22 • Resident January 2012 In 1976,
Samuel Waxman was a young doctor at Mt Sinai Hospital responsible for arresting the leukemia of a young man with a grateful uncle.
Uncle Irving decided Waxman needed a foundation.
So, at the age of 35, Waxman found himself in the offices of a fashion showroom, facing a room of executives.
Their boss, Irving, pledged $10,000 towards cancer research, and sent the word around that others should do likewise.
“What do you want to call it?” they asked Dr. Waxman.
He had no idea.
“Let’s name it after you,” they decided.
“But no one has ever heard of me,” he said.
“If your foundation is successful, everyone will,” was the prescient reply.
Since then, the Samuel Waxman Foundation has raised more than $75 million to fund more than 175 researchers across three continents.
Chevy Chase, Steely Dan, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, John Fogerty, and Counting Crows are among the celebrities who have performed to the thousand plus who attend their benefits.
This year, it was Kid Rock who got the room gyrating and fist pumping to his beat.
Elin and Michael Nierenberg hosted at the Park Avenue Armory. It’s certainly a cause that unites.
The Foundation, on the frontline of this deadly battle, promotes a cutting edge approach to reprogram cancer cells to deliver tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. “He treated my father five years ago, when he was 85,” Jean Shafiroff told me.
“He used a very gentle approach, because, at that age, cancer grows slowly.
They made it so easy for him.
They’d talk and joke while they were treating him.
Then, he’d come to my apartment for lunch and go to Long Island the next day to take a dance lesson. “
We remember Jean introducing her father and his “new girlfriend” last summer at the Southampton Hospital Gala she chairs.The French Heritage Society President Comte Denis de Kergorlay led me out of the Society’s 4th Gala Dinner Dance at
the Metropolitan Club, into an adjacent library, so we could speak without interruption.
Ah the French charm.
Elizabeth Stribling chairs the society, which seeks to preserve historic French architecture on both sides of the Atlantic, including the great European chateaus and castles.
Francois Saint Bris had donated a stay at the Chateau De Clos Luce, in Amboise, Leonardo da Vinci’s last home to be auctioned.
CeCe Black, Margo Langenberg, Mitzi Perdue, and Jean Shafiroff were Gala Chairs. And where would he send me in Paris?
To his private club, where De Kergorlay continues his Franco/American ties, as President of the cercle de l’Union interalliée, founded as a meeting place for Allied soldiers in 1917.