NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2019 — Over 800 supporters came together during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to raise $2MM for critical research initiatives at the Tina’s Wish Benefit on Thursday, September 26th at the Grand Hyatt New York. The event honored Kirkland & Ellis restructuring partner James H.M. Sprayregen for his contributions to mentoring and leadership.
“I like comparing building a career to climbing a mountain,” said Sprayregen during his remarks. “People think that when you climb a mountain, you just go up, but that’s not how mountains work. They go up, they go down and you can’t get to the top without lots of downs. That’s a lot of what happens in everyone’s careers, including mine. It’s not all up, but that just means it’s another part of the journey on your way up the mountain.”
Tony and Grammy-nominated Actress/Singer and Ovarian Cancer Survivor, Valisia LeKae, gave a powerful speech followed by a performance.
“I stood in my doctor’s office not knowing how long I was going to live, but knowing I was willing to do whatever it took to see another day,” said LeKae. “My doctor gave me a 50/50 chance of survival, but in that moment of uncertainty, I had 100% gratitude. What gratitude does is give you hope. It requires you to seize the day, live in the moment, and never take anything for granted.”
Tina’s Wish honors the memory of Tina Brozman, former chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, who died from ovarian cancer in 2007. Since its inception, Tina’s Wish has raised over $14MM for research into the early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer.
Most ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed at advanced stages due to subtle symptoms and the lack of an effective early detection method. Statistically, the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed at Stage III/IV is only 27%. The five-year survival rate for women diagnosed at Stage I is 92%, demonstrating that tools for early detection are critical.