Orange, Calif., May 8, 2014 — Community and business leaders attending the UC Irvine Health gala, “Healers & Heroes,” on April 26 proved to be the evening’s heroes, donating more than $530,000 in only 15 minutes for an intraoperative radiation therapy device that has the potential to dramatically reduce breast cancer treatment and recovery times for many patients.

Including this special appeal, sponsors and guests generated a record $1.6 million in gala proceeds to support cancer research and patient care at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of UC Irvine Health. More than 500 people attended the celebration of healers and heroes associated with Orange County’s only comprehensive cancer center, held at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim.

“UC Irvine Health is fortunate to belong to a community that is dedicated to making advanced care for the most challenging and complex medical conditions available to all patients,” said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “The overwhelming generosity of this year’s gala attendees will go a long way toward changing what it means to be diagnosed with cancer in Orange County.”

Belmont, the event’s host, presented the UC Irvine Health CEO Leadership Award to Western National Group CEO Michael K. Hayde for his philanthropic support of pioneering cancer research and patient care. Longtime Hayde friend and internationally recognized soprano Jeralyn Glass performed a musical tribute to the honoree.

Guests closed the evening with dancing to the music of JT & Friends – the band formed by UC Irvine philanthropist and drummer John Tu, co-founder of Kingston Technology.

The intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) device funded by the community will make the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center the first cancer center in California to offer the Margin Probe intraoperative assessment tool in combination with IORT for the treatment of breast cancer. Margin Probe provides data on tissue surrounding a tumor to help a surgeon immediately assess whether all cancer cells were removed during surgery, with the goal of reducing the need for subsequent surgeries. The new IORT device will deliver radiation during surgery in a single, concentrated dose, often as an alternative to longer courses of post-surgery radiation.

Jeff and Nancy Stack and David and Sandy Stone served as honorary co-chairs of the critically and financially successful gala. Major sponsors included Abbott Medical Optics, Arbonne International LLC, Allen and Lee Chao, Richard and June Chao, the Hsia family, and Mary and John Tu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving high-tech hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.

About UC Irvine Health: UC Irvine Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of UC Irvine. Patients can access UC Irvine Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health services and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UC Irvine Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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