DKMS took the UK by storm on 17 September as it hosted its first-ever virtual gala to help the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual gala was brought into people’s homes across the UK and worldwide in a new format.
In his opening remarks, DKMS founder Peter Harf highlighted, “when we had to cancel our physical galas in New York and London, many people thought that we should take a break, but we cannot, because blood cancer doesn’t take a break…DKMS was born in adversity, and we know how to deal with adversity. We grow when the crisis gets deeper.”
The evening honored Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, and his wife, Aditi Chaudhary as the pair shared the incredible story of their daughter Aisha Chaudhary, who passed away in 2015, but not before inspiring millions as a young author and motivational speaker.
Guests were treated to a musical performance by multiplatinum singer-songwriter LP, who was introduced by actress Jaime King.
LP said: “I’m very thrilled to be here for a cause that is very close to my heart. There are ten million DKMS registered donors worldwide, and we’d love to help them get to ten million more.”
In the most emotional moment of the night, nine-year-old Grady Smith met his blood stem cell donor, who helped give him a second chance at life, for the very first time. Jessica Carroll donated to Grady in 2018, and the two have been hoping to meet ever since.
As always a huge thank you to Olivier and Valérie Goudet who were the evening’s Event Chairs. Alongside DKMS founder Peter Harf who served as Honorary Chair with Robert Gamgort, and Charlotte and Alejandro Santo Domingo, plus our Global Vice Chairwoman of the DKMS Foundation Board Katharina Harf for their ongoing support.
A special thank you to Coty and JAB who were our proud corporate sponsors of the event.