News & Press

MRF Welcomes Katie Couric to the New York Gala

In an unforgettable evening to honor the patients, survivors and caregivers in the melanoma community, Katie will share her personal experiences with cancer and join New York’s most generous business and community leaders in support of the one million Americans currently living with melanoma.

New York City, NY – The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) will host the 18th Annual New York Gala on Thursday, October 17 at Cipriani Broadway. The gala will welcome award-winning journalist, producer, New York Times best-selling author, podcast host, documentary filmmaker, co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and longtime cancer prevention advocate, Katie Couric. As part of an unforgettable evening to celebrate and support patients, survivors and caregivers in the melanoma community, Katie will share her personal experiences with cancer and will discuss her latest collaboration with Merck’s “With Love, Me” campaign.

In partnership with more than a dozen patient advocacy groups, “With Love, Me” showcases a series of heartfelt letters written by caregivers and cancer survivors to their former selves reflecting upon what they wish they had known – or needed to hear – when they were first coping with a cancer diagnosis. Katie will also be joined by one of the campaign’s patient advocates and an active member of the MRF community, melanoma survivor Patrick Guddal.

“We are honored to welcome Katie Couric for this incredible event,” said Kyleigh LiPira, MRF CEO. “As a longtime advocate and someone with such a personal connection to the cancer community, Katie’s compassion and tireless support has touched countless lives and brought much needed awareness while giving families across the world a new reason for hope.”

At the 2019 New York Gala, the MRF will present a Humanitarian Award to Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD in recognition of the dedication he has shown in his work to advance the field of melanoma research and treatment development. Alexander N. Shoushtari, MD will receive the CURE OM Vision of Hope Award in honor of his exemplary patient care and work towards much needed breakthroughs in ocular melanoma research. For the inspiring bravery they have shown in facing melanoma, Mark McAndrew Brown, Laraine Pirie and Henry Seger will be honored with Courage Awards. A posthumous Courage Award will celebrate the life and enduring memory of Daryl Lynn Pace, whose courageous fight with ocular melanoma was and is an inspiration to our community.

Gala attendees will enjoy a seated gourmet meal, handcrafted cocktails, once-in-a-lifetime auction items and experiences and a special performance by Rebecca Cherry, a critically acclaimed violinist, composer and melanoma survivor. Most importantly, guests will create a powerful and lasting impact by raising life-saving funds for melanoma research. In 2018, gala attendees raised over $1 million to support melanoma research, education and advocacy!

Tickets for the NYC Gala are currently available but will sell out quickly. Sponsorships, journal recognition and VIP packages are also available. Visit https://one.bidpal.net/2019mrfnewyork to purchase tickets, or email galas@melanoma.org for more information. Don’t miss out on the largest and most anticipated event of the year as New York’s most generous business and community leaders come together for an unforgettable night in support of the one million Americans currently living with melanoma – purchase your tickets before they are gone!

About Melanoma
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, races and skin types. With a 1 in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, this year more than 192,000 Americans will be diagnosed. Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25-to 29-years-old and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-to 29-years-old. Most melanomas occur on the skin; but melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails.

About the Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma. Since 1998, the MRF has funded over $17 million in melanoma research, transforming the landscape of treatment development. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is a committed advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of the disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at http://www.melanoma.org. Find the MRF on Facebook and Twitter.

About “With Love, Me”
“With Love, Me,” is a new campaign presented by Merck’s Your Cancer Game Plan that features a series of heartfelt letters written by caregivers and cancer survivors to their newly diagnosed selves and other caregivers, reflecting upon what they wish they had known when they were diagnosed or providing care. A gallery of patient and caregiver letters is featured on the campaign’s website where people can read, view and share stories from others who may have walked in their shoes. Users are also encouraged to share their own #WithLoveMe message online. To learn more, visit WithLoveMe.com.