MMRF PRESS RELEASES
Stevie Wonder to be Honored with Tribute Concert at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) 15th Annual Fall Gala
Michael McDonald and Darius Rucker to perform at Premier Event Raising Urgent Funds for Cancer Research
Norwalk, CT — July 20, 2011
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that Michael McDonald and Darius Rucker will be the featured artists performing a tribute concert celebrating Stevie Wonder at the 15th annual MMRF Fall Gala, to be held October 29, 2011, in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. The MMRF will be honoring music industry icon Stevie Wonder at the gala with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, presented annually to individuals who inspire hope with their perseverance in overcoming personal obstacles. All funds raised will support the development of next-generation treatments for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.
Michael McDonald, formerly of The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, is a five-time Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter. In 2008, McDonald released his SoulSpeak album featuring his interpretation of 11 carefully selected soul-inspired songs including Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City". Darius Rucker first gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish, which charted six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2009, Rucker became the first African American to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association. McDonald and Rucker will headline the tribute concert to Stevie Wonder along with additional surprise performers.
“I am proud to participate in this tribute concert for Stevie Wonder to benefit the MMRF – an organization that has helped so many patients and families affected by this devastating cancer,” said Rucker. “Cancer affects everyone; it is my hope that my involvement will help the MMRF in their role of bringing patients new treatments and continuing on their path to a cure.”
The MMRF is one of the nation’s most groundbreaking cancer research organizations. Funds raised by the MMRF have facilitated accomplishments such as helping to bring four new myeloma drugs to market, more than doubling the patient life expectancy post-diagnosis around the globe, opening 31 clinical trials 60% faster than the industry standards in oncology, and sequencing the multiple myeloma genome. The four treatments the MMRF helped accelerate are now standard therapies for patients with multiple myeloma and are being explored as treatments for more than 30 other cancers. As exceptional stewards of its donors’ investments, the MMRF has been consistently recognized for its sound fiscal management.
“I am honored to have been asked to perform in the MMRF’s tribute concert for Stevie Wonder; they could not have picked a more deserving recipient for their Spirit of Hope Award,” said McDonald. “I am thrilled to support the MMRF in this capacity as their innovative work provides hope for cancer patients worldwide.”
Despite the advancements made by the MMRF, the five year survival rate for myeloma remains one of the lowest of all cancers, with some communities harder hit by the disease than others. African American men and women, for instance, are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma than any other racial or ethnic group. Multiple myeloma remains an incurable blood cancer. The funds raised by the MMRF are critical in continuing to advance research and the progress being made.
“We are so thankful to have Michael McDonald and Darius Rucker joining the MMRF to help honor Stevie Wonder and to support our urgent work,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and a myeloma patient. “The endorsement of our mission by public figures like these talented musicians is critical to raising awareness for this rare cancer.”
The MMRF Fall Gala is the largest and most prominent fundraising event in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. Attendees include celebrities, the nation’s most prominent business executives and high-impact philanthropists. To reserve a table for the MMRF Fall Gala, donate an auction item or join the planning committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-584-5463.
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 $170 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 31 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.