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NEW YORK — The seventh annual Delete Blood Cancer Gala held on May 1 at Cipriani Wall Street broke all records of previous years and raised $3.7 million to support the fight against leukemia and other blood-related cancers. The money raised jointly by beauty company Coty Inc. and Delete Blood Cancer, part of the world's largest bone marrow donor center, will help register 55,000 new bone marrow donors and help patients worldwide.
Over the past 20 years, Delete Blood Cancer DKMS has registered more than 3.5 million donors and has facilitated more than 35,000 lifesaving transplants around the world.
During the star-studded event, Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, presented the "Delete Blood Cancer Award" to Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, co-founder, artistic director and EVP of OPI Products, for her commitment to the cause. Pop star Katy Perry presented designer Vera Wang with the award, which Wang shared with actress Leighton Meester for their promotion of Delete Blood Cancer's Share the Love campaign encouraging people to get swabbed and register as bone marrow donors. Katharina Harf, co-founder of Delete Blood Cancer and co-host of the event, presented the honor to the "Gossip Girl" actress. TV personality and celebrity designer Nate Berkus co-hosted the Gala.
After the award presentations, the event featured live performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Jill Scott and Lady Antebellum.
The emotional highlight of the evening came when donor recipient Darien Craig, a 19-year-old from Nashville who's known as the "Fighter," met the donor who saved her life. Darien and her mother, Tina, were then surprised when the identity of the donor was revealed: It was Evander Holyfield Jr., son of the boxing icon. Evander Holyfield appeared on stage with his son to help present a special gift to Darien.
"All of us in the Coty family have been committed to supporting Delete Blood Cancer for the last several years, and each year we deliver infinite support from Coty employees, partners and supporters. It is always wonderful to see the generosity expressed for this cause," stated Michele Scannavini, CEO of Coty and co-chair of the event.
Since the formation of the partnership in 2006, Coty has aligned itself with Delete Blood Cancer and its mission to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for blood cancer patients. Coty joined Delete Blood Cancer-DKMS in October 2006 in the fight against leukemia, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide. Leukemia also touched Coty in a very personal manner in 1991, when the wife of longtime Coty chairman Peter Harf succumbed to the disease. In the United States, more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer each year and more than 50,000 die from these cancers. Among children, leukemia is the leading cause of cancer death.
All proceeds from the seventh annual Delete Blood Cancer Gala will go directly to enrolling lifesaving bone marrow donors and furthering advancements in cancer treatment and care.