Angel Anniversary Fund

2021 marks 25 years since Gabrielle Rich Aouad passed away from leukemia. In commemoration of this anniversary, we were inspired to take a look back at the many scientific breakthroughs and notable milestones that have defined the past two and a half decades of our Foundation’s history. Thanks to our generous donors, world class Medical Advisory Board, and talented grantees, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation has been able to give hope for a cure to cancer patients everywhere. Enjoy this look back at some of the highlights from 1996 to today and join us as we launch our Angel Anniversary Fund to commemorate 25 years of lifesaving progress.

Donate to the Angel Anniversary Fund Now

25 Years – Timeline

1996
Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation Started

Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation Started

After surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 27-year-old Gabrielle Rich Aouad succumbs to a secondary cancer, acute myelogenous leukemia. Her mother, Denise, and sisters, Ilona and Daniella, create Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation in her memory. 

1997
Vision Takes Shape

Vision Takes Shape

Gabrielle’s vision takes shape – a world-renowned Medical Advisory Board is assembled, led by Dr. Stephen D. Nimer of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center as its Chairman.

1998
Inaugural Gala

Inaugural Gala

The Foundation hosts its inaugural gala event. Stevie Wonder makes a surprise appearance & President Bill Clinton serves as Honorary Gala Chair.

1999
$1.2 million in Medical Research Awards Announced

$1.2 million in Medical Research Awards Announced

$1.2 million in Medical Research Awards is announced at a holiday luncheon. First Lady Hillary Clinton, Joan Collins, Jane Seymour & Diahann Carroll attend.

2000
The First Official Angel Ball

The First Official Angel Ball

The signature biennial gala is branded the Angel Ball and honors Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman & CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.  President Clinton again serves as Honorary Gala Chair.  Michael Jackson appears as a surprise guest.

2001
Denim & Diamonds

Denim & Diamonds

Denim & Diamonds event held at Planet Hollywood is sponsored by Dolce & Gabbana, Vivid Collection & Novartis. Jennifer Holiday & NYPD tenor Danny Rodriguez perform.  Celebrity attendees include Star Jones, Ivana Trump, Stephen & Billy Baldwin, Natalie Cole, Eartha Kitt & Montel Williams

Foundation distributes Medical Research Awards totaling nearly $2 million. 

2003
British Royal Mint Creates Gabrielle Medal

British Royal Mint Creates Gabrielle Medal

The British Royal Mint creates a special limited-edition Gabrielle medal, one in solid gold, one in silver.  Denise Rich strikes the first medal in England. Proceeds of all sales benefit the Foundation.

2004
Jerome Groopman makes NYT Bestseller List

Jerome Groopman makes NYT Bestseller List

Medical Advisory Board Member, Harvard’s Dr. Jerome Groopman, makes the New York Times Bestseller List with his book, The Anatomy of Hope

Foundation co-hosts “The Best in the Hamptons” event with The Robb Report Magazine which raises $1.5 million.  Michael Bolton performs.

    2005
    Angel Ball 2005

    Angel Ball 2005

    Patti LaBelle and Stevie Wonder perform at the Angel Ball and the Foundation receives a surprise $1 million donation from the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi.

    2006
    Jeffrey Molldrem

    Jeffrey Molldrem

    2001 grant recipient Jeffrey Molldrem, MD of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas identifies a vaccine that, for the first time ever, produces complete responses in a clinical trial for patients with advanced myeloid leukemia for whom no other therapy had been successful.  

    2007
    Empire State Building

    Empire State Building

    New York landmark, The Empire State Building, lights up with Foundation colors red & purple to celebrate the Angel Ball which raises a record $5.3 million

     Foundation distributes ten new grants totaling $2.25 million.

    2008
    Gabrielle’s Music Therapy Program

    Gabrielle’s Music Therapy Program

    The Integrative Medicine Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center expands to include Gabrielle’s Music Therapy Program.  This free service brings live music to the bedside of patients and their family members by trained music therapists. 

    2009
    Janet Rowley Honored

    Janet Rowley Honored

     Medical Advisory Board Member, Dr. Janet D. Rowley, dubbed by The New York Times as the “Matriarch of Modern Cancer Genetics,” is awarded the country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute appoints 2005 Foundation grantee, Iannis Aifantis, Ph.D. of New York University Medical Center as one of the 50 top scientists earning a HHMI Early Career Scientist award & establishing him as one of the most outstanding young scientists in the country

    Grantee Tait Shanfelt, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic files a US patent on his green tea extract findings

    Twelve new Medical Research Awards announced total $2.7 million.

    2010
    New funding initiatives and Inaugural Medical Symposium

    New funding initiatives and Inaugural Medical Symposium

    The Loeb Central Park Boathouse is the setting for the Foundation’s first-ever Medical Luncheon & Symposium.  Over 25 current & former grantees attend along with donors, Board Members & Medical Advisory Board Members

    Cipriani Wall Street again serves as backdrop for the Angel Ball & raises nearly $4 million. The Angel Ball officially becomes a yearly event at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, allowing the Foundation to increase its grant giving to an annual cycle

    Foundation announces new round of grants totaling $1.8 million  

    In a trial for ALL patients using innovative chimeric antigen receptor therapy (CAR-T), Medical Advisory Board member Carl June, MD, of University of Pennsylvania, has reported that 36 of 39 children responded to the therapy

    Foundation expands its reach by funding pediatric quality of life initiatives & select international projects.  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital uses Foundation gift for Kidzpace gaming stations for pediatric cancer patients & their families.

    2012
    Medical Research Awards Announced

    Medical Research Awards Announced

    Foundation announces support for 7 early career scientists through Medical Research Awards.

    2013
    Art Therapy

    Art Therapy

    Foundation announces awards totaling $2,307,000 in grants including 18 scientific research projects, 5 music therapy programs and select symposia

    Board Member Lorraine Schwartz takes a team of professional jewelry makers to Children’s National in Washington, D.C. for a special day of art therapy with pediatric cancer patients. These one-of-a-kind pieces, designed by the children & created by Lorraine’s team, were worn on the red carpet at the GRAMMY Awards by pop stars such as Taylor Swift, Pharrell and Katy Perry

    The FDA approves ibrutinib as a treatment for patients with a particularly aggressive form of NHL known as mantle cell lymphoma. The drug is also studied to determine whether it may help fight another type of NHL, follicular lymphoma, and the results are promising.

    2014
    Funding More Research

    Funding More Research

    Foundation awards total of $1,735,000 in grants including 17 scientific research projects which include 3 New Investigator Awards administered by the American Society of Blood & Marrow Transplantation

    2015
    3 New FDA Approvals for Blood Cancers

    3 New FDA Approvals for Blood Cancers

    Foundation announces grants in the amount of $1,531,500

    In the fall of 2015, the FDA approves three new treatments—daratumumab (Darzalex), elotuzumab (Empliciti) and ixazomib (Ninlaro)—that activate the body’s immune system to attack multiple myeloma cells or hinder their ability to grow. 

    2016
    Twenty Years

    Twenty Years

    Twenty years after Gabrielle Rich Aouad succumbs to cancer, the Foundation launches the “20 for 20” campaign with the goal of funding 20 new grants in her memory. Individual supporters create online fundraisers to benefit the Foundation and rally their support around this anniversary. 

    2017
    Grantee Breakthrough

    Grantee Breakthrough

    2011 grantee Jeroen Roose & his lab discover that normal T cells, a type of immune cell, possess a control mechanism to keep these cells in the resting state when there is no infection or immune response to a foreign substance in the body.

    2018
    AML Discovery

    AML Discovery

    Exciting news out of the lab of grantee Dr. Saar Gill at the University of Pennsylvania. A new approach pioneered at the Abramson Cancer Center may provide a new path towards treating Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) with CAR T cells. “Think of this as bone marrow transplant 2.0; the next generation of transplants,” Gill said. “It gives you a super powerful anti-leukemia effect thanks to the CAR T cells, but at the same time it has the potential to get rid of the main toxicity.”

    The Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board selects 10 top junior investigators to receive our three-year, $225,000 Medical Research Award. The Foundation also announces support for nine one-year grants; the Director’s Innovation Fund at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, FL; one ASBMT New Investigator Award; two music therapy programs; and assorted symposia and medical conferences.

    2019
    8 Stellar New Grantees

    8 Stellar New Grantees

    The Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board selects eight of the nation’s top early career scientists to receive our three-year, $225,000 Medical Research Award

    Dr. Jeroen Roose (Gabrielle’s Angels Grantee 2011) is part of a team who has designed a large-scale screen that efficiently identifies drugs that are potent cancer-killers when combined, but only weakly effective when used alone. Using this technique, they eradicated a devastating blood cancer by jointly administering drugs that are only partially effective when used as single-agent therapies. This discovery was directly funded in part by Gabrielle’s Angels! 

    2020
    Virtual Disco Party

    Virtual Disco Party

    In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, the Foundation hosts its first-ever online event, the Virtual Disco Party, with performances by Patti LaBelle, Kathy Sledge, Chaka Khan, and more. Over $1M is raised for research in a time when early career scientists need help more than ever.

    2021
    Commemorating 25 Years

    Commemorating 25 Years

    To commemorate 25 years since Gabrielle passed away, Denise and her family launch the Angel Anniversary Fund with a goal of raising $1M for cancer research. 

    Donate to the Angel Anniversary Fund Now

    Our Donors

    Anonymous User
    SM

    Stephen Morris

    $1,030.18 April 15, 2021
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    benjamin and twila bram

    $20,597.63 April 15, 2021
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    Kirsten McGregor

    $257.78 April 15, 2021
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    Eli Williams

    $129.04 April 15, 2021
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    Anonymous

    $250,000.00 April 15, 2021
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    Denise, Daniella, and Ilona Rich

    $250,000.00 April 14, 2021
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    Gulu Lalvani

    $1,000.00 April 3, 2021

    I truely admire Denise for her 25 years delegation to Gabrielle.

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    Bonnie Pfeifer Evans

    $500.00 April 1, 2021

    Thank you Denise for your focus & dedication to this life saving research in memory of beautiful Gabrielle.

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    Marc Leder

    $10,000.00 March 30, 2021
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    Leelila Strogov

    $1,030.18 March 24, 2021

    A piece of Gabrielle lives on in all those who knew her. Denise, Ilona, Danny -- love you guys, and thanks for all you do to make this world… Read more

    A piece of Gabrielle lives on in all those who knew her. Denise, Ilona, Danny -- love you guys, and thanks for all you do to make this world warmer in the coldest of times... you guys are incredible. xoxo

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    Vivian Diamant

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