Local and National Leaders Come Together to Accelerate Cancer Research at the 12th Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Annual Chicago Awards Dinner

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Mike Ditka, Legendary NFL Player; Head Coach and Broadcaster, Honored with the MMRF Courage and Commitment Award

Norwalk, CT — April 9, 2014

Last night more than 400 Chicago business, healthcare and community leaders attended the 12th Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Chicago Awards Dinner and raised over $800,000 toward innovative approaches to extend patients’ lives and accelerate new treatments to lead to a cure for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.

The MMRF was proud to honor Mike Ditka, legendary NFL player; head coach and broadcaster , whom accepted the MMRF Courage and Commitment Award presented by the 2012 MMRF Spirit of Hope Award Honoree, Pat Williams, Senior Vice President of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. The MMRF Courage and Commitment Award is presented annually to an individual who inspires hope with perseverance in overcoming personal obstacles. Bonnie Hunt, famed actress, writer, producer and director and a member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors served as Mistress of Ceremonies for her 12th straight year.

By funding valuable cancer research and breaking down barriers in cancer research, countless patients will be able to get treatments faster and one day the MMRF will find a cure,” said Dikta. “I am honored to be recognized by the MMRF, an innovative organization that helpless so many cancer patients.”

Connie L. Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust, Chicago. served as the event’s Patient Family Speaker.

“I am here this evening with a heart filled with gratitude and a sense of urgency,” said Lindsey. “I am grateful for the MMRF and to Kathy Giusti whose indefatigable pursuit of excellence and collaborative scientific research transformed the approach to treatment options for myeloma patients.”

The event was also attended by notable Chicago guests including Derrick Blakley, General Assignment Reporter at CBS 2 Chicago and a multiple myeloma patient; Lester Knight, Founding Partner and Co-Chairman of RoundTable Healthcare Partners.

”We are truly grateful for the remarkable support shown tonight by our speakers Bonnie Hunt, Mike Ditka and Connie Lindsey,” said Walter M. Capone, President of the MMRF. “Together we are playing a vital role in the development of new and improved treatments for cancer patients.”

Upcoming MMRF events in the Chicagoland area include the MMRF Race for Research: Chicago 5K Walk/Run on September 27. Additionally, the MMRF is fielding a team for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, which will be Sunday, October 12, 2014. For more information on MMRF events, please visit: www.themmrf.org/events.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 24,050 adults (13,500 men and 10,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014 and an estimated 11,090 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 43%, versus 28% in 1998.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised $250 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: www.themmrf.org.

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