Los Angeles, CA - Feb. 12, 2007
- The Pacific Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PHLBI) raised an astounding
$250,000 for asbestos cancer research at an exciting benefit concert on
Saturday, February 10, 2007. Several guests headlined the event, including
Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and his stellar band.
Warren Zevon's son, Jordan Zevon warmed up the crowd with his own
latest hits and his father's classic, "Werewolves of London."
Joining the musicians was Barbara McQueen who signed stacks of her latest
book "The Last Mile." She spoke very candidly with many of the
guests about her time with Steve McQueen and gave her blessings to the
doctors, lawyers, and activists who make a difference in the lives of
mesothelioma patients and their families every day.
Floyd Landis, winner of the 2006 Tour de France, championed the event,
too, speaking about the need to fund mesothelioma research.
Over 350 guests attended the concert and dinner at Roger and Ann Worthington's
beautiful seaside home in Capistrano Beach, California. Everyone was thoroughly
entertained from the dazzling musical entertainment, stories of Steve
McQueen and outbidding each other in the auction.
PHLBI is grateful that so many guests were able to attend! Some drove down
from northern California while others flew from across the country (Pennsylvania,
North Carolina, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, and Washington, just
to name a few)! As promised, the evening was truly magical.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Punch Worthington Research Laboratory,
a division of the PHLBI. PHLBI will now be able to fund exciting new research
to expand treatment options for mesothelioma patients.
Mesothelioma kills 3,000 to 4,000 Americans each year. On a global scale,
the numbers are in the tens of thousands, and will only get worse because
asbestos makers continue to produce and ship their deadly products overseas.
In the U.S., mesothelioma receives pennies relative to more "established"
cancers. In comparison, cervical cancer, which also afflicts about 3,000
women annually receives $71 million in research dollars from the National
Cancer Institute alone. Those research dollars have reaped an enormous
benefit for women over the past four decades--cervical cancer, once the
leading cause of death among women, is now susceptible to early detection
and treatment. It is no longer a death sentence.
Mesothelioma receives only a few million each year, and those dollars have
only come recently, as mesothelioma patients, researchers, and advocates
have demanded more attention to this lethal illness. Lagging decades behind
research for other cancers, the need for more research is acute. The significance
of PHLBI's fundraising event, taken in context of overall funding
for mesothelioma, is great indeed
The Three Amigos!
Klaus Brauch, Paul Zygielbaum, and Dr. Bret Williams
Roger Worthington is proud to represent each of these courageous mesothelioma
survivors. They are proven advocates, warriors and gentlemen. Taking the
fight to mesothelioma, these three men have waged an unstinting battle
in their efforts to generate support for the cause. Unwilling to take
"no" for an answer, determined to push the limits, they have
made an incredible impact on public awareness of the disease. Having suffered
first-hand the ravages of this disease, their strength and fortitude made
an impression at all who attended the benefit concert.
Mike Harris, Paul Zygielbaum, and Jordon Zevon
Mike Harris attended the benefit in honor of his mother,
Barbara, who is currently battling mesothelioma. Barbara is a legendary real estate
in Los Angeles who was part of the original "LA Boomers" who
helped develop the city in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Barbara
took on an unfriendly health insurer, conventional wisdom, and limited
treatment options to demand, seek, and find the best mesothelioma care
available. Unsurprisingly, she ended up with the best of the best--Dr.
Robert Cameron of UCLA. Mesothelioma survivor Paul Zygielbaum who was
diagnosed with mesothelioma three years ago, continues to beat the odds
even as he beats up on the notion that mesothelioma always wins. A noted
spokesman for increased funding and research, Paul's presence inspired
many at the event. Jordan Zevon performed one of his most moving songs,
"Your Home is My Heart," a tribute to his parents. Jordan's
father Warren succumbed to mesothelioma in 2003. Known as the legendary
R-B rocker who wrote "Werewolves of London," Warren also wrote
a profoundly moving song about the illness that took him down. Jordan's
performance of this powerful piece brought down the house.
Dr. Eric Vallieres, Dr. Christine Lee and Roger Worthington
Dr. Eric Vallieres is a thoracic surgeon at the Swedish Medical Center
in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Vallieres supports a trimodal approach for
his mesothelioma patients, a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and
radiation. An advocate and supporter of mesothelioma research, Dr. Vallieres
is one of the only mesothelioma experts in the Pacific Northwest. He has
helped countless patients through the ordeal they face when they are diagnosed
(l to r) Sal and Mariana Lampasona, Dr. Robert Cameron, and Carina Castrege
Carina Castrege was eager to learn about PHLBI's new mesothelioma research.
She lost her father to mesothelioma two years ago. She is joined by her
sister and brother-in-law, Mariana and Sal Lampasona. Carina says, "It
is truly a blessing to know that there are people like Dr. Robert Cameron
who are committed in finding treatments that give us hope for the future.
My family is truly thankful for everyone's hard work and dedication
to such a wonderful cause." Dr. Cameron, a board member of PHLBI
and a member of its scientific advisory board, has done much to help people
afflicted with this disease. His experience with pleurectomy / decortication
is unsurpassed, and he remains a working, operating warrior on the front
lines of mesothelioma treatment
Floyd Landis 2006 Tour De France Winner (center)
Cycling enthusiasts Margaret and Greg Leibert were excited to talk with
2006 Tour de France Champion, Floyd Landis who made a guest appearance.
Floyd is well acquainted with tough battles, from the steepest climbs
of Alpe d'Huez to the assault he's now facing from unsubstantiated,
false accusations being made against his victory last year in France.
A friendly, open, and decent man, PHLBI was proud to have Landis attend
this signature event.
You had to be there to believe it. Chris and his band put on a pull-out-the-stops,
jam-like-you-mean-it, full-on, full-throttle performance the likes of
which Capistrano Beach will never witness again. It was raw, it was smooth,
it was tough love, it was silky sweet, it was careful rendition and it
was damn-the-torpedoes improve from start to all-to-soon finish. After
the concert the guests were in awe of this titan, this musical genius,
this horn-hound and his band of virtuosos. Chris played a fitting tribute
to the men and women who have died from mesothelioma the moment he picked
up his trumpet and began to let the river flow. Every note was a high
note of respect, every phrase was a call for courage, every breath was
defiance and challenge. After the concert, Chris's fans lined up to
shake his hand, share a few words, and get their photo taken with this
titan of jazz.
You got to live it to love it. That's the message Jordan left us with
as he went through renditions of hall-of-fame tunes, soulful ballads,
introspective songs, wry commentary, and songs of tribute. The evening
was permeated by the love and loss that the guests felt towards those
they know afflicted with mesothelioma, and Jordan's music was as primal
and from-the-heart as you can. He celebrated his father with every word,
and he made the listeners feel his loss as well as his love. When Jordan
closed out with "Werewolves of London," the crowd went wild.
What a night.