At a fundraising event held last week for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Rydell High School Sock Hop bopped the night away. Everyone was getting into the 1950s spirit of the evening, with women dressed in lycra dancing among an Elvis impersonator. Among the performers were Hall and Oates. The evening was catered by David Burke and hosted by Mike and Lori Milken among others. Attendees and supporters included: Kim Honig, Dick Merkin, Richard and Karen LeFrak, Julia and David Koch.
Michael Milken began the foundation – a spin off of CaP Cure – two decades ago when he himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He explains:
“We put on a march in 1998 for half a million people. We got the support of President Clinton, the Senate and the House to double the NIH and NCI budgets. We’ve had an increase of $200 billion in financing of medical research in our country, and so we’re on the verge of eliminating a lot of diseases as a cause of death. Since we started the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the death rate has fallen by 50%.”
Cancer hits everyone at some time, either directly or within the family. Indeed, as Milken says: “There isn’t a family in this country that’s not affected. And when we eliminate cancer as a cause of death and it becomes a chronic disease in 2017, I’m taking a vacation.”
The event was also attended by former Governor of New York David Paterson who said that he had been recording an afternoon radio drive show with Curtis Sliwa, a survivor of prostate cancer who, “let [him] cut out early from the Friday show!”