10th Anniversary Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Laugh for Life: New York Raises Critical Funds for Blood Cancer Research

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that the 10th Anniversary of the MMRF Laugh for Life: New York comedy event, held May 3, 2012, at Pier Sixty in New York City, raised over $800,000 to support MMRF efforts to accelerate the development of next-generation treatments for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.

Sue Korn, Jean-Pierre Bizzari, Kathy Giusti, Mark Alles and Cindi Stern celebrate at the 10th Annive ...

Sue Korn, Jean-Pierre Bizzari, Kathy Giusti, Mark Alles and Cindi Stern celebrate at the 10th Anniversary MMRF Laugh for Life: New York comedy event. (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are so grateful to those who made the 10th Anniversary MMRF Laugh for Life: New York such a wonderful success, particularly our special guests, as well as the record number of MMRF supporters whose dedication to multiple myeloma patients and their families is extraordinary,” said Walter Capone, Chief Operating Officer of the MMRF. “This year’s event was the most significant to date as we inaugurated the Carol Goldschein Spirit of Hope Award presented by Celgene Corporation - an enduring tribute to Carol, her family, and her friends.”

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 Carol’s diagnosis with this rare cancer. As Corporate Chair of the event, Celgene initiated the Carol Goldschein Spirit of Hope Award this year in celebration of the event’s 10th Anniversary. Carol passed away earlier this year following a courageous 11-year battle with myeloma. The Carol Goldschein Spirit of Hope Award presented by Celgene will be given each year at MMRF Laugh for Life: New York to a patient or caregiver who exemplifies Carol’s character and true spirit – one who generously advocates for the benefit of others, works tirelessly to help myeloma patients, and inspires hope through perseverance.

“Celgene is committed to advancing treatments for myeloma patients and we are proud to partner with the MMRF to help achieve this goal,” said Mark Alles, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Celgene Corporation. “MMRF Laugh for Life: New York is an opportunity for New Yorkers to personally contribute to the development of next-generation cancer treatments.”

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 700 guests from the Tri-State area. Additional sponsors of the event included MyPRS Plus™ – Signal Genetics as a member of the Leadership Circle, and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company and Gotham Comedy Club as Presenting Sponsors. Buddy Fitzpatrick hosted the comedy portion of the evening – headlined by Tom Papa, host of NBC’s The Marriage Ref. Comedians Wali Collins and Brad Zimmerman also performed.

Funds raised through MMRF Laugh for Life: New York will help expand the portfolio of promising myeloma therapies, fund innovative research, and build on the dynamic, collaborative initiatives led by the MMRF and their affiliate organization the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). Significant MMRF achievements made possible by such funding include opening 38 clinical trials with 21 novel myeloma treatments, sequencing the multiple myeloma genome and initiating CoMMpass℠ – a groundbreaking, landmark study designed to uncover the molecular segments and variations in multiple myeloma. The most ambitious study of its kind in multiple myeloma, the CoMMpass study is the cornerstone of the larger MMRF Personalized Medicine Initiative, intended to help accelerate a cure.

The MMRF welcomes everyone to join in their upcoming events in the Tri-State area including teams for the New York Triathlon on July 8, 2012, the Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City on August 11, 2012 and the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, 2012. The MMRF will hold the MMRF Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run in New Canaan, CT on June 10, 2012. Additionally, the 15th Anniversary MMRF Fall Gala will be held on October 27, 2012 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 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 $190 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 nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.

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 2012, 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.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50266366&lang=en


Anne Quinn Young, MPH, 203-652-0212
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