Save the date for the Sarcoma Foundation of America’s 22nd annual fundraising gala, Stand Up to Sarcoma, which will be held on October 1, 2024, at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. Join us as we gather to honor those who are making a difference in the sarcoma community!

Stand Up to Sarcoma is a signature event of the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA). The highlight of the night is our program honoring recipients of SFA’s five international awards – the Courage Award, the Amira Yunis Courage Award, the Nobility in Science Award, the Vision of Hope Award, and the Compassionate Care Award.

  • Courage Award – honoring outstanding sarcoma advocates.
  • Amira Yunis Courage Award – honoring outstanding sarcoma advocates.
  • Nobility in Science Award – recognizing researchers or doctors investigating groundbreaking sarcoma research.
  • Vision of Hope Award – honoring an organization or person in recognition of the honoree’s efforts to advance the care and treatment of sarcoma, bringing hope to patients and survivors.
  • Compassionate Care Award – recognizing a patient navigator for his or her outstanding contributions to patient care, support, and education.

Along with these recognitions, this gala serves as a signature event of the organization in two important ways:

  1. It is the primary fundraising event for the organization; It is the premiere event that best highlights the mission of the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
  2. Net proceeds from the event will benefit the 2025 research and patient education programs; Funding sarcoma research grants and educating patients about novel therapies and empowering them to be better advocates for their care.

SFA relies on the devotion and support of donors and friends to continue working to find new and better therapies, and ultimately the cure for sarcoma. Your support will aid in the effort to fund research and provide resources for the sarcoma community.

We hope you will join the SFA community to honor outstanding and inspirational leaders who proudly represent the important work of SFA while raising money for much needed research.

 

The Vision of Hope Award is presented to a person or organization through public or private actions has resulted in the advancement of care, treatment or awareness for sarcoma patients. The honoree impacts the lives of sarcoma patients and survivors providing them hope for a better future and whose achievements provide increased hope for better patient outcomes.


David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc
Associate Professor of Medicine, Translational Medicine & Human Genetics
Associate Director, Patient Impact, Orphan Disease Center, University of Pennsylvania
Co-Founder, Every Cure

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the youngest professors to receive tenure in the history of Penn Medicine, the co-Founder & President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN), co-Founder and President of Every Cure, and the national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action.  Dr. Fajgenbaum is also a patient battling a deadly disease for which he discovered a repurposed treatment that is saving his life.

Through his work at Penn and the CDCN, he has identified and advanced repurposed treatments for 16 additional diseases. Due to his work in, and his own experience with, repurposed treatments, Dr. Fajgenbaum was able to help his uncle Michael when he was diagnosed with metastatic angiosarcoma. In 2016, Dr. Fajgenbaum went into action to try to find a potential treatment that could be repurposed. He uncovered a study from 2013 suggesting that angiosarcoma may be susceptible to immunotherapy and tested his uncle’s tumor for a particular marker. When the test came back positive, his uncle pioneered the use of pembrolizumab, which put him into remission and has become an established treatment for angiosarcoma.  Because of these experiences, Dr. Fajgenbaum co-founded Every Cure to unlock the full potential of FDA-approved medicines to treat every disease possible with repurposed drugs. 

One of the youngest awardees of multiple top NIH and FDA grants, Dr. Fajgenbaum has published scientific papers in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, including a paper selected as one of the top innovations in science and medicine of 2020. He has been profiled by The New York Times, TODAY, GMA, USA TODAY, Forbes 30 Under 30, and received numerous awards, including the 2016 Atlas Award along with then-VP Joe Biden, the 2022 NDRI Service to Science Award along with Nobel Laureates Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman, and the 2023 Philadelphia Citizen of the Year Award. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA. Dr. Fajgenbaum earned a BS from Georgetown University, MSc from the University of Oxford, MD from the University of Pennsylvania, and MBA from The Wharton School.

The Nobility in Science Award is given annually to a deserving visionary, who has been a leading sarcoma surgeon and researcher and has taken on an integral role in advancing drug development for sarcoma patients. Awardees receiving this honor have contributed in a significant way to the advancement of, care, treatment, for sarcoma patients. This award is given to an outstanding scientist who is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge of sarcoma and works tirelessly to find new and innovative approaches for treating this rare cancer.


Cristina R. Antonescu, MD
Director, Soft Tissue and Bone Pathology

My carrier as a sarcoma pathologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has started in 1999 under the mentorship of two historical figures, Drs. Andrew Huvos and James Woodruff, who have shaped my aspirations toward an academic career in studying bone and soft tissue tumors. In 2004, as a result of a KO8 award, I started my own sarcoma research laboratory, dedicated to the detection and molecular characterization of diagnostic and prognostic markers in soft tissue sarcomas. Reflecting my prior training in molecular biology, my research has focused on two main directions: KIT oncogenic signaling in the pathogenesis of GIST and gene fusion discovery in the characterization of new pathologic entities. During the past two decades our lab has cloned numerous novel gene fusions that has impacted the classification of soft tissue tumors. My sarcoma research laboratory also served as an invaluable resource in mentoring young investigators and pathology fellows, with a special interest in sarcoma pathology and molecular biology. Currently, I serve as the Director of the Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology and I oversee the pathologic evaluation of sarcoma patients treated at our institution. I run a busy personal consultation practice and enjoy teaching our talented fellows. I am the Co-Leader of a GIST research project as well as the Co-Director of the Administrative Core and Director of the Biospecimen Repository Core for the NIH Soft Tissue Sarcoma SPORE. I am also the co-Director of the recently instituted MSK Sarcoma Center, an integrated multidisciplinary group of basic and clinical researchers. Accepting the Nobility Award, I am grateful to all my colleagues at MSK for their relentless support over the years for both my clinical and research endeavors.

The Compassionate Care Award recognizes a patient/nurse navigator (clinical/nurse, community health worker, social worker in the role of a navigator) for his or her outstanding contributions to patient care, support or education. Sarcoma is a challenging disease to navigate alone, and many sarcoma patients need additional support. Navigators assist patients from diagnosis to survivorship, helping them understand their condition and treatments as well as manage side effects; coordinate care among medical specialists; and connect patients to available community resources to overcome barriers to care. They can also help patients manage their psychosocial needs, such as work, school and home environments; relationships; mental and emotional health; and financial concerns. SFA recognizes the important role these individuals play in the sarcoma patient journey.


Jaclyn Cardarelli-Matte
Massachusetts General Hospital

Courage Award honorees illustrate, through their personal efforts and actions, sarcoma advocacy. These individuals are patients, survivors, caregivers, and advocates who inspire others by using their platform on behalf of sarcoma patients and survivors to create hope and a better life/or the sarcoma community. Many do not think they have done something special but who have inspired others and are making a difference/or sarcoma patients and their families. The Courage Award honors patients who have demonstrated strength and perseverance in their sarcoma diagnosis.


To be announced soon

Amira Yunis Courage Award honorees illustrate, through their personal efforts and actions, sarcoma advocacy. These individuals are patients, survivors, caregivers, and advocates who inspire others by using their platform on behalf of sarcoma patients and survivors to create hope and a better life/or the sarcoma community. Many do not think they have done something special but who have inspired others and are making a difference/or sarcoma patients and their families. The Amira Yunis Courage Award honors patients who have demonstrated strength and perseverance in their sarcoma diagnosis.


To be announced soon

VIEW OUR PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS