Platform One and Kings of Leon support Comer Children's Hospital

March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009 The Kings of Leon band members (left to right) Matthew, Jared, Caleb, and Nathan Followill make it a memorable night for Abigail Mendoza, 5, who is being treated for neuroblastoma at Comer Children’s Hospital.

The Kings of Leon, one of today's most popular new rock bands, has helped make possible a generous $75,000 donation from Platform One Entertainment to the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital to help discover new treatments and cures for children and teens with cancer. Part of that donation, $25,000, was given by the Lisa Klitzky Foundation.

Funds were raised from a unique "Dare 2 Dream" benefit event held in January when the band rocked a sold-out crowd of 1,400 at the House of Blues.

Along with Platform One's efforts, the event brought extensive national and local media exposure that raised awareness of the need to continue pursuing new therapies to treat pediatric cancer. The concert brought together philanthropic fans young and old--some who have been longtime followers of the band and others who joined to support them in furthering research for pediatric leukemia. Platform One also donated more than $4,000 in toys for children at the hospital.

"This is one of the finest things we have done as a band. We are all happy to support Dare 2 Dream's mission to save the lives of countless children," lead singer Caleb Followill said.

"This is one of the finest things we have done as a band. We are all happy to support Dare 2 Dream's mission to save the lives of countless children," lead singer Caleb Followill said. John Cunningham, MD (center), chief of the section of pediatric hematology/oncology at Comer Children’s Hospital, with the Kings of Leon (left to right) Matthew, Jared, Caleb, and Nathan Followill.

Mayor Richard M. Daley praised supporters of the event. "The Dare 2 Dream event provides a great opportunity to highlight the important life-changing work that Comer Children's Hospital is doing to save the lives of children diagnosed with cancer. Children are our future and so we must continue to demonstrate a commitment to developing new treatment options, conducting research, and finding promising new therapies."
Jeff Sodikoff, president of Platform One, which produces cause-oriented entertainment events, noted that many in the audience were between 18 and 34 years old and stepped up to support Comer Children's Hospital for the first time.

"I’m extremely proud and honored to partner with the incredible Kings of Leon to help foster major awareness and raise important funding for Comer Children’s Hospital--all while continuing our pursuit to harness the power of music and entertainment to benefit important causes,” Sodikoff said.

John Cunningham, MD, section chief for pediatric hematology/oncology at Comer Children’s Hospital, said the donation will make additional research possible for blood cancers and make a significant difference in the lives of children with types of leukemia that are difficult to treat. The donation will be used partly to fund pioneering research at the University of Chicago into stem cell therapies.

“Roughly 70 percent of children with leukemia are cured, so we have come a long way in recent years in developing effective therapies for children and young adults with cancer," Cunningham said. "Our goal is to cure all kids with this devastating disease through cutting-edge research and world-class clinical care."
A silent auction featuring items such as a guitar signed by all Kings of Leon band members was also part of the evening. The Whigs, The Jakes, and Pinstripe 45's also performed.

Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon said the band was proud to support Dare 2 Dream's mission to increase survival rates for children with cancer and improve therapies for the medical and psychological challenges these patients face. The Grammy Award-winning band has received wide acclaim in the U.S. and the UK and been labeled "rock heroes" by Rolling Stone magazine. The band has performed on major programs such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman, and toured with U2, Pearl Jam and Bob Dylan.

Comer Children's Hospital is developing novel strategies that address key questions in pediatric cancer and blood diseases. The hospital's internationally recognized team of physician-scientists is at the forefront of cancer care, providing the latest investigational therapies as well as proven treatments.

About Platform One Entertainment
Platform One Entertainment is extremely committed to continuing the development and delivery of amazing entertainment events to help benefit and bring meaningful awareness and fundraising to important causes and charities. Platform One is a full service, cause-oriented, marketing company that brings years of success working with artists, record labels, brands, non-profits, publishers, agencies, multi-media and entertainment management companies. Platform One’s focus is the development and execution of innovative marketing solutions and strategies geared at maximizing exposure and brand loyalty for its clients and partners.

About the Lisa Klitzky Foundation
Named for the former Highland Park and Long Grove resident, the Lisa Klitzky Foundation was created by family and friends after she passed away at age 25 from rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer. Lisa did not lose sight of helping others--even as she was going through painful treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center. In honor of her legacy, the foundation supports cancer survivors who face long-term physical and psychological challenges.
Lisa's mother, Marlowe, recalls how her daughter thought her oncologist, James Nachman, was "absolutely fabulous" and thought of nurse Kelly Kramer "as a friend, not just a nurse."
"Coming to the University of Chicago Medical Center was not the shortest trip, but it was worth every mile to us," Marlowe said. "One cause that is still very important to us is to keep funding programs for survivors of childhood cancer."

About the University of Chicago Medical Center
The University of Chicago Medical Center, established in 1927, is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. It consists of the renowned Pritzker School of Medicine; Bernard Mitchell Hospital, the primary adult patient care facility; Comer Children's Hospital, devoted to the medical needs of children; Chicago Lying-in Hospital, a maternity and women's hospital; and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, a state-of-the-art ambulatory-care facility with the full spectrum of preventive, diagnostic, and treatment functions. Care is provided by more than 700 attending physicians-- most of whom are full-time University faculty members--620 residents and fellows, more than 1,000 nurses and 9,500 employees.

The Medical Center is consistently recognized as a leading provider of complex medical care. It is the only Illinois hospital ever to make the U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll, with eight clinical specialties--digestive disorders; cancer; endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; geriatrics; and ear, nose and throat--ranked among the top 30 programs nationwide. The Medical Center was awarded Magnet status in 2007, the highest level of recognition for nursing care.

The University of Chicago Medicine
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Chicago, IL 60637
Phone (773) 702-0025 Fax (773) 702-3171


Press Contact

John Easton
(773) 702-0025
john.easton@uchospitals.edu