November 21, 2017 – New York, NY –
The Lupus Research Alliance celebrated the 2017 Breaking through
Lupus Gala to shed a spotlight on breakthroughs from the
previous years, and the importance of lupus research to deliver
discoveries to come. With the generous support of nearly 700
attendees, the landmark event raised over $3.2 million – with
every dollar going directly to fund lupus research programs.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke
was recognized for his strong dedication to corporate
responsibility and innovation. The 2017 Gala honoree commented,
“NBCUniversal is honored to support those affected by lupus
worldwide with a contribution of $1 million to fund the best in
scientific study through the Lupus Research Alliance.”
of the most influential performers worldwide, Selena Gomez
joined the Lupus Research Alliance celebration to share her
story for the first time directly with the lupus community and
the organization she generously supports. Ms. Gomez flew
straight to the Gala from her triumphant return to the stage at
the American Music Awards in Los Angeles the previous evening.
am supporting the Lupus Research Alliance because they are
getting results, and that’s what gives people with lupus the
most hope,” said Ms. Gomez. “I’d like to see the day when all
young women can realize their dreams of a life without lupus.”
Gomez and The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg served as Honorary
Co-Chairs of the Lupus Research Alliance Gala, the largest
single lupus fundraiser in the world.
NBCUniversal held a starring role for the night with several of
Mr. Burke’s colleagues serving as Gala co-chairs: Brian
Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation; Ron Meyer,
Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal and Lorne Michaels,
Creator and Executive Producer, Saturday Night Live. In
Seth Meyers, host of NBC-TV Late Night,
emceed, delighting guests with his signature sharp humor.
Lupus Research Alliance
Co-Chairmen Ira Akselrad, President, The Johnson Company
and Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal & Compliance
Officer, Bloomberg L.P. also co-hosted the evening.
Gala also honored Lupus Research Alliance Immediate Past
Co-President and Co-CEO Margaret G. Dowd for over 20
years of impassioned dedication to advancing lupus research.
Mr. DeScherer noted, “Peggy was one of America’s pioneers in
novel lupus research, not as a scientist but as an inspirational
spark, fostering talent and embracing innovation.”
Having just earned rave reviews as the lead in Brigadoon,
brought new life to such Broadway favorites as I Could Have
Danced All Night and I Have Dreamed. She noted a
personal connection to lupus and sang You’ll Never Walk Alone
as a reminder that working together, “you’re never alone”.
Adding to the excitement, New York’s iconic Empire State
Building lit up purple and red to help the Lupus Research
Alliance raise awareness of the disease and the importance of
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease
that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of
people with lupus are women, most of whom are diagnosed between
the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In
lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against
infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues
and organs -- the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and
About the Lupus Research Alliance
Lupus Research Alliance
transforming the lives of people affected with
lupus by financing the most
innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s
stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific
talent who are driving discovery toward better diagnostics,
improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because
the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors fund all
administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes
to support lupus research programs.
to learn more about how the Lupus Research Alliance is breaking
through with the innovative research necessary to improve
treatment while driving to a cure.