Most families have dealt with cancer in some form, whether in the loss of a loved one or other personal struggles with the disease. Cancer can dramatically alter family dynamics and lifestyle by shrouding normal life with fear and grief.
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is an organization that helps early-career scientists get the freedom and resources to pursue the next breakthroughs in cancer research. Named after iconic sportswriter Damon Runyon, who passed away from throat cancer, the foundation has a unique connection to the theater world: Runyon’s stories were transformed into the Broadway hit Guys and Dolls.
Many members of my family have a keen interest in theater, which is what makes the Damon Runyon foundation such a great fit for us. My father-in-law, wife, and especially my daughter, Katie, have always been involved in the art and theater in particular. From a very young age, I can recall Katie’s earnest attempt to see as many Broadway musicals as possible. Naturally, we had to buy a lot of tickets.
The Damon Runyon Foundation was the perfect answer to our ticket needs. Purchasing tickets through this organization means that for every spectacular performance, a tax-deductible donation can be made to the cause. We’ve been buying tickets through them for 23 years, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a small part of such a wonderful program.
Alongside us are some big names that have been involved in the foundation over the years. Celebrity supporters, which include Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, have all led efforts in fundraising.
Since its founding in 1946, the foundation has invested over $300 million in more than 3,500
exceptional scientists. These talented researchers have made extraordinary breakthroughs in every area of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Moving forward, Damon Runyon is looking ahead to support the next generation of emerging talent in the sciences to continue nurturing such advancements.
As much as my family loves theater, the real joy comes in making a difference. Though buying Broadway tickets is only one of many ways to get involved, I recommend that when you finally get around to seeing Hamilton (or any other show!), you do it through the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. This way, a live show can save a life.