Attend Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Laugh For Life: New York To Raise Critical Funds For Cancer Research

Grammy Nominated Comedian Jim Gaffigan Headlines Comedy Show and Donna Zaccaro Ullman Honored with Spirit of Hope Award

New York, NY — May 9, 2013

On Tuesday evening over 700 guests from the Tri-State area attended the annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Laugh for Life: New York comedy event at Pier Sixty in New York City. Cat Greenleaf, host of NBC’s Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf, served as Master of Ceremonies and Jim Gaffigan, a Grammy nominated comedian, headlined the comedy show. The evening raised nearly $850,000 to support the innovative, groundbreaking initiatives of the MMRF to extend patients’ lives and accelerate new treatments to lead to a cure for multiple myeloma.

“In celebrating life through laughter at this extraordinary event, a record number of MMRF supporters joined together in the fight against cancer,” said Christina Waters, Chief Development and Marketing Officer of the MMRF. “Thanks to the transformative approaches of the MMRF and its partners, two new treatments have recently been made available to patients. With funds raised at events such as these, the MMRF will continue our urgent work to transform cancer research.”

MMRF Laugh for Life: New York was founded in 2003 by three sisters, Carol Goldschein, Sue Korn and Cindi Stern, to celebrate life through laughter and raise funds for myeloma research following Goldschein’s diagnosis with the rare cancer. MMRF Board of Directors member Michael Reinert, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, shared his story at this year’s event as the featured patient speaker. Celgene Corporation, Corporate Chair of the event, presented the Carol Goldschein Spirit of Hope Award to Donna Zaccaro Ullman. Additional sponsors of the event included Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Gotham Comedy Club and Kathy and Bruce Elsey, D.V.M. of Precious Cat, Inc. as Presenting Sponsors.

“Celgene is proud to have been one of the earliest partners of the MMRF – supporting numerous events and critical myeloma research for over a decade,” said Mark Alles, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Hematology and Oncology for Celgene Corporation. “MMRF Laugh for Life: New York provides an outstanding opportunity for Celgene to further our commitment to improve the lives of patients worldwide.”

The Carol Goldschein Spirit of Hope Award is presented annually by Celgene to a patient or caregiver who generously advocates for the benefit of myeloma patients and inspires hope through perseverance. Zaccaro Ullman, Founder and President of Dazzling Media, has served as a member of the MMRF Board of Directors for 13 years and has taken an active role in the MMRF Laugh for Life: New York for many years along with her mother, former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro, who passed away in 2011 following a long and courageous journey with multiple myeloma.

“If I have been able to provide some hope to others by my work with the MMRF, bringing awareness to the disease, by publicizing my mother’s story and her lessons for dealing with life and the disease, or if I have served in some way as an example myself of how to manage when faced with adversity, then I will feel like I have begun to answer my mother’s question of ‘Why are you there?’” said Zaccaro Ullman. “I am very proud to have worked with the MMRF these past 13 years and I am truly honored to accept this award from the MMRF, an organization that serves as a model for all other disease-based non-profits.”

The MMRF welcomes the public to join in their upcoming events in the Tri-State area, including the MMRF Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run on June 9, 2013. Additionally, the MMRF is fielding teams for the New York Triathlon on July 14, 2013 and the ING New York City Marathon on November 3, 2013. The MMRF Fall Gala will be held on November 9, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich, CT. To participate, support, or learn about all MMRF events, please visit: www.themmrf.org/events.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 41 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2013, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.

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 $225 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 10 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: www.themmrf.org.

Media contacts:

Anne Quinn Young, MMRF