Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Raises Funds and Awareness While Recognizing
Outstanding Leaders in the Pulmonary Fibrosis Community
CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2013
Breathe Benefit 2013: Community Inspiring a Cure Honors Co-Founder and
Acknowledges Research Grant Recipients and Volunteer Leaders
CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pulmonary Fibrosis
Foundation (PFF) held its annual dinner, the Breathe Benefit 2013: Community
Inspiring a Cure, on October 26, 2013, at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. The
event raised almost $200,000 to support the Foundation's mission to find a
cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), advocate for the pulmonary
fibrosis (PF) community, promote disease awareness, and provide a
compassionate environment for patients and their families. At the dinner, the
Foundation presented its 2013 Research Fund, Support Group, and Volunteer
Awards to individuals whose crucial research and engagement have made a
significant difference to the pulmonary fibrosis community.
The 250 attendees included patients, caregivers, family members, researchers,
medical professionals, and other dedicated supporters of the PF community. The
Foundation was honored to have Broadway actress, comedienne, and devoted PF
advocate, Julie Halston, and WGN Radio's play-by-play voice of the Chicago
Cubs, Pat Hughes, emcee the dinner. Julie Halston and husband Ralph Howard,
former anchorman for Howard Stern's Howard 100 News, and Pat Hughes, served as
Honorary Chairs of the event. Co-chairs of the dinner were dedicated
supporters, Steve and Joan Wald, and the Michael P. Savoca Family. Patti
Tuomey, EdD, the Foundation's President and Chief Operating Officer, expressed
her gratitude to "our wonderful hosts and co-chairs for their dedication to
our mission." Dr. Tuomey also recognized Presenting Sponsor, Boehringer
Ingelheim "for their support of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and
commitment to the pulmonary fibrosis community."
The evening featured a photographic tribute to one of the Foundation's
founders, Albert Rose, MD. Albert Rose and his brother, I.M. Rosenzweig,
started the Foundation in September 2000 after both were diagnosed with
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and after losing their sister to the disease.
Albert Rose lost his courageous battle with IPF in 2002. This year, the
Foundation's Established Investigator Awards were re-named in his honor.
Daniel M. Rose, MD, the Foundation's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of
the Board of Directors, gave a touching remembrance of his father and spoke of
the Foundation's commitment to carry on his legacy of ". . . dedication and
passion to ensure that there would always be a resource—someone for those with
pulmonary fibrosis to turn to—and to prevent others from suffering from this
The PFF Research Fund Awards were presented by Jesse Roman, MD, the
Foundation's Medical Advisory Board Member and Chairman of the Research
Advisory Committee, who spoke about the importance of funding research and
encouraging collaboration between industry and academic researchers. The
recipients of the Albert Rose Established Investigator Awards were Michael
Beers, MD, and Mauricio Rojas, MD. The two I.M. Rosenzweig Young Investigator
Awards were given to Kusum Pandit, MBBS, PhD, and Kristen Leeman, MD. The
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation gratefully acknowledged the support of
Boehringer Ingelheim for funding an Established Investigator Award and
InterMune, Inc., for funding an I.M. Rosenzweig Young Investigator Award.
In addition to the Research Fund Awards, the Foundation presented its Legacy
Award. The honor is given to a community member or organization that has
demonstrated long-term support of the Foundation and has helped foster growth
and the advancement of its mission. This year's recipient was Thomas E. Hales,
a long-standing member of the Foundation's Board of Directors and Board
Treasurer. Terrence Hales, his son and devoted PF advocate, accepted the award
on his behalf.
Julie Halston and her husband, Ralph Howard, spoke eloquently of the
importance of spreading disease awareness and supporting the mission of the
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Mr. Howard was diagnosed with PF and received a
lung transplant in 2011. The couple, after being touched by the disease a
second time when they lost a close friend to PF, Broadway critic Michael
Kuchwara, now organize an annual Foundation signature event, Broadway Belts
for PFF! The event has raised nearly $160,000 in its first three years; the
next Broadway Belts for PFF! will be held on February 24, 2014. Mr. Howard
shared his personal perspective on living with the disease and the urgent need
to raise awareness and fund research to find better treatments and a cure.
The Team PFF Awards were presented by Julie Halston and given to Cindy
Chandler and Marilyn Solimano for the Greg Chandler and Guy F. Solimano
Memorial Golf Outing; Nick DeVito for the Pete DeVito Memorial Golf Outing;
and Rob Fiorillo for the Barbara A. Fiorillo Memorial Bike Run and Picnic for
their tireless efforts and continual dedication to increasing disease
awareness and fundraising.
Pat Hughes, who became acquainted with the Foundation through Trey Schwab,
former basketball coach at Marquette University and PF advocate, announced the
11 recipients of the 2013 Leanne Storch Support Group Fund grants to support
groups that play an important role for people impacted by the disease, their
families, and caregivers.
The Young Philanthropist Award was presented to ten-year-old Brock Powers,
recognizing his exceptional dedication and support on behalf of the PF
community. Brock was unable to attend the dinner, but in a statement read on
his behalf, Brock said, "It really frustrates me how some people don't know
about the disease . . . I want there to be a cure for my mom and everyone
else's mom or dad, family member, or friend. I would like to thank everybody
for this award, especially thanks to my mom for taking care of me in the
roughest times . . . And someday, sometime, I am sure there will be a cure
because I know together we can find one. Thank you."
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation thanks the following sponsors for their
generous support: Presenting Sponsor, Boehringer Ingelheim; Platinum Sponsors,
InterMune, Inc., and Daniel M. Rose, MD, and Family; Silver Sponsors, The Mark
Fuller Family and The Frank J. McMahon Family; and Friends of the Foundation,
Chuck and Jennifer Lawless, ClinicaLingua Translation Services, Don Luken and
Friends of Tom Clark, the Family of Michael P. Savoca, the Harmon Family, IPF
Patients and Families, Jennifer A. Galvin, MD, John Ryan in Memory of Timothy
J. Ryan, Julie Willis O'Connor in Memory of Her Dad, Bo Willis, Patti Tuomey
and Chris Martin, The Pete DeVito Memorial Foundation, Ritu Baral, Tom
Panoplos, Tom and Alice Hales, University of Wisconsin Lung Transplant –
Advanced Disease Program, and Zoë C. Dirks in Memory of Stephen Dirks.
About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is to help find a cure
for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), advocate for the pulmonary fibrosis
community, promote disease awareness, and provide a compassionate environment
for patients and their families. The PFF collaborates with physicians,
organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. December 1-3, 2011, the PFF
hosted its first biennial international scientific conference, IPF Summit
2011: From Bench to Bedside, in Chicago; PFF Summit 2013 will be held December
5–7, 2013, in La Jolla, California. For more information visit
www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 888.733.6741 or +1 312.587.9272 from outside
of the US.
About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition in which over a period of
time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of
the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and
thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.
As a result, the brain and other organs don't receive the oxygen they need. In
some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most
cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the
fibrosis (and certain pathologic or radiographic criteria are met), the
disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF. IPF affects
approximately 200,000 individuals in the United States (US), and 38,000
individuals in the European Union (EU). The annual mortality is estimated to
be 40,000 in the US alone, with an average survival of 2–3 years following
diagnosis. There is no cure for IPF. There is no FDA-approved treatment for
IPF in the US and limited therapeutic options available for individuals with
mild-to-moderate IPF in the EU, Canada, and Asia.
About the PFF Research Fund
The PFF Research Fund supports research that will ultimately lead to
successful therapies for pulmonary fibrosis (PF). These awards, the I.M.
Rosenzweig Young Investigator Award and the Albert Rose Established
Investigator Awards, support projects that offer a high likelihood of
improving the understanding of pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in the following
areas: basic science, translational research, clinical medicine/research, and
social science/quality of life. The call for letters of intent (LOI) for the
2014 grant cycle opened on October 17, 2013. All submissions must be received
by November 15 at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time . The LOI review process
will take place in December and notifications of acceptance to submit a full
application will occur in January 2014. Full grant proposals from
investigators will be due mid-February. Review will take place in May and
award recipients will be notified in June 2014. Grant recipients will be
acknowledged at the PFF's Breathe Benefit annual dinner in the fall of 2014.
Visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/research/PFFgrants for more information.
Contact: Cara Schillinger
Associate Vice President, Communications and Marketing
SOURCE The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
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