Special appeal raises $530,000 to improve breast cancer treatment outcomes
Community and business leaders attending the UC Irvine Health gala, “Healers & Heroes,” on April 26 proved to be the evening’s heroes, donating more than $530,000 in only 15 minutes for an intraoperative radiation therapy device that has the potential to dramatically reduce breast cancer treatment and recovery times for many patients.
Including this special appeal, sponsors and guests generated a record $1.6 million in gala proceeds to support cancer research and patient care at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of UC Irvine Health. More than 500 people attended the celebration of healers and heroes associated with Orange County’s only comprehensive cancer center, held at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim.
“UC Irvine Health is fortunate to belong to a community that is dedicated to making advanced care for the most challenging and complex medical conditions available to all patients,” said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “The overwhelming generosity of this year’s gala attendees will go a long way toward changing what it means to be diagnosed with cancer in Orange County.”
Belmont, the event’s host, presented the UC Irvine Health CEO Leadership Award to Western National Group CEO Michael K. Hayde for his philanthropic support of pioneering cancer research and patient care. Longtime Hayde friend and internationally recognized soprano Jeralyn Glass performed a musical tribute to the honoree.
Guests closed the evening with dancing to the music of JT & Friends – the band formed by UC Irvine philanthropist and drummer John Tu, co-founder of Kingston Technology.
The intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) device funded by the community will make the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center the first cancer center in California to offer the Margin Probe intraoperative assessment tool in combination with IORT for the treatment of breast cancer. Margin Probe provides data on tissue surrounding a tumor to help a surgeon immediately assess whether all cancer cells were removed during surgery, with the goal of reducing the need for subsequent surgeries. The new IORT device will deliver radiation during surgery in a single, concentrated dose, often as an alternative to longer courses of post-surgery radiation.
Jeff and Nancy Stack and David and Sandy Stone served as honorary co-chairs of the critically and financially successful gala. Major sponsors included Abbott Medical Optics, Arbonne International LLC, Allen and Lee Chao, Richard and June Chao, the Hsia family, and Mary and John Tu.