Comedians Bill Bellamy, Dana Carvey and Bob Saget "Stand Up" for Scleroderma Research
Actor/comedian and Foundation Board Member Bob Saget, who lost his sister to scleroderma, will host the evening featuring comedic performances by Bill Bellamy and Dana Carvey with special musical guest and saxophone legend Dave Koz. Actress and fellow Board Member Dana Delany of the ABC Network's Desperate Housewives will make an appearance along with other special guests. Celebrity chefs and restaurateurs Susan Feniger (also a Board Member) and Mary Sue Milliken of The Food Network's Too Hot Tamales will prepare a five-course Latin themed dinner.
Cool Comedy - Hot Cuisine benefits the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the nation's leading nonprofit investor in medical research to find improved therapies and a cure for scleroderma. To date, the Foundation has raised more than $25,000,000 to fund scleroderma research at respected medical institutions including Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and others.
The word "scleroderma" literally means "hard skin," but the disease is much more than that-often affecting the internal organs with life-threatening consequences. In some cases, the joints and muscles are affected, resulting in severe pain and limited mobility. Vascular damage due to scleroderma can result in loss of digits and entire limbs.
The symptoms and severity of scleroderma vary from one person to another and the course of the disease is often unpredictable. The number of women diagnosed with scleroderma is disproportionately high. The disease most often strikes between the ages of 20 and 50; however, children and men of all ages and across all ethnic boundaries can also be affected.
Despite the number of people suffering from scleroderma and its devastating effects, medical research on the disease remains critically under-funded by the National Institutes of Health. Today, there is no way to prevent scleroderma and there is no cure. Treatments are available for some, but not all of the most serious complications.
The Scleroderma Research Foundation was founded in San Francisco in 1987 by scleroderma patient Sharon Monsky. Monsky lost her battle to the disease in May of 2002 but her legacy lives on through the organization she established. The current Chairman of the organization, Luke Evnin, Ph.D., is managing partner of MPM Capital, the world's largest dedicated investor in life sciences. In 2008, the Foundation provided funding for more than $1,100,000 in direct research grants-more than any other nonprofit organization.
Tickets for Cool Comedy - Hot Cuisine start at $500 with tables of ten beginning at $5,000. A live auction will feature unique packages ranging from luxurious vacations with first-class airfare provided by event sponsor Delta AirElite Business Jets, to personalized celebrity experiences and a VIP trip to the Olympics in Vancouver. Proceeds benefit the nationally recognized programs of the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Advance reservations are required. For more information, call (800) 441-CURE or visit http://www.srfcure.org/srf/home.htm.