April 30, 2015
Expect Miracles Foundation was proud to present the 4th Annual Miracle Maker Leadership Council Funding Award Celebration on April 30, 2015. Eaton Vance Management graciously hosted the event in their beautiful café space. This event is the annual highlight for the Council as they hear from the doctors they support and recognize innovative organizations and programs they fund.
With the support of 14 new Miracle Maker Leadership Council members, who joined last year, the largest gathering to date of 75 MMLC Members and guests were on hand to join in the celebration. Through the addition of new members, the MMLC’s impact was also amplified, as this year’s funding cycle supported five charities with $30,000—the most charities to ever be supported at one time by the MMLC.
Before the grantees shared their remarks, Founder and Chairman, Frank Strauss reminded the attendees that “funding research dedicated to finding cures for cancer has always been at the heart of the Foundation’s work, and we are very proud to partner with the Belfer Institute.” Frank invited Kwok-Kin Wong, M.D., Scientific Director, Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science and Jessie M. English, Ph.D., Head of Research, Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science to the podium to share a few words.
Dr. Wong thanked Expect Miracles Foundation and the Miracle Makers for their generosity and dedication to The Belfer Institute, and spoke of how he has never been so excited and confident in the research being conducted today because of the success of immunotherapy. To illustrate the progress being made, Dr. English spoke of the exciting success Dr. Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of the Belfer Institute, is realizing with a new drug for lung cancers with the EGFR mutation. You can read more about the progress here.
MMLC Member Karan McClimans, from T. Rowe Price, took to the podium to present the first Funding Award. The $10,000 grant to the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation will provide at least 423 newly diagnosed teens and young adults with Teen Kits, which include a bandana pillow and a custom designed nylon cinch bag filled with age-appropriate items to entertain, distract, and comfort patients during treatment. Gisele DiNatale, Director & Co-founder from the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, shared an inspiring story about the power of a smile and that the funding award from the MMLC will bring that same joy to even more teens.
Karan McClimans then presented a check for $3,500 to Cancer Kiss My Cooley. This grant will provide 1 family with a Kiss of HOPE™. The Kiss of Hope program gives children with brain tumors and their families the opportunity to create happy memories and moments together to escape the everyday battle of cancer through financial assistance and a custom memory making experience that is specific to that child. Michelle Domino, Secretary and Director from Cancer Kiss My Cooley, thanked the MMLC for providing financial relief for parents caring for a child with brain cancer while providing the family with a fun opportunity to be a family and build memories.
MMLC Co-Chair, Ken Starr, of Interactive Data presented the remaining awards. Ken distributed a $3,000 grant to Circle of Care to support 1 family through the Lifeline Emergency Fund, which provides money to families impacted by cancer who have exhausted all other financial resources. These funds will be put towards essentials such as mortgage, rent, or utility payments. The grant will also provide 10 gas and grocery cards to families in need. Jeff Kimball, Executive Director from Circle of Care, expressed gratitude for the MMLC's generosity in helping a Connecticut family with the overwhelming financial strains caused by cancer.
Ken then presented a $3,000 Award to The Next Step Fund to support the expansion of its Face2Face program which consists of conferences for young people, ages 16-24, who are living with or have a history of cancer diagnosis within the last five years, and includes year round support and programming for young adult cancer survivors. Bill Kubicek, Executive Director and Founder of The Next Step Fund, thanked the MMLC for helping teens impacted by cancer to see that having cancer does not define them, and to remember how they were before their diagnosis so they can take the next step.
Lastly, Ken very proudly presented a $10,000 Award to Lucy’s Love Bus. This grant will fund integrative therapies for 20 of the most vulnerable pediatric cancer patients outside of New England who require immediate comfort due to the relapse of their cancer or a transition to hospice care. Beecher Grogan, Co-Founder and Director from Lucy’s Love Bus, expressed how grateful she was to the MMLC for believing in their mission to provide care for pediatric patients so that children do not suffer when they are being cured.
Frank Heavey, Executive Director of Expect Miracles Foundation concluded the evening by thanking the members of the MMLC for their commitment and generosity in leading Expect Miracles Foundation's mission. "You are the leaders in achieving our two critical goals: cure and care. And there are only two words as powerful: thank you!"
Individuals can join the MMLC by committing to three consecutive years of annual donations. For additional information, please click here or contact Frank Heavey, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978.760.4352