CURE® Magazine Hosts 4th Annual Gala Honoring MPN Heroes®

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Celebration recognizes patient advocates, clinicians, researchers and caregivers for their dedication to improving the lives of people with rare blood cancers

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"We celebrate these real-life heroes who work every day helping patients and families. Honoring these outstanding caregivers and advocates reflects our dedication to the cancer community.” -Michael J. Hennessy, Jr.

On Dec. 2, 2016, CURE® magazine will host the 4th Annual MPN Heroes® Recognition Event at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego honoring the 2016 MPN Heroes—eight individuals who have made a difference in the field of rare blood cancers known as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) by going above and beyond the standard of care, demonstrating leadership within the MPN community and/or a commitment to individual patients.

This year’s event, being held prior to the 58th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, will recognize Ross Levine, MD; Elliott Winton, MD; Erin Blackwell, RN, BSN, OCN; Bonnie Blankert; David Wallace; Ann Brazeau; Andrew Schorr; and Patricia Koenig. Joining the honorees as keynote speaker is cancer researcher and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD.

“We celebrate these real-life heroes who work every day helping patients and families. Honoring these outstanding caregivers and advocates reflects our dedication to the cancer community,” said CURE Media Group President Michael J. Hennessy, Jr.

The MPN Heroes® Recognition Event is made possible with support from Incyte Corporation, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, MPN Advocacy & Education International, the MPN Education Foundation, the MPN Research Foundation and the National Organization for Rare Disorders. A steering committee of patients, advocates and health care professionals selected honorees from among the scores of people and groups nominated by the MPN community. This year’s award recipients include two physicians, a nurse, a caregiver and four patient advocates. Of these, four awards are going to individuals in the category “Commitment to the Individual”:

  • Ross Levine, MD—Dr. Levine has had an enormous impact on MPN research. His many innovative contributions include the co-discovery of a key gene mutation, being the development lead in important clinical research and development of drug treatment approaches to clinical trials for MPNs.
  • Elliott Winton, MD—Dr. Winton is a distinguished researcher who conducted the first bone marrow transplant at Emory University Hospital in 1979. In addition to advancing the science of MPNs through continuous research, he’s an esteemed physician who spends endless hours talking with patients at Cancer Support Community, national MPN organizations and local MPN support groups.
  • Erin Blackwell, RN, BSN, OCN—Erin is renowned for her compassion and exceptional dedication to her MPN patients at the Levine Cancer Institute. She excels at personalized patient care, can recall details about most of her patients and gets back in touch with patients—even during her off-hours.
  • Bonnie Blankert, Caregiver—Bonnie left her home and family for 2 months to care for a friend who needed stem cell transplant surgery due to complications of post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis. Without a designated caretaker, her friend would not have been eligible to have the transplant surgery.

The second category of recipients includes individuals whose continuous efforts have had a significant impact on the broader MPN community:

  • David Wallace, Patient Advocate—David publishes PV Reporter and MPN Cancer Connection, informative websites for patients with MPNs. Diagnosed with polycythemia vera (PV), David is devoted to helping other patients get information and resources to help them live with their MPNs.
  • Andrew Schorr, Patient Advocate—Andrew’s experiences with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and myelofibrosis inspired him to found Patient Power and Patient Empowerment Network, well‐regarded online portals offering authoritative cancer information. Andrew travels widely to interview top MPN experts and also reaches out to patients in MPN support groups, offering knowledge to help them become more empowered and informed.
  • Ann Brazeau, Patient Advocate—Ann is the founder and CEO of MPN Advocacy & Education International. Her devotion to grassroots education and services for the MPN community has made her a legendary patient advocate—especially for underserved populations.
  • Patricia Koenig, Patient Advocate—Patricia’s cheerfulness and inner strength encourage others who live with PV. Patients may be searching for hope after they are diagnosed with PV, and they find it when they meet Patricia and hear her story of courage.

In an effort to honor the four Heroes recognized for their impact on the broader MPN community and further increase awareness, Incyte will make a $25,000 charitable donation per recipient to an organization engaged in MPN activities.

Keynote speaker Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, will join the hundreds of guests honoring the 2016 MPN Heroes® and share new insights into the causes and cures of cancer. A graduate of Stanford University, Harvard Medical School and Oxford University, Dr. Mukherjee is a cancer specialist whose laboratory is at the forefront of discovering new cancer drugs using innovative biological methods. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Dr. Mukherjee explores the origins and causes of cancer, its deadly effect on the human body, how it has virtually enveloped modern civilization, and the epic battles that are taking place to control, cure, and conquer it.

“Incyte Corporation is pleased to once again partner with CURE® magazine to sponsor the MPN Heroes Program,” said Hervé Hoppenot, CEO of Incyte. “Our goal with this program is to create as many opportunities as possible for people with MPNs to continually be heard and supported.”

Visit to learn more about this year’s MPN Heroes®, the 2016 Recognition Program Rules and Steering Committee members. Individuals or entities supported through funding or directed by Incyte are not eligible for consideration or recognition.

Supporting the recognition of MPN Heroes® and the MPN community is an ongoing effort of Incyte’s Voices of MPN awareness program. For every post made on The Wall of Voices, Incyte will donate $5 to the MPN Research Foundation. For more information, visit

About CURE Media Group
CURE Media Group is the leading resource for cancer updates, research and education. It combines a full suite of media products, including its industry leading website,; innovative video programs, such as CURE Connections®; a series of widely attended live events; and CURE® magazine, which reaches over 1 million readers. CURE Media Group is part of the Plainsboro, N.J.-based Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® ( platform of resources for the practicing oncologist. For more information, visit or

About Incyte
Incyte Corporation is a Wilmington, Del. -based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics. For additional information on Incyte, please visit the company’s website at

Follow @Incyte on Twitter at

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Theresa Burek
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