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Gala committee chair Anne Tamer Hajjar with her husband, Chuck Hajjar, a member of the ALSAC-St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors.
When Jordyn was 15 months old, she passed out at the dinner table and went into cardiac arrest. Her family learned that she suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer.
The story of Jordyn’s journey to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was the highlight of the 23rd annual TomorrowNite Gala April 12 in Boston. The event, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, raised $365,000 for the kids of St. Jude.
Jordyn’s father, Brian, told the 320 gala guests about his daughter’s cancer battle and how hope appeared when the family saw an infomercial about St. Jude. That was in 2009 when Jordyn was still sick and running out of options. But a revolutionary transplant procedure and chemotherapy program at St. Jude, along with radiation therapy, gave Jordyn a fighting chance. She is now 13 and thriving.
The TomorrowNite gala plays an important part in raising awareness about the mission of St. Jude in the Boston area, said Anne Tamer Hajjar, who chaired the gala committee.
“Every year, our event grows because word spreads about the cause and what a unique event we have,” she said. “Once people are enlightened about the mission of St. Jude and how even Boston hospitals and local children have used St. Jude treatment plans, it is very difficult not to donate.”
Frances Rivera of MSNBC served as host of the gala, which featured dining, dancing and a live and silent auction to raise funds for St. Jude.