Dr. Jill Biden, second lady of the United States, was the featured speaker at the one hundred's ninth annual fundraiser, honoring individuals and groups for their inspiring commitment to fighting cancer.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center raised nearly $1.8 million at its ninth annual gala, the one hundred, at the Westin Boston Waterfront on May 24, 2016. The event honors 100 individuals and groups whose commitment to the fight against cancer inspires us all to take action. Funds raised are critical for continued momentum in both cancer research and patient care.

“For Joe and me, this fight is personal,” Dr. Biden said. “My sister recently had a stem cell transplant. Our son Beau. My mother. My father. So we know how important this fight is.”

After a moving introduction from Jack Connors, former chairman of Partners HealthCare, special guest Dr. Jill Biden, second lady of the United States, gave an impassioned and heartfelt speech about the mission she and her husband, Vice President Joe Biden, have embarked on to infuse the research community with a “moonshot” vision to eradicate cancer.

“For Joe and me, this fight is personal,” Dr. Biden said. “My sister recently had a stem cell transplant. Our son Beau. My mother. My father. So we know how important this fight is. But we also know it’s bigger than us. It affects millions of people around the world every day.”

Cancer Moonshot Summit

Dr. Biden announced that an inaugural Cancer Moonshot Summit will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 29, 2016. It will bring together experts in cancer research and care to work towards doubling the rate of progress toward a cure.

the-100-logo-(2)

Dr. Biden also praised Mass General for being a leader in the field of personalized cancer care: “As you all know, Mass General really is the gold standard in promoting patients’ quality of life through an array of patient and caregiver support and educational programs.”

Another honoree who addressed the crowd was New England Patriots player Nate Solder, a testicular cancer survivor who was successfully cared for at the Mass General Cancer Center. Solder and his family are once again waging a battle against cancer as his 10-month-old son Hudson is being treated for a rare kidney cancer. “I thank each and every one of you for all that you do,” said Solder, acknowledging both his and Hudson’s care teams.

Everyday Amazing Contributions Recognized

Honorary Chair Jonathan Kraft thanked the crowd of more than 900 and asked all of the 2016 honorees to stand and be recognized for their “Everyday Amazing” contributions. Moving video presentations highlighted some of the honorees – including Mass General Cancer Center oncology nurses, immunotherapy researchers, and 10-year-old Liam Fitzgerald, a leukemia patient better known as the “Boston Bruins fist bump kid.”

Kraft concluded the evening by introducing comedian Quincy Jones, another cancer warrior, who was emotional as he expressed how special it was to be part of such an amazing evening.

Nominations for the 10th annual the one hundred are now open at www.theonehundred.org.

This article first ran in MGH Hotline.