NEW YORK, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donor center, will further its fight against leukemia with the organization's 5th Annual DKMS Gala on Thursday, April 28th at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC. Katharina Harf, COO of DKMS Americas will present an award to Rihanna in recognition for her tireless work in the fight against leukemia. The event will also honor Michael Clinton, president, marketing & publishing director at Hearst Magazines with the "DKMS-Linked Against Leukemia Award" for fighting cancer and supporting organizations and charities dedicated to the cause.
"Anyone can be affected by leukemia," said Rihanna. "It is the number one disease children in the U.S. die of and we can change that. I encourage people to become bone marrow donors with DKMS. If we have more donors, we can save more lives."
Pharrell Williams will emcee the black tie event which will include an emotional first time leukemia patient and donor meeting, a special Lion King performance in honor of Shannon Tavarez and a performance by Grammy Award winner, Mary J. Blige. All proceeds raised will go directly to registering life-saving bone marrow donors.
"I am extremely honored to receive the prestigious DKMS Linked Against Leukemia Award," said honoree Michael Clinton of Hearst Magazines. "Leukemia affects thousands of people every year but it doesn't have to be fatal. Many patients could be saved by a bone marrow transplant, but there simply aren't enough donors to help everyone. It's so easy to get swabbed and potentially save a life."
At just fourteen years old, Katharina Harf, COO of DKMS Americas lost her mother to the life-threatening disease. She was in need of a bone marrow transplant and the search for a life-saving donor seemed hopeless because, at the time, there were only 3,000 unrelated donors available.
"I'm exceedingly inspired by donors, patients and supporters like Rihanna and Michael Clinton who raise awareness for a cause that is so close to my heart," said Harf. "To see that one person is alive because of the kindness of a stranger is incredible. I can't wait for the moment at the Gala when our DKMS donor meets the woman whose life he saved."
Today DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with over 2.7 million registered donors. Under Katharina Harf's leadership DKMS Americas has registered more than 200,000 donors and has facilitated more than 350 life-saving transplants. More than 25,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow.
In October 2006, Coty Inc., a global beauty leader and the world's largest fragrance company, joined DKMS in the fight against leukemia by establishing the Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukemia partnership. Led by CEO Bernd Beetz, Coty has leveraged its strong celebrity partnerships to raise awareness of the disease and help DKMS recruit thousands of donors around the world.
The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 25,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with over 2.7 million registered donors. DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information about DKMS and to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, please visit www.GetSwabbed.org
ABOUT THE COTY-DKMS LINKED AGAINST LEUKEMIA
In October 2006, Coty Inc., a global beauty leader and the world's largest fragrance company, joined DKMS in the fight against leukemia by establishing the Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukemia partnership. Led by CEO Bernd Beetz, Coty has leveraged its strong celebrity partnerships to raise awareness of the disease and help DKMS recruit thousands of donors around the world. "Coty is proud to partner with DKMS," said Beetz. "We are dedicated, committed, and passionate about recruiting donors and fighting leukemia."