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Children’s Tumor Foundation Hosts National Gala in New York City

On Monday, November 14, 2022, the neurofibromatosis (NF) patient community, joined by leading philanthropists, medical professionals, civic leaders, and businesses, will gather at Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway, New York, NY) for the annual Children’s Tumor Foundation National Gala. Neurofibromatosis is a group of genetic disorders that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects 1 in 3,000 births, which is about 2.5 million people worldwide. Anyone can be born with it, and it affects everyone differently. NF can lead to blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning challenges, disabling pain, or cancer.

An evening of inspiration and celebration, the Foundation will present this year’s Humanitarian Award to Rachel Tiven, an attorney and activist with a long and dedicated history with the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Rachel spent the past 15 years building and leading LGBT and immigrant rights organizations, including Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality, and Immigrant Justice Corps. A longtime donor to the Foundation and to the Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program (NTAP) at Johns Hopkins, Rachel has significantly funded critical NF research and been instrumental in the successful leadership of the Foundation.

The 2022 Innovation in Medicine Award will be presented to Allan Belzberg, PhD, George Heuer Professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. A longtime CTF researcher and collaborator, Dr. Belzberg is also a neurosurgeon who treats tumors of the peripheral nervous system, including schwannoma, neurofibroma, and nerve sheath tumors.

Attorney Aubrey Rothrock and the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, of which he is a senior partner, will be presented with the 2022 CTF Champion Award. Aubrey and his team successfully advocate for NF research through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in the U.S., and have expanded the NF fight globally with the initiatives of CTF Europe.

Florida native Michele Holbrook will be named the 2023 National Ambassador. Michele was diagnosed with schwannomatosis at age 25; she has endured eight surgeries, plus radiation, and lives with excruciating pain every day. Michele has worked with the Children’s Tumor Foundation for many years as a volunteer and fundraiser, gaining numerous media appearances for her work with the NF Endurance team.

We’re also pleased to share that TV host/NBC correspondent Raina Seitel and actor/producer Jonathan Sadowski will serve as masters of ceremonies.

To purchase a tickets or make a donation, please visit