This past Thursday, DKMS US hosted its first ever Virtual Gala. The Gala raised crucial funds to provide blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant with a second chance at life.
On the 17th September, DKMS, a world leader in the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders, brought their annual gala into living rooms nationwide in a special virtual format – and raised over $3.5 million.
The evening honored Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, and his wife, Aditi Chaudhary. The pair shared the incredible story of their daughter Aisha Chaudhary, who passed away in 2015, but not before inspiring millions as a young author and motivational speaker.
Guests were treated to a musical performance by our very own LP, who was introduced by her friend – actress Jaime King. It appears that LP’s performance was streamed from the Beehive Studio in Los Angeles.
LP said: “I’m very thrilled to be here for a cause that is very close to my heart. There are ten million DKMS registered donors worldwide, and we’d love to help them get to ten million more.”
More about the Gala after the press release.
In the most emotional moment of the night, 9-year-old Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) survivor Grady Smith met his stem cell donor, Jessica Carroll, for the very first time. Jessica donated to Grady in 2018, and the two have been hoping to meet ever since. Their first meeting was followed by a huge surprise moment.
Despite the fact that this year’s gala did not physically take place in New York, the city still celebrated DKMS’s incredible work by lighting the Empire State Building red from 8 PM to 9 PM ET, while supporters across the five boroughs watched the event from home.
In his opening remarks, DKMS founder Peter Harf recalled that “when we had to cancel our physical galas in New York and London, many people thought that we should take a break, but we cannot, because blood cancer doesn’t take a break… DKMS was born in adversity, and we know how to deal with adversity. We grow when the crisis gets deeper.”
Olivier & Valérie Goudet were the evening’s Event Chairs. DKMS founder Peter Harf served as Honorary Chair alongside Robert Gamgort and Charlotte & Alejandro Santo Domingo. Katharina Harf is the Global Vice Chairwoman of the DKMS Foundation Board. Coty and JAB are proud corporate sponsors of the event.
Founded nearly 30 years ago in Germany, DKMS is an international charity dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders. We at DKMS are committed to providing hope and second chances at life to blood cancer patients by raising awareness, registering more donors, improving therapies through research, and providing access to transplantation. Today, DKMS is the global leader in providing blood stem cell transplants to patients. With 10 million potential donors registered, we have successfully facilitated nearly 90,000 transplants for patients in more than 57 countries. However, with thousands of patients still waiting for their lifesaving matches, our work is not done. 100% of the proceeds from the annual US Gala fund the DKMS mission to grant every blood cancer patient with a second chance at life.
Tickets to the gala ranged from 3.000 to 100.000 USD.
Katharina wrote in her Instagram post:
We had to go virtual this year, but the emotions are still real!!
Thank you to all our donors and our supporters!! We appreciate you so much!!
Thank you LP for being such a big DKMS supporter and such a dear friend!!
And thanks to my #swabteam!! We ❤️ you, girls!