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On Saturday, March 26, 2022, 375 guests gathered for the 5th Annual NMO Awareness Gala at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston. We set an ambitious fundraising goal and are proud to have raised $220,000 for NMO/MOG research thanks to our generous donors, sponsors, and attendees.
We also premiered our 2022 Impact Video, featuring pediatric NMO patients, Nell Choi and Bella Ortiz, at the old Hollywood movie premiere-themed event.
We kicked off Gala weekend with our very first Ambassadors Dinner! It was a special moment to finally meet in person after years of virtual engagement and support. Filled with toasts, hugs, and even some tears, we are thrilled to continue this tradition for years to come!
Beyond helping TSF raise funds for NMO/MOG research, you also helped us provide our guests of honor – NMO/MOG patient ambassadors and their caregivers – with a priceless and memorable experience. Please see below for some thoughts they shared on their personal social media pages:
“Being able to sing, dance and CELEBRATE life with people who share your journey and understand your darkest of moments is something I will absolutely never forget. Also seeing how many people showed up to help find a cure and fund research truly warms my heart. Thank you to everyone who attended!!”
– Lexi Marta (TSF Ambassador, Maryland)
“Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend TSF’s 5th NMO awareness Gala event. It was a pleasure meeting people who not only understand and support all NMO patients, but also fight to bring light to this rare disease. I’m very proud to be an ambassador for TSF.”
– Leda Bresnov (TSF Ambassador, Denmark)
“Attending the TSF 5th Annual NMO Awareness Gala was such a dream come true! From the moment we opened the door to walk into the Ambassador dinner, to walking into the gala Bella and I were treated like royalty. Having the opportunity to meet and hug other NMO warriors, caregivers, and Sumaira herself was something we’ve waited for years to do. The highlight of the gala was staying up and dancing the night away!”
– Candice Galvan (TSF Ambassador, Colorado)
“After almost seven years of having NMOSD/MOGAD, I had never met anyone with this disease until I met Sumaira. That hug was tangible proof that I was finally not alone in this journey. It was an important day; one I will always carry with me.”
-Brian Dawson(TSF Ambassador, Pennsylvania)
“The TSF gala still has my family and I smiling. Being able to meet other NMO patients for the first time is a feeling that I can’t describe! The warm welcome, hugs, smiles and love my family and I received and experienced at the Ambassador Dinner and 5th Gala was just so amazing! We want to thank TSF bringing all of us together safely in person. We can’t wait until the next gala! XOXO.”
– Marie Abrego (TSF Ambassador New Mexico)
Continue to help us spread awareness about NMO/MOG by sharing photos from the event. Feel free to download from the links below and share moments from your experience. Be sure to tag @TheSumairaFoundation on social media.