Halle Berry, Mario Cantone, Vera Wang, Betsey Johnson, & Amy Ryan to Attend and Join the Fight Against Leukemia
NEW YORK, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donor center, will further its fight against leukemia with the organization's 3rd Annual DKMS Gala on Thursday, May 7th at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
The organization will pay tribute to Joe Uva, CEO of Univision Communications Inc. with the Mechtild Harf Award. Additionally, Bernd Beetz, Chief Executive Officer of Coty Inc. will serve as the Gala's Honorary Chair and Mario Cantone will host the black tie event for the second year in a row. Oscar winning actress, Halle Berry will present a very special award to six-year-old Isabelle Huurman, who has pleaded publically for people to become a bone barrow donor and save the life of her best friend leukemia patient, Jasmina Anema. Jasmina's condition has garnered a recent outcry of support from Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Lil Mama, Jason Kidd, Chris Wilcox, Lamar Odom and Governor Paterson to name a few.
Highlights of the heartwarming program include an emotional first time leukemia patient and donor meeting and a special performance by singer-songwriter, Jazmine Sullivan whose recent album, Fearless, has been championed by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Missy Elliott and Faith Evans. Other celebrities expected to attend and join the fight against leukemia include actress Amy Ryan and fashion icons Vera Wang and Betsey Johnson.
Uva will follow in the footsteps of last year's DKMS honoree', Cindy Crawford, who lost her brother to leukemia, and Manny Chirico, CEO of Philips Van Heusen, a lymphoma survivor himself.
DKMS is committed to the fight against leukemia. The not for profit organization strives to give every blood cancer patient a second chance at life by recruiting bone marrow donors from every race and ethnicity. They inspire hope and healing by matching donors with patients from around the world who are in need of a transplant.
"All the proceeds raised will go directly to enrolling bone marrow donors," said Katharina Harf, EVP of DKMS Americas. "All the support we have received will enable us to help patients who depend on donors to give them a chance at new life. Our immediate goal is to reach 2 million bone marrow donors to help save the lives of more leukemia patients around the world."
"There is a misconception that donating bone marrow is a complicated, painful procedure," Harf says. "Actually, there are two ways to donate, and both procedures are outpatient. If we can educate people on how easy the registration and donation processes are, everyone will sign up, since it's a chance to save a life," added Harf.
Each year, more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma. Less than 30% of patients can find a match in their own family; the other 70% must search for an unrelated donor. Sadly, only 3 out of 10 patients will receive the transplant that could save their lives.
DKMS began in Germany with the mission of one man. In 1990, Peter Harf was desperate to find a donor for his wife Mechtild, who was diagnosed with acute leukemia. The search seemed hopeless because, at the time, there were only 3,000 unrelated donors available in Germany. He worked tirelessly gathering friends, family and volunteers to organize donor drives, successfully recruiting more than 65,000 donors in one year.
DKMS or "Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei" (German Bone Marrow Donor Center in English) was officially founded in 1991 by Peter Harf and his wife's physician, Dr. Gerhard Ehninger. Their goal was simple: to build a major bone marrow donor center to help leukemia patients worldwide find their life-saving match. Today, DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with more than 1.8 million registered donors. Since its founding, DKMS has facilitated over 16,000 transplants.
In 2004, DKMS opened an office in New York City to diversify its donor pool, by registering more bone marrow donors in the U.S. Since 2006, DKMS has registered more than 65,000 donors, which allowed more than 100 patients to receive a life-saving transplant.
ABOUT THE COTY-DKMS LINKED AGAINST LEUKEMIA PARTNERSHIP
In October 2006, Coty Inc., a global beauty leader and the world's largest fragrance company, joined DKMS, the world's largest non-profit bone marrow donor center, in the fight against leukemia by establishing the Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukemia partnership. Led by CEO Bernd Beetz, Coty has leveraged its strong celebrity partnerships to raise awareness of the disease and help recruit thousands of donors around the world. Additionally, Coty has assisted DKMS in establishing independent DKMS organizations in the Americas and Poland with plans to open offices elsewhere in Europe in the coming years. Leukemia, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, personally affected the Coty family when the wife of longtime Coty Chairman Peter Harf succumbed to the disease in 1991.
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