PLANTATION, Fla., Jan. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) made stomach cancer survivor Kenny Rikard’s dream of skydiving come true through its Dream Makers Miracle Fund on Saturday, November 21, 2020. Celebrating his 61st birthday and his sixth year being cancer-free, Kenny jumped out of a Cessna 182 four-seater flying at 10,000 feet in the sky. The event took place at Palm Beach County Glades Airport and lasted approximately 40 minutes, including training. Global biotechnology company BeiGene sponsored the 2020 Dream Makers Miracle Fund. Through the program, DDF aims to spread joy within the stomach cancer community by providing patients and their families with bucket-list inspired experiences.
Kenny’s cancer journey began in 2014 when he was diagnosed with stage one stomach cancer. Born deaf and the youngest of four, he relied on his mother, Toby Friedman, to act as his caregiver throughout his journey. Toby watched from the ground with excitement while Kenny lived out his dream of skydiving. She expressed deep gratitude for DDF selecting Kenny as the first recipient of its pilot program.
“My son found DDF when he was looking for an organization that dealt specifically with stomach cancer,” said Toby. “It brings people together from all over the world, and you can find compassion, understanding, inspiration, hope, and learn that you’re not alone in this fight against stomach cancer.”
DDF Chief Executive Officer Andrea Eidelman is proud to offer such memorable experiences to patients and families during the pandemic and the month of November, also designated as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. “DDF is incredibly fortunate to have partnered with BeiGene for our new Dream Makers Miracle Fund to help bring smiles to the faces of patients and families during these uncertain times,” said Andrea. “We look forward to continuing the program and providing more experiences to others in hopes that these memories will bring joy for a lifetime.”
DDF looks forward to fulfilling more wishes for patients in 2021 with the help of its generous sponsors. For more information and updates about the Dream Makers Miracle Fund, its application process, and to watch footage of Kenny’s skydiving adventure, visit www.DebbiesDream.org/miraclefund/.
About Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer
DDF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about gastric cancer, advancing funding for research, and providing education and support internationally to patients, families, and caregivers. DDF seeks as its ultimate goal to make the cure for stomach cancer a reality. DDF was founded in 2009 by Debbie Zelman after she was diagnosed with stage IV incurable gastric cancer in 2008 and given only weeks to live. Debbie is considered a pioneer by many for bringing awareness to stomach cancer patients’ plight and the lack of federal funding for stomach cancer research. She did all of this while receiving hundreds of rounds of chemo, in addition to daily oral treatments. Debbie passed away on December 23, 2017, almost a decade later, at 50. As a result of her leadership, DDF now has a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of world-renowned doctors and chapters throughout the United States, Canada, and Germany. DDF strives to continue Debbie’s mission and make her dream a reality. To learn more about DDF, please visit us at www.DebbiesDream.org.
BeiGene is a global, commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing innovative medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. Its 3,500+ employees in China, the United States, Australia, and Europe are committed to expediting the development of a diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics for cancer. The Company currently markets two internally-discovered oncology products: BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA™ (zanubrutinib) in the United States, and anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab in China. BeiGene also markets or plans to market in China additional oncology products licensed from Amgen Inc., Celgene Logistics Sàrl, a Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) company, and EUSA Pharma. To learn more about BeiGene, please visit www.beigene.com and follow the Company on Twitter at @BeiGeneUSA.
SOURCE Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer