illumination 12 Gala: Fast Forward to a World Without Cancer

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Many patients with cancer continue living life to the fullest as they fight their battle toward better health. With a positive attitude, they adopt a philosophy of “The show must go on.” That’s just the spirit award-winning actress/singer Minnie Driver brought to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s illumination12 Gala, held April 14 at The Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Minnie, the event’s special guest, tore ligaments in her ankle just days before the event but it didn’t stop her from lighting up the stage with her beautiful music to support cancer research.

“Having watched friends and family battle cancer, it’s such an honor to support research that will get us to cures faster.” —Minnie Driver

“Fast Forward to a World Without Cancer” was this year’s illumination Gala theme. With more than 500 guests, the event raised $1.9 million. Proceeds go to the Foundation’s Cancer Frontier Fund, an initiative to accelerate the pace of discoveries by increasing the number of promising clinical research projects at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

“These research projects translate into better treatment so more lives will be saved in St. Louis and around the world,” says Tim Eberlein, MD, Siteman director, chairman of the department of surgery, and Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin distinguished professor. “In the last three years, we’ve made 21 Cancer Frontier Fund grants to some of our most dedicated researchers to defeat many types of cancer and deliver on the promise of personalized cancer therapy. We’re so grateful for the support to help us begin even more research projects.”

This year’s event chairs were Ron Kruszewski, chairman and chief executive officer of Stifel Nicolaus, and Tom Hillman, owner and managing partner of FTL Capital LLC.

“We must never give up hope in the fight against cancer,” Ron says. “Through the Cancer Frontier Fund, we’ll continue to make strategic investments in innovative clinical research to step up the pace of breakthroughs.”

Tom agrees. “The goal is to raise $50 million for the Cancer Frontier Fund in 10 years. We’re already almost 20 percent there thanks to the generosity of so many. But we must keep building to speed up important discoveries that will help our family and friends who are touched by cancer—today and tomorrow.”

The Foundation’s Cancer Frontier Fund was established in 2009 to support research at Siteman, the only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center within 240 miles of St. Louis and one of the largest cancer centers in the country.

To support The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Cancer Frontier Fund (#6792), make a donation online, call 314-286-0600 or email GivingBarnesJewish@bjc.org.

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