2019 Kristen Ann Carr Fund Holiday Letter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

Happy Holidays to all!

We are heading into our 27th year in our fight against sarcoma. All those years ago Kristen asked Dr. Murray Brennan, her physician and then chief of surgery at MSKCC and a sarcoma expert, “what do you need”? Murray responded that we need surgeons and oncologists trained to identify and treat the estimated 150 different types of sarcoma, so that they can work towards unique treatment plans for each patient.

We lost Kristen in January 1993 and a short 6 months later The Fund began, much in the way Kristen, her sister Sasha, her fiancée Michael Solomon, and her best friend Ilyse Lesser envisioned; with a big, fun, rock-n-roll party and without too many speeches. The first A Night to Remember was a benefit concert that Bruce Springsteen and other artists performed at Madison Square Garden in June 1993. His generosity allowed us to endow in perpetuity the first ​Kristen Ann Carr Fellowship ​to train surgeons in sarcoma treatment at MSKCC. Today there are two Kristen Ann Carr Fund Fellowships annually, one for surgery and one for medical oncology. In total, there are 34 KACF fellows, sarcoma experts, now practicing in 22 different hospitals and facilities across the United States and in Pakistan. ​YOU have done that, with each dollar donated.

We’re also working to complete funding for The Kristen Ann Carr Sarcoma Center, which is already providing collaboration in all aspects of care, including diagnosis, surgery, oncology, and radiation. For both the patients and the doctors, The Center has brought all of it together. ​YOU created this, with each dollar donated.

The KACF Sarcoma Laboratory, which we fully funded by 2008, is now led by Dr. Cristina Antonescu. Her team is currently investigating rare sarcoma types, occurring in children and young adults, which lack known genetic alterations or therapeutic targets. They are using state of the art genomic sequencing methodology to identify these expected translocation events. ​YOU have made this possible, with each dollar donated.

On May 9, 2020 we will celebrate the 27th A Night to Remember at Tribeca Grill with delicious food, great music, and loyal supporters like ​YOU. ​We are grateful to have our friend, Rob Stringer, Chairman of Sony Music Group, as this year’s Honorary Chair.  This is our signature event and for the past 15 years Drew Nieporent and his team at Myriad Restaurant Group have been the perfect hosts. There have been wonderful performances over the years by Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Little Steven, The Rascals, Seeger Session Band and Danny Clinch and the Tangiers Blues Band. Karen Rosenberg and her team at Empire Events Group and our Gifts Chairwoman, Alison Oscar have been tireless in their efforts to raise the funds needed to carry out our mission all year long!

The annualPediatric Holiday Party we host each December for families and patients from MSKCC is graciously underwritten by Jim Allen and his team, led by John Pasquale, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. Celebrities come to meet the kids – no fanfare, no red carpet. The evening concludes with a visit from Santa, who sends the kids home with a bag stuffed with toys and goodies… Santa, of course, also visits the patients at the MSKCC pediatric center who couldn’t come out for the party. ​YOU give this night to the kids every year, with each dollar donated.

This year we were also proud to join in the celebration for the 20th Anniversary of Musicians on Call, led by an incredible team including it’s co-founder Michael Solomon. The seeds for MOC’s creation were born out of Kristen’s love of music. And in a way, she lives on through MOC’s accomplishments as well. Musicians on Call presents live music to in-patients at healthcare facilities all over the US with big plans for expansion beyond. Nothing lifts the human spirit more than music and MOC is the shining proof of how important and effective it can be.

We ask you this year to help us win the fight against sarcoma. We appreciate it all, what everyone has done and WE thank you in advance for your continued support! Kristen’s spirit and her love of life will unquestionably endure. ​This is because of YOU.

With love and gratitude,