The Live4Life Foundation’s Founder Melissa Breitbart Celebrates 10-Years Melanoma-Free with $100,000 Donation to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Cancer Center
Live4Life Founder Melissa Breitbart celebrated 10 years of being Melanoma-free at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) by presenting the hospital with a $100,000 grant. Dr. Jedd D. Wolchock, Chief of Melanoma and Immunotherapy at MSKCC announced that a commemorative plaque will be installed marking Life4Life’s donations of over half a million dollars to MSKCC in the past eight years.
Host Committee members Jennifer Creel and Aviva Drescher were among the guests who attended to support Melissa on this emotional day celebrating Life4Life’s support of Dr. Wolchock research and the remarkable advances made in melanoma research in the eight years since their partnership started.
Jennifer Jacobson welcomed all attendees before Melissa said a few words to express her gratitude and share her remarkable milestone with friends and family. She expressed how “happy she was to see the achievements that have been made in treating melanoma over the past 10 years.” Melissa introduced Dr. Wolchock as a pioneer in these advancements, and spoke about how he has given hope to those stricken with what once was a deadly diagnosis.
Dr. Wolchock said, “Live for life is a phrase Melissa exemplified. At the time of her diagnosis, people were not given much hope, but 10 years later the conversation is very different.” He spoke about a clinical trial that showed 60% of people with advanced melanoma could have positive outcomes, which shows outstanding advancements in the field but also how much more work there is to be done.
Additional attendees included: Candy and Julia Barasch, Emanuelle Block, Roberta and David Breitbart, Samantha Brous, Judi Brown, Phyllis and Bernie Feinberg, R. Couri Hay, Vivienne Gordon, Dr. Judith Hellman, Adele Nino, Louise Maniscalco, Sharon Quain, Aran Ron, Pamela Stern, Deborah Clayman Raiman, Gerard A. Shargel, Randi Schatz, Blake Shapiro, Douglas Stern, Joan and Barry Shalov, and Lauren Witkof.
After being diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 31, Breitbart fought the odds and survived stage-three melanoma. At that time there was no effective treatment or cure for the disease. Shortly after her diagnosis, Brietbart started Live4Life with an aim that remains to this day; to fund critical research and find an effective treatment for melanoma.
Live4Life is committed to funding research to find an effective treatment and cure for melanoma and it aims to raise awareness of the disease in order to protect future generations.
Melanoma is a disease that does not discriminate. In 2015 The American Cancer Society estimated that 76,690 melanomas will be diagnosed and 9,940 people are expected to die from the disease. The incidence levels of melanoma are increasing faster than any other cancer. In fact, cases of melanoma have tripled in the last 30 years, at a time when all other cancer rates for common cancers have declined.