BUFFALO, N.Y. — Joan Lunden was honored Saturday evening at the 26th annual All Star Night, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s signature black-tie gala for the extraordinary courage she has shown in the face of her breast cancer battle.
The long-time Good Morning America host was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2014 and chose to fight the disease in the public eye in order to spread awareness and hope to as many individuals as possible. Despite understanding the high chance of recurrence for her disease, Lunden faces each new day with bravery and conviction, bringing further encouragement to those who share in the fight against cancer.
Tonight’s event was presented by M&T Bank and celebrated the theme of a “New York State of Mind,” which transported more than 1,000 guests to the Big Apple.The event, which was co-chaired by Patti and Thurman Thomas, also included recognition of Andrei Gudkov, PhD, DSci, the Institute’s Senior Vice President of Basic Science and Kathleen Graim, cancer survivor and long-time volunteer and ambassador for the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation.
Dr. Gudkov received the Thomas B. Tomasi, MD, PhD, Hope Award for his innovative and passionate approach to ground-breaking cancer research. Some of the internationally-known scientist’s current studies focus on anti-aging and the effects of radiation on the body, which carry the potential to change how cancer is treated worldwide and, in some cases, prevented altogether.
“We are recognizing Dr. Gudkov’s visionary approach to science and research,” said Candace Johnson, PhD, Roswell Park President and CEO. “You’re inspired just to be in his presence as another scientist at Roswell Park. He inspires us all to think a little bit more out of the box.”
Graim was recognized with the Katherine Anne Gioia Inspiration Award for her tireless dedication to Roswell Park and the hope she inspires in those fighting cancer. Her leadership of the annual Tops 5k/10k Run and Family Walk as well as her participation in the Empire State Ride — a 500+ mile bicycle journey across New York State — are just two of the ways in which Graim has wholeheartedly dedicated herself to supporting cancer research at Roswell Park while fighting her own personal battle with the disease.
The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit www.roswellpark.org, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.
Amy Biber Collson, Director, Development Marketing & Communications