City of Hope recently celebrated the seventh annual “La Gota de la Vida” campaign to raise funds for the medical center, educate Latinos about their health and increase the number of donors to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
The campaign culminated July 24 with a festival and concert featuring internationally known recording artist Cristian Castro, as well as Graciela Beltran, Alejandro Lerner, Tatiana, El Mayo de la Sierra, Morrison and Italia Renata. More than 20,000 people attended the benefit concert, which generated $190,000 for City of Hope. Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, Unilever, Gamesa, Coca-Cola, Food 4 Less, Albertsons, Ralphs, Superior Warehouse, Ritmo Latino Music stores and Sara Lee co-sponsored the campaign.
To date, the campaign has raised more than $1.2 million for City of Hope and registered thousands of potential Latino bone marrow donors. The festival also included the Angels of Hope Awards to honor Latinos who have made significant contributions in their careers and inspirational people who have overcome cancer. This year’s award recipients, State Sen. Gil Cedillo, Univision news anchor Teresa Rodriguez, cancer survivor Gustavo Perez, and Telemundo 52’s Manuel Abud, general manager, and Ruben Luengas, news anchor, were honored at a benefit dinner that evening.
“For many years, City of Hope has enjoyed partnering with the Southern California food industry retailers and manufacturers along with Santa Fe Communications on this very important program,” said Scott Loyola, associate vice president of development at City of Hope. “Support from this program allows us to continue our work to speed discoveries into improved treatments, while at the same time enhancing the number of Latinos on the NMDP registry. Helping to coordinate these donor registrations is most gratifying, and the opportunity to create a match and save a life is without comparison.”
“La Gota de la Vida” is a national public education project that includes many celebrities and features public service announcements, bone marrow drives and community events. As a result, more Latinos have signed up for the registry every year.
“I am proud to be affiliated with a campaign and an organization that reaches the Latino community on such important health issues and recognizes such accomplished Latinos,” said Salvador Treviño, president of Santa Fe Communications and founder of the La Gota de la Vida/Caminos al Exito Campaign. “Latinos are the third largest community to suffer from cancer, and yet we are the least likely to participate in the National Marrow Donor Program. These efforts are critical to the health of our community.”