The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund's annual “Dancing for Joan” event was a huge success and served as the climax to their most successful year of fundraising. Today, the Gaeta Fund announced their commitment of $30,000 to international lung cancer research through the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALMCI). They also announced the commitment of $6,000 to local awareness initiatives in 2012.
On Saturday, February 25th, nearly 200 supporters gathered together at the Pavilion of East Cobb in Marietta, Georgia for the fifth annual lung cancer fundraiser. They were treated to great food, great music, and - of course - dancing. Guests were also educated and inspired by an impressive lineup of speakers.
Leading things off after the cocktail hour was the Honorary Chairman of the event, Dr. Paul Scheinberg, Chief of Medical Staff at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Founder of Atlanta Pulmonary Group, and tireless lung cancer advocate. He explained the changes in the profile of the "typical" lung cancer patient over the last 20 years and urged people to fight the stigma.
Next, guests welcomed former NFL linebacker Chris Draft, who recently lost his wife to lung cancer a mere month after they were married. They viewed his profile from ESPN and heard his inspiring words as he honors the memory of his beautiful wife Keasha with the launch of "Team Draft".
We then heard from Bonnie Addario, Founder and President of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI). The cornerstone presentation of the evening recapped the advances these organizations have made in the fight against lung cancer. In July of 2010, the Gaetas announced their formal partnership with ALCMI, committing 85 percent of their net proceeds to the excellent work they are doing. Remaining funds are used in metro Atlanta for annual awareness initiatives.
The “Dancing for Joan” presenting sponsor was represented by Patti Owen, Director of Oncology Services at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. She gave an update of the exciting things that are taking shape at Northside regarding the treatment of cancer - in particular lung cancer.
“We are very excited about our partnership with ALMCI and for what our annual event was able to accomplish,” says Joe Gaeta, president of The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund, and son of the late Joan Gaeta, in whose memory the organization was founded. “We are confident that our supporter’s generous donations will make a deep and immediate impact with ALCMI.”
“We are incredibly and deeply thankful to the Gaeta Family for their commitment to ending lung cancer in Joan's memory,” says Bonnie J. Addario, founder. “It is with partners like the Gaeta Fund that will allow ALCMI to begin to raise the 'curability' of lung cancer in a significant way.”
A lifelong non-smoker, Joan Gaeta was a devoted wife, teacher, and mother of five. Diagnosed with Lung Cancer in early 2004, she fought a three and a half year battle before succumbing in July of 2007.
During that time, Joan stressed the need for greater awareness of Lung Cancer, the number one cancer killer in the world, which has a very low survival rate and a tragic lack of research funds. She was most passionate about eliminating the stigma of the disease, since lung cancer also strikes non-smokers at a high rate.
# # #
The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund was created in the fall of 2007 as The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Foundation by her husband and children to raise awareness of the disease, to educate the public, and to be an advocate for research. We also strive to eliminate the stigma of lung cancer and to support survivors and their loved ones in our local community.
In July of 2010, they re-launched as The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund benefiting the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute. Their ultimate goal remains the same: “to eradicate lung cancer.” By partnering with one significant research initiative, they can make a much greater impact in wiping out lung cancer.
ABOUT THE ADDARIO LUNG CANCER MEDICAL INSTITUTE (ALCMI)
ALCMI was established in 2008 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with the ultimate goal of significantly impacting survival by directly catalyzing and accelerating discovery of new and more effective treatment options for all lung cancer patients. Presently, ALCMI has 13 academic and community medical centers in the United States and Europe closely collaborating on cutting edge research initiatives.