Dr. Jonathan D. Hall and his wife, Teri Hall attended the AYA Red Carpet Holiday Gala hosted by the Reid R Sacco Adolescent & Adult (AYA) Cancer Alliance at the Fairmont-Copley Hotel on Saturday November 23. The Halls were there with the board of the Boston North Cancer Association, who were one of the Gala sponsors of the event that raised $200,000.
It was a wonderful evening with beautiful flower centerpieces donated by the Lynnfield Garden Club, an excellent dinner, live music from “Jazz for a Cauzz”during the reception followed by the Longwood symphony Orchestra during dinner and dancing later until midnight in the Grand Ballroom to the sounds of “The Legit Band”.
The gala recognized the 15th anniversary of Reid’s Ride, the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer alliance and the fight against Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancers. Reid and his brother Westin, and his parents, Lorraine and Gene were neighbors of Dr. & Mrs. Hall in Lynnfield. Reid’s brother Westin has since become a physician, and gave a poignant talk about Reids battle with Ewing’s sarcoma that took his brothers young life at the age of 20, and the realization that there was a troubling lack of resources to treat and research these cancers in adolescents and young adults. The Reid R Sacco AYA Cancer alliance was started just a few months after 20 year old Reid Sacco lost his courageous two year battle with cancer, and has been active now for 15 years. Reids ride continues to inspire and bring together families and friends who took up this cause in Reid’s honor and has grown in size and impact every year. At the gala we heard prerecorded talks and thanks from physicians, nurses and program managers from the Reid R. Sacco AYA clinic for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Tufts Cancer Center, as well as adolescent and young adult patients with cancer who have benefited directly from the work of the AYA cancer alliance. We also heard prerecorded talks from Doctors and patients at the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Care Program at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Janet Wu, current reporter for Bloomberg news and former anchor/reporter for Channel 5 Boston was the guest Emcee and auctioneer, and kept the nights events flowing.
We also heard from Celebrity Guest Mr. Will Reiser who is the author of the 2011 movie “50/50” a good hearted movie that was inspired by his real life battle with a rare form of cancer of the spine and features Seth Rogen as one of the characters who is a close friend of Reiser in real life and chronicles what happened in his life and their friendship after the diagnosis. He spoke about the different ways that his friends responded after his diagnosis and finding out that his odds for surviving were “50/50”.
A sailboat motif was displayed on the ceiling throughout the event and I found out that this was inspired by Reid. The motto of the foundation is “Altering the course of AYA cancer”.
“Life is like sailing. Change can come upon you suddenly. But just because you sometimes have to alter your course, it doesn’t mean you have to stop sailing. ”
— Reid Sacco, 2003
Back row left to right
Alan Edgett , Kevin and Susan McCarthy, Allison and Vincent Leach, Laurie and Don Hamill