Lupus Foundation of America Gala Honors 2015 Champions in New York City

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, the Lupus Foundation of America honored several key supporters of the fight against systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the Evening of Hope New York City Gala. The efforts of Alan Siegel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Siegelvision; Fran Tsimoyianis, Executive Assistant, Office of the Chairman, Hudson’s Bay Company; and Dimitri Tsimoyianis, Director of Service Learning, Holy Cross High School, are helping improving the lives of thousands of SLE patients and their loved ones.

This prestigious event was co-hosted by ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars star Ian Harding together with 17-year-old SLE patient Josie Pearce, who learned of her disease in 2013. Both Harding and Pearce have spent several years advocating for the fight against SLE, under the Foundation, and are currently active supporters of the KNOW LUPUS national campaign launched earlier this year.

The star-studded gala featured an inspiring performance by Meghan Linsey of the 8th Season of NBC’s The Voice, and a surprise appearance from Whoopi Goldberg, who was previously recognized by the Foundation in 2012 for her contributions in raising awareness on lupus.

The Gala also featured moving stories from three women whose children suffer from lupus. While the Foundation’s efforts are dedicated to SLE research and support services for patients in all age groups, the Gala and its proceeds are particularly focused on addressing the pediatric subpopulation, as the Foundation is the first and only SLE-focused organization to have programs dedicated to affected children and adolescents.

Gala attendees also heard an inspiring speech from Assistant Professor Dr. You Tak Lueng, of Temple University School of Medicine, on the crucial research efforts the Foundation has made possible through generous multiyear grants. The school’s scientists are currently working on a diagnostic method for pediatric lupus nephritis, intended to help physicians to prescribe more personalized and effective treatment.

The event also gave the spotlight to several special awardees, namely Alan Siegel, the President and CEO of Siegelvision, who received the Visionary Award for helping with the Foundation’s branding and message; and a mother and her son — Fran Tsimoyianis, Executive Assistant, Office of the Chairman, Hudson’s Bay Company; and Dimitri Tsimoyianis, Director of Service Learning, Holy Cross High School — whom together received the Barlin Family award.