Premier Wine Series Brought Together Most Acclaimed Napa Valley Vintners Under One Roof in Philadelphia to Benefit Global Nonprofit CureDuchenne
NEWPORT BEACH Calif., April 27, 2022 – CureDuchenne, a leading global nonprofit focused on finding and funding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and Co-Chairs Sonal and Manu Gambhir and Rebecca and Martin Lehr, helped raise more than $420,000 during the Seventh Annual “Napa in Philadelphia” Wine Auction on April 23, 2022, at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. The event brought some of the most acclaimed Napa Valley vintners together under one roof to serve their finest vintages and offer their best wine experiences to more than 200 of Philadelphia’s top business leaders, influencers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and wine connoisseurs.
“We are blown away by the generosity of the Philadelphia community. Thanks to the support of our attendees, sponsors and vintners, we are one step closer to finding a cure for all individuals living with Duchenne around the world,” said CureDuchenne Founder and CEO Debra Miller. “As challenging as it is to cure a rare genetic disease, giving up is just not an option for us. The success of Napa in Philadelphia will help us accelerate scientific progress and support families living with Duchenne.”
The event featured a Grand Tasting, vintner-hosted dining tables, an exquisite dinner curated by celebrity restaurateur Aimee Olexy and spectacular auction lots including luxury travel and wine packages – all to benefit CureDuchenne. Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy, is a fatal genetic disease affecting roughly 1 in 5,000 male births. Individuals with Duchenne are typically diagnosed as toddlers, lose the ability to walk in their early-teens and often succumb to the disease in their mid-20s. Since it was created in 2003, CureDuchenne has raised over $50 million for research and to develop impactful programs that help families living with Duchenne, and has funded 15 research projects that have advanced to clinical trials. Funds raised at Napa in Philadelphia will support next generation gene therapies.
Co-Chairs and Philadelphia residents Sonal and Manu Gambhir are passionate advocates for Duchenne research. Their 20-year-old son, Yuva Gambhir, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and has lost his ability to walk, stand and coordinate his upper-body. Currently in his second semester at the University of Pennsylvania studying computer science, Yuva shared his perspective as a college student living with Duchenne and his future goals, including publishing a novel and writing code for a tech start-up. Yuva shared, “I have always felt that living with such a severe disability, things like doing well in high school and living independently on a college campus were improbable. I am still in awe at the amazing support I’ve had from so many people to achieve these things!” Yuva’s goal in life is to become an investor for Duchenne research to accelerate finding a cure. He is optimistic that CureDuchenne’s fundraising efforts, coupled with drugs currently in development, will help cure Duchenne for other boys diagnosed with the rare disease.
“Science is getting closer to finding a cure for this devastating disease that impacts my son and more than 300,000 other amazing boys worldwide, and fundraisers like Napa in Philadelphia are so critical to our efforts,” said Manu Gambhir. “We remain relentless in this fight and it’s wonderful to see so many people support our mission to find a cure for this disease that so few have heard about.”
Co-Chair Martin Lehr is a CureDuchenne board member and the Co-founder and CEO of Context Therapeutics. In 2006 Martin lost his younger brother Stephen to Duchenne. He’s partnered with CureDuchenne to save the lives of this and future generations of boys and served as co-chair of Napa in Philadelphia alongside his wife Rebecca.
“This disease hits home for me–I lost my brother to Duchenne and so I unfortunately have first-hand knowledge of the disease and its impact on families,” said Martin Lehr. “Scientists are making significant headway in Duchenne research and events like this make a huge impact on those living with Duchenne and their loved ones.”
Founded in Newport Beach, Calif., by Debra and Paul Miller, whose son Hawken lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, CureDuchenne employs an innovative venture philanthropy model. The model helps fund groundbreaking research for a cure and support programs for those living with the disease, while advocating for early diagnosis and better access to treatments. For more information, please visit cureduchenne.org.
Top sponsors included Parx Casino, Daikin, Genova Group and 76ers. For more information about the event, please visit thenapawineseries.com.
CureDuchenne is recognized as a global leader in research, patient care, and innovation for improving and extending the lives of those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. As the leading genetic killer of young boys, Duchenne affects more than 300,000 individuals living today. CureDuchenne is dedicated to finding and funding a cure for Duchenne by breaking the traditional charitable mold through an innovative venture philanthropy model that funds groundbreaking research, early diagnosis, and community education. For more information on how to help raise awareness and funds needed for research, please visit www.cureduchenne.org.
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