June 13, 2023 - by Jennifer Ringler, MS
“Cancer. You’ve got to go out there like a bunch of crazed dogs and get rid of that shit.”
These are the words I heard on stage at music venue Terminal 5 in NYC on the evening of June 8, when I was fortunate enough to be invited to Music Beats Cancer’s inaugural benefits concert. There, I found great music, an open bar, very creative swag-bag goodies, and a community of smart, passionate people who have dedicated their lives and careers to fighting this awful disease that kills more than half a million people each year in the U.S. alone.
Music Beats Cancer is a nonprofit, crowdfunding organization founded by Dr. Mona Jhaveri that focuses on raising funds for biotech startups, entrepreneurs, and other innovators who are developing innovations aimed at fighting cancer.
“A severe funding gap remains for innovators who are developing promising technologies for fighting cancer. Most of these technologies will fail before they get a chance to prove their possibility. This is not always because the science is bad, but rather, because they lack the funding to succeed. This funding breakdown, known as the ‘Valley of Death,’ where great ideas go to die, fully impedes progress in reducing the cancer burden.”
The event on June 8, Celebrating Survivors: A Benefit Concert Featuring Led Zeppelin Music, was one of the organization’s efforts to close that funding gap. The event offered a cocktail hour, meet-and-greet photo ops with New York Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, live and online auctions with big-ticket items to raise money for the cause, and hours of music from Led Zeppelin cover band
Get the Led Out.
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet patients, advocates, survivors, families, CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, innovators, and people from all walks of life who are united against this common enemy.
Among those I met were Delanea Davis and Henry Edinger of Cloud9 Online, a B2B meditation tech company that licenses meditations to organizations who wish to offer a mindfulness solution to their constituents; Gina Raposa Johnson, a holistic business coach with a passion for helping female entrepreneurs find their strength; William Wittmeyer, CEO of Pulmostics, makers of breath analysis cancer screening method; and Robert LeBoyer, SVP and Biotech Equity Research Analyst at Noble Capital Markets. And, of course, Lawrence Taylor, who my husband reverently informed me is the “Muhammad Ali” of football (the more you know).
I was struck by both the diversity and unity of the guest list. At no other event I’ve attended in my 13 years of work in life sciences communications have I seen so many confident, accomplished women leaders in STEM under one roof. In addition, seeing patients/survivors, investors, and entrepreneurs mingle, seeing stakeholders put aside their single-faceted perspectives and laugh and cheer together, share ideas, and listen to and support one another, was truly inspiring. It made me remember all the reasons why I chose to devote my career to telling the healthcare and life sciences stories that matter.
Everyone at Music Beats Cancer’s inaugural benefit concert had two things in common, and those two things were enough to bring everyone together– everyone loves music, and everyone wants to beat cancer. As Lawrence Taylor put it, “I know that we will beat cancer. It may not happen today, or tomorrow, or a month from now, but it will happen.”
Get involved with Music Beats Cancer here.