Chicago- More than 430 people attended The Israel Cancer Research Fund’s (ICRF) Gala on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at the InterContinental Chicago in honor of Northbrook residents, Jacki and Bruce Barron, generous supporters of ICRF since 2011. Dr. Steven Rosen, provost and chief scientific officer for the City of Hope cancer center was presented with the ICRF Lifetime Achievement Award. The event raised more than $650,000, a new record for the Chicago chapter of ICRF. This included an anonymous challenge grant of $25,000 for new and increased gifts. Bonnie Hunt, actress, writer, producer and cancer advocate, served as
the evening’s MC.
Each of the special guests in the program exemplified ICRF’s mission to fight cancer and increase survival rates. Honoree Jacki Barron, a two-time cancer survivor and a former patient of Dr. Rosen, when he served as director of Northwestern’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chicago, credits him with helping her to beat cancer: “Steve Rosen saved my life and now I have the honor to pay tribute to him.”
Bonnie Hunt, actress, writer, producer and cancer advocate, also shared her story of working with Dr. Rosen for seven years as his oncology nurse.Dr. Ephrat Levy-Lahad, an ICRF-funded scientist for many years, who discovered that an abnormality in the RAD51 gene increases the risk of developing breast cancer in women with the BRCA 2 gene mutation, spoke about the ongoing support from the organization, which has enabled her to pursue her research in breast cancer.
Upon accepting his award from the Barrons, Dr. Steve Rosen, said: “The ICRF Lifetime Achievement Award is a remarkable honor, especially coming from ICRF , an organization that advances scientific understanding of cancer and supports organizations that are transforming lives. Its noble mission is to reduce human suffering by providing resources to gifted scientists whose creativity is fostered by friends from the U.S. and Canada. I am extremely proud, and humbled to be the recipient of such an honor.”
Harvey Miller, founder and co-chairman of Millbrook Real Estate and the former co- owner and corporate secretary of Quill Corporation, who presented the Tower of Hope Award to Jacki and Bruce Barron, remarked: “This award could not have been given to a more deserving more devoted couple. It is my honor to know both of you.”
Bruce is a co-founder of Origin Ventures, a Chicago-based Venture Capital Fund that invests in early stage technology companies. He is a member of the board of directors of Whittl, Dialogtech and the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and is a board observer for Persio. He previously served on the board of directors of GrubHub. Both Jacki and Bruce have been very involved in ICRF, co-chairing its gala four years ago honoring Dr. Steven T. Rosen. Bruce has been a member of the board of ICRF for the past five years, and co-chairs its Development Committee. Jacki is a passionate political activist and breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed first in 2006 and then again in 2008. Since then she has mentored many women with breast cancer, and has provided support to women undergoing chemotherapy.
According to Jennifer Flink, executive director of ICRF Chicago, “The efforts of Israeli cancer researchers have resulted in some of the most significant cancer breakthroughs in recent years. The scientists that we have funded have helped to develop new techniques and treatments impacting all forms of cancer including prostrate, lung, breast, ovarian, brain, and more. In addition to Velcade, ICRF- supported researchers have been instrumental in the development of Doxil and Gleevec. Thousands of people worldwide are in remission or cancer free because of Israeli scientists.’’ Brad Goldhar, ICRF president, added: “ICRF continues to fund world class cancer research in Israel with a focus on helping to establish the careers of young investigators – this is the future of science!”