By Jack Rico
NEW YORK (May 10, 2012) – More than 300 guests celebrated the 50th anniversary of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® at the third annual Gala Por La Vida (Gala for Life) on May 3 at the Legendary Copacabana in New York by raising more than $85,000.
Funds raised at the Gala Por La Vida will benefit the St. Jude International Outreach Program (IOP), which aims to improve the survival rates of children with life threatening illnesses worldwide, through the sharing of research and technology. IOP has 19 affiliate clinics in 14 countries, including Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica and Mexico.
In 50 years, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases, saving the lives of countless children and helping push overall survival rates of childhood cancer from 20 to 80 percent. Thanks to the generosity of donors, no family ever pays St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for anything – care, housing, transportation, meals and education.
At this year’s Gala Por La Vida, several celebrities walked the red carpet, including Kika Rocha, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Carlos Fuente Jr., Pablo Montero, among others. Performers included renowned jazz trumpet master and classical musician Arturo Sandoval, legendary Caribbean artist Jose Alberto “El Canario” and Latin superstars in the making, Valentino and Sammi* Benz.
“Earlier this year, I visited this wonderful hospital to meet patients and witness the pioneering research and innovative treatments at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Carlos Fuente, Jr., gala chair. “It is a great honor to represent the St. Jude family and bring smiles to thousands of children battling cancer and other deadly diseases. I will continue supporting its lifesaving mission as long as I live.”
During one of the most inspirational moments of the night, a St. Jude patient named Miguel shared his incredible story of survival against osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer that attacked his left leg. By combining the hospital’s world-class research with first-class patient care, doctors pioneered a surgical technique to save his limb by replacing the cancerous bone with an expandable prosthetic device. Miguel continues to receive chemotherapy treatment at St. Jude.
This year’s gala was sponsored by The Fuente Family Foundation, d’expósito & Partners, J.C. Newman Cigar Co., Viva República and AT&T. Univision Radio New York was the gala’s media partner.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting www.stjude.org or www.hospitalsanjudas.org, following us on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.