'Shades of Pink' attendees put their money where their mouth is

Cancer Link's annual luncheon raises thousands for research

MIAMI - Jungle Island's Treetop ballroom turned rosy Thursday for Miami's ritzy ladies who lunch and a few suited men who wore hints of pink on their pocket squares, bow ties and dress shirts. And they all meant business.

Models presented Mayda Cisneros' couture collection and Broward firefighters brought their sexy calendars and paraded around without a shirt. The luncheon relies on donations and all of the managing members are volunteers, said Cancer Link's Lliette Oliveros.

"We will know how much we raised in two weeks," Oliveros said. "But I'm certain that this year we hit the $300,000 mark. Every year, it has been progressively more and more."

About 750 attended Cancer Link's "Shades of Pink." The luncheon, which includes live and silent auctions, funds breast cancer research Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Individual donations are kept private; this year there were families who donated $25,000 for a table of 10, Oliveros said. The Miami-based non-profit organization's founder Marlene Berg calculates hey have raised about $2 million since 1987.

Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Stephen Nimer spoke during the event. He was excited about ongoing research on immunotherapy, also known as biologic therapy. 

Nimer said UM is focusing on T cell immunotherapy, which involves genetically altering the patients' T cells to launch a precise attack against cancer cells.

For years, treatment has involved surgery to remove breast, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which burns the skin. And over the last decade, there have been drugs to target different types of breast cancer.

"Immunotherapy is the future," Nimer said. "And this research is going on here in Miami."

The Top Donor

Chanin Carlin and Adam Carlin, who is a managing director and senior portfolio management director at Morgan Stanley private wealth management.

TOP DONOR TABLE: From left, front row, Zachary Robert Ronca, Bernadette Clayborne, Sharon Moreno-Barnes and Donnetta Stafford. On the back row were Sandra Cyril, Ali Shapiro, Carlin, Alexandra Camps and Judith Leacock.

Local10.com reporter Andrea Torres was treated for breast cancer at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and attended the luncheon.

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