The Nearness of You Concert

On February 6 The Nearness of You Concert took place to support MDS-Leukemia stem cell research and the important work of Azra Raza, MD and Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil. Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) are a group of blood and bone marrow diseases that devastate the body’s ability to produce healthy blood cells. Currently there is no cure for MDS and treatment options are limited—about a third of MDS patients go on to develop acute leukemia. Dr. Raza, Dr. Mukherjee and their colleagues at Columbia are working to change this by investigating the extraordinary power of stem cells to replenish blood cells for the possible benefit of its patients.

Columbia physicians treat patients from around the world, creating unique opportunities for collaborations and shared resources—including Columbia’s housing of the country’s largest MDS tissue repository. This combination of clinical and basic research expertise has positioned Columbia to make significant strides in the search for treatments and a cure for MDS and leukemia.

Donate to Support MDS-Leukemia Stem Cell Research 

Special Guest:
Hugh Jackman

Elvis Costello
Diana Krall
Christopher Cross
Dianne Reeves
Branford Marsalis

Event Co-Chairs:
Emily and Len Blavatnik
Evan and Jim Clark
Victoria and Jeffrey Leventhal

Jed Manocherian
National Foundation for Cancer Research

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Wayne

About Michael Brecker

Michael Brecker is the recipient of 15 Grammy Awards and widely regarded as the most influential tenor saxophonist since John Coltrane. Equally fluent in jazz, rock and funk genres, Brecker performed on over 1000 albums including performances for John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Elton John, Paul Simon and James Taylor. With his brother Randy, he co-led the bands Dreams and The Brecker Brothers. He also recorded and performed with jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus and Chet Baker.

When Michael became ill his chemotherapy regimen prevented him from having flowers in his hospital room. One of his dearest friends and longtime manager, Darryl Pitt, took a photo of a flower while biking through Riverside Park to put on Michael’s wall. Click here to read the NPR story on this touching tale of flowers, friendship, love and inspiration.