A couple of weeks ago, we had the honor of traveling up to LA to attend the Race to Erase MS Spring Forum and Expo on behalf of iConquerMS. We drove up the night before and stayed in the same hotel where the 22nd Annual Race to Erase MS Gala was happening.
Everything was a buzz as guests arrived for the Gala that night. With the hope to catch a glimpse of some Hollywood stars, we hung out in the hotel lobby bar to watch the action. As you might guess, the excited noise of laughter, chatter, music, and clinking of glasses filled the hallways.
We saw a few stars come through the crowded lobby and head out to the orange carpet: Lea Thompson (of Back to the Future fame), Anne Heche, who later introduced the live auction which included a gorgeous 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vintage GT (vroom, vroom!), Ne-Yo the rapper (truth be told, we didn’t really know who he was, just got the sense that he was famous due to the patrol around him), Rumer Willis, and, Tommy Hilfiger, who was the event’s Honoree. Eventually, we tried to sneak down to the orange carpet area but it was impossible to see anything as the Osbournes had just arrived when we did. Flash bulbs and people everywhere!
We later learned that over 1,000 people attended the event with tickets ranging from $1,000 - $2,500. The car? It went for $150,000! All together, the event raised $1.7M with proceeds going to MS research and therapies. That’s pretty awesome.
The next day was our chance to talk about the importance of iConquerMS and meet so many wonderful people. This includes Nancy Davis, the founder of charity event and Race to Erase MS, and Jack Osbourne, who was on the Spring MS Forum panel. Later, I pretty much chased Jack down like a crazy person as I caught him briskly walking through the hall but he was really, really cool about it, especially once I introduced myself as a fellow MSer. He was nice to snap a photo with me and kept it real as I thanked him for being so honest on the panel about his positive attitude despite bouts of occasional depression.
Here are some shots of the event and notes about the pictures. Starting on the bottom right corner going clockwise and finishing in the center square:
- Anna on the orange carpet at the Race to Erase MS Gala
- The amazing panel, including Nancy Davis and Jack Osbourne, who covered topics such as the latest therapies for MS and engaged in an open dialogue about depression. Did you know that 50% of MSers are clinically depressed? And that the third cause of death with MSers is suicide, due to depression? We need to talk about this more
- Anna has the power to conquer MS – yeah!
- At the iConquerMS table, spreading the good word
- Me and Jack O. I appreciated his candidness during the panel discussion of depression amongst MSers. He talked about times when he enters the “jar of shadows” yet encouraged everyone to be positive and live a healthy lifestyle
- On the orange carpet with my limited edition Top and Derby Chatfield walking stick in MS orange
- Surrounded by MS orange balloons at the Spring MS Forum and Expo
- I, too, have the power to conquer MS
- We were pretty excited to step out onto the orange carpet although all the stars already left the area by the time we snapped this! (center photo)
It’s fairly obvious that we had a great time and look forward to next year. Who knows? Maybe you will see the two of us actually walk the orange carpet, amongst the stars, as we all work towards curing Multiple Sclerosis.
If interested in supporting Race to Erase MS via the “Orange you Happy to Erase MS” campaign this month, check it out here: http://www.erasems.org/may-ms-awareness-campaign/. Proceeds of the campaign go towards some of the nation’s top MS research centers
To join the iConquerMS initiative, register on the site here: https://www.iconquerms.org/. Submit your ideas, information, and become part of the heart and soul of iConquerMS.
Take care everyone,