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Wrapping Up the Lazarex Gala With a Bow

Lazarex Cancer Foundation’s “Treasure the Moments” gala was held on September 21st at Garré Vineyard and Winery in Livermore and was a memorable evening for everyone who attended. With a full house of more than 200 guests, the event raised $291,980 (net) due to very generous and spirited giving! Each dollar donated goes to help advanced-stage cancer patients with the costs associated with taking part in cancer clinical trials.

Clinical trials are often the only hope for patients with advanced or recurrent cancer. However, many oncologists don’t have the time to keep up with the myriad of trials taking place throughout the country let alone be knowledgeable of each one’s admission standards. This is where Lazarex steps in. 

When an oncologist suggests a clinical trial, rather than trying to do the research themselves, patients may contact Lazarex for help. Lazarex focuses on two things: providing information about available trials and reimbursing for out-of-pocket expenses associated with trial participation. Lazarex literally gets patients and a companion when needed where they need to be when they need to be there.

On average, a patient travels 544 miles every two to three weeks to a clinical trial site. Airfare, gas, tolls, parking, and hotels when needed add up and can be a barrier to entry.  Lazarex reimburses patients for these expenses based on financial need. They believe that no one should have to decide between paying rent or buying groceries and taking part in potentially life-saving treatment. 

To date, Lazarex has helped over 5,000 patients with navigation and financial assistance for FDA clinical trial participation that could extend or save their lives. Lazarex has aided patients from ages 1-102 years, with all forms of cancer, from 50 states, 18 countries, at over 198 cancer treatment sites nationwide.

Some highlights of the evening:

MC Laura Evans Manatos kept the evening on track and provided a brief overview of the Foundation’s impact in the cancer community.

Vera Packard, Executive Director, provided a warm welcome and introduced the program that included award presentations, testimonials, live entertainment, live auctions and more. She also was the bearer of good news updates during the live auction and fund a need.

Inspiration was abundantly present in the form of attending Lazarex patients or family members, the acceptance speeches of the awardees, and in the address delivered by Lazarex founder Dana Dornsife. Take a few minutes to read her gala address here.

A video highlighted the challenges to clinical trial participation faced by patients diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer that no longer responds to today’s “standard of care.” The film included testimonies from patients (or their family members) who have received assistance from Lazarex. You can view the video here.

Awards were presented to two individuals. The Hands of Hope Award went to Roger Schwab of Atherton, CA. Roger has served Lazarex Cancer Foundation as a volunteer on the Advisory Council and Financial Committee, and supported the Foundation as a donor, since 2007.  The Invictus Award was given to Lazarex patient Jackie Hinckley of Monterey, CA for her advocacy work representing the patient experience through personal testimonials in Washington DC and sharing her story in on-air interviews. 

Damen Casatico, auctioneer extraordinaire, kept the bidding lively for the incredible cake from Danville Old Towne Bakery, the live auction and the fund a need. 

To all who supported this event through donations for the auction, gifts in kind, sponsorship, donations in lieu, or as attendees or volunteers, the Foundation offers wholehearted gratitude and appreciation.

If you weren’t able to attend, but would still like to contribute, donations can be made online at www.lazarex.org or by check to P.O. Box 741, Danville, CA 94526. Please make a note that your gift is for the gala fundraiser.