Nearness of You Concert – An All-Star Event to Remember

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The Past. Present. And Future of Cancer Research and Why New Approaches Are Needed.

The Nearness of You Concert Recap (2)

When we all come together, great progress and change is possible.

This was the sentiment in New York City on February 6th and 7th when NFCR co-sponsored the Nearness of You Concert, in partnership with Columbia University, to honor the memory of legendary jazz performer Michael Brecker and to raise awareness around Early Detection and Intervention Cancer Research to support the leading-edge research of Dr. Azra Raza and Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee at Columbia University.

A Concert with a Mission to Create a World Without Cancer

The Nearness of You Concert brought together iconic musicians such as Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Christopher Cross, Dianne Reeves, Branford Marsalis, and actors such as Hugh Jackman to help celebrate and remember the life of Michael Brecker, who was lost to cancer. Dr. Sidd Mukherjee was also on stage to perform an Indian classical music piece in tribute to a young girl in India who was the first person to receive Cell therapy and who is still alive today.

This uniquely special event also brought together those who can make a difference to focus on finding new solutions to rid the world of cancer. Susan Brecker, the producer for this event presented in honor of her husband, Michael, shared with the concert audience her heartfelt “not one more” mission and her vision of a world without cancer. Dr. Azra Raza shared her vision of her collaboration with Dr. Sidd Mukherjee about finding the first cell and killing the last cell to save patients, a highly critical and integrated collaboration that NFCR supports and propels. We were so energized to see the leadership team of Columbia coming out to be part of the celebration, including the President of Columbia University, Minouche Shafik, Chief Executive Officer of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Katrina Armstrong, M.D., and trustee member of Columbia and philanthropist Roy Vagelos.

Dr. Sujuan Ba, NFCR President and CEO, was invited to speak at the VIP Pre-Concert Reception in front of key leaders in cancer care, research, business, and philanthropy communities. She and the NFCR team also participated in a working group post-concert to discuss how to  collaborate with all stakeholders in the oncology ecosystem to accelerate Early Detection and Intervention Cancer Research. Specifically, to speak about supporting and launching the First Cell Coalition for Cancer Survivors led by Dr. Raza and Dr. Mukherjee. This working group will help to support Susan Brecker’s “not one more” mission.

“My colleagues and I are thrilled to be here with all of you. It is such a privilege to co-sponsor this event with Columbia University to support the leading-edge research work of Dr. Raza and Dr. Mukherjee, honoring the life and memory of a great jazz performer, Michael Brecker. Thank you, Susan, for putting together a fantastic concert.” 

NFCR President and CEO, Dr. Sujuan Ba

NFCR’s Dedication & Commitment

At the heart of NFCR is our fundamental belief in collaboration between scientists and all stakeholders. NFCR-supported research is conducted through collaborative teams and platforms. We provide researchers seed money and freedom funding to explore as they work together to find the discoveries that will lead to breakthroughs in cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatments. Dr. Raza and Mukherjee’s early detection and intervention work epitomizes the bold approach NFCR has always taken in the past and will continue to do in the future – empowering pioneering game-changing research that can lead to life-saving cures to all cancers.

In her Pre-Event Speech, Dr. Ba re-affirmed her drive to save patients lives through cancer research: 

“We must do more to stop cancer before it finds us and kills more. We must form a collaborative platform and network to investigate how to stop cancer from striking against the survivors who already endured and suffered so much. Dr. Raza and Dr. Mukherjee are change makers. We believe in their vision and research. We look forward to working with Azra [Raza] and Sidd[hartha Muhkerjee]. I promise you, our journey together will be exciting and productive!”

Stay tuned for more news from NFCR about early detection and intervention research and why it shows exciting promise to open new possibilities for detecting cancer (and eliminating it) before it finds us. As with all NFCR research programs, we are 100% donor-funded, so your support is always needed and appreciated. To give to NFCR, please donate below.

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