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S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Gala Raises Record $3.2 Million for Lupus

Bob Costas Presents Award to NBC Sports Producer Michael Weisman and Wife


NEW YORK, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2007 S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's "Life Without Lupus" Gala raised more than $3.2 million for lupus, a national record for funds collected at a single event to support education, provide services, and nurture research for the chronic and often devastating autoimmune illness. Nearly 700 supporters attended the December 3rd black tie event at the Marriott Marquis in New York's Times Square.

The evening's program was emceed by NBC's dynamic Today Show host, Hoda Kotb and featured a rousing 30-minute set by Broadway star and Tony Award winner, Patti LuPone. A dramatic video featuring people with lupus cast a reflective mood in the crowd as they assembled for dinner in the candlelit ballroom. (View video at

Sportscaster Bob Costas introduced the award to the Weismans, describing the couple as a "team in life and work." Carol Weisman, who has lupus, and husband Michael Weisman, an Emmy Award-winning producer for NBC Sports, connect generations, personalities, and East Coast to West Coast through their countless contributions to lupus.

In Los Angeles, Carol galvanized support for the Foundation's west coast division, Lupus LA, helping it to become the presence in patient awareness and Hollywood involvement that it is today. Now in New York, Carol is a dynamic voice on the Foundation's board of directors and a passionate advocate for its national research partner, the Lupus Research Institute.

With clear admiration for Carol and the multitude of others in the room that campaign for lupus, Mistress of Ceremonies Kotb described gathering similar courage to speak out about her recent fight with breast cancer following a comment from a stranger on an airplane flight: "Don't hog your journey," he advised her. Be a force for change. The Weismans, Kotb said, are a model for doing just that.

The 2007 Scientific Leadership Award was given to Benjamin Schwartz, MD, PhD, professor of internal medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, whose sage and steady guidance has enabled the Lupus Research Institute to pioneer a powerful model for scientific discovery in lupus.

The 2007 Corporate Leadership Award was given to Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, in recognition of its vigorous work in developing evidence-based treatments for people with lupus and other long-neglected diseases.

"The name Aspreva is derived from the words aspirations, hopes, and dreams," said Aspreva Executive Vice President of Global Pharmaceutical Operations, Rick Goulburn, upon accepting the award for the company. "We've been inspired by you to aspire hope and dream for a life without lupus," he said. "And due to your work, we'll hopefully get there in the not-too-distant future."

About the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, headquartered in New York and Los Angeles, is the leading lupus organizations in the country providing patient services, education, public awareness and funding for novel lupus research. For more information on lupus or the Foundation, visit

SOURCE S.L.E. Lupus Foundation
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