2005 Life Without Lupus Gala

S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's 35th Anniversary Gala to Honor Jennie L. DeScherer and Richard K. DeScherer

New York, NY, October 25, 2005 - In its 35th year, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation will honor Jennie and Richard DeScherer—a couple that has made a significant contribution to the lives of people with lupus in New York City and across the country. Television anchor Charles Osgood, whose daughter suffers from lupus, will be Master of Ceremonies at the December 5th Gala at the New York Marriot Marquis, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will be the Honorary Gala Chair.

All proceeds from the Gala are dedicated to patient services and research to find better treatments and a cure for lupus—a chronic autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans, 90 percent of whom are women in the prime of their lives. In lupus, the body's immune system, which normally functions to protect against foreign invaders, becomes hyperactive, forming antibodies that attack normally healthy tissues and organ, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, blood and skin. Complications from lupus can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Richard DeScherer, co-chair of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, has been president of the Foundation's Board of Directors for the last ten years. His wife Jennie joined the Foundation shortly after she was diagnosed with lupus in 1975, when the Foundation was just beginning.

"The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation was a lifeline for me," Jennie recalls. "I couldn't wait to call and talk to someone who was facing the same illness and was doing something constructive about it." In addition to Board activities, Jennie currently oversees the distribution of emergency access grants to people with lupus in underserved communities.

Under Dick's firm and focused guidance as Board president, the Foundation has become a bi-coastal organization gaining crucial insights into the cause and cure of lupus. Together with its West Coast division, Lupus LA, it is dedicated to providing help for people with lupus and their families, funding lupus research and fostering public awareness of one of the nation's least recognized major diseases.

Guests will enjoy dinner, dancing and a special performance by Tony Bennett, who will receive a Kennedy Center Honor the night before the Gala for his lifetime contribution to the arts and American culture. Master of Ceremonies Charles Osgood, the celebrated television anchor and radio journalist, is best known for his position as anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning and "The Osgood File." Osgood's daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with the disease two years ago, and his good friend and television colleague, Charles Kuralt, passed away from lupus complications in 1997.

William E. Paul, MD is the Foundation's 2005 Scientific Honoree. Dr. Paul is the Chairman of the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) Scientific Advisory Board, and has held the position of Chief of the Laboratory of Immunology at the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1970. The Foundation is one of the major supporters of national research through the LRI.

In 2005 and beyond, the Foundation will continue what it started 35 years ago: the critical task of improving lives while seeking a cure.

The Gala reception starts at 6pm, followed by dinner and dancing. Individual tickets are available at $1,500, $1,200 and $700. For more information or reservations, call the Foundation at 212-685-4118 or visit www.LupusNY.org.