Hall of Fame Event

Celebrating Courage and Philanthropy


Speakers, Honorees and Leadership (l-r):  Richard Rose; David Boule;  Bharat Shah, Humanitarian Honoree; Mack Dryden, Cancer Survivor Honoree; Dr. Richard Silver; Thomas Silver; and Dr. Richard Woodman of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame Dinner is CR&T's signature event - an annual celebration of courageous cancer survivors and the families, friends, and medical experts who are determined to find a cure. On November 14, nearly 200 guests joined us at New York City's elegant Essex House as we honored two extraordinary individuals who have played a role in the fight against cancer. 

Noting that this year's dinner launches a year-long commemoration of our 50th Anniversary, CR&T's President, Thomas Silver, welcomed and thanked the honorees and guests for their support. He also acknowledged the dedication and hard work of Barbara Silver, who led the dinner committee. Finally, he thanked CR&T's Medical Advisory Board for its commitment to our mission, and introduced David Boule, Immediate Past President, who spoke about the organization's goals for the year ahead and encouraged supporters to contribute to our 50th Anniversary Appeal.

Dr. Richard Silver, CR&T's Vice President and Medical Director, introduced Bharat Shah, PhD, philanthropist and author of America My Destiny, who received CR&T's Humanitarian Award.  Bharat left India in 1994, arriving in America as a student.  After earning a doctorate in Food Science and Technology, he built a career at RJR Nabisco.  In 1979, he risked his entire savings to buy a motel in North Carolina. That one hotel eventually led the Shah family to form Noble Investment Group. Headquartered in Atlanta, Noble has specialized in making value-added, opportunistic and income-producing investments in upscale and select service hotels affiliated with the Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and Intercontinental brands. The company has created thousands of jobs in communities throughout the U.S.  

Bharat faced one of the greatest challenges of his life in 2000, when he learned that he had chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).  At the time, no effective treatments were available, and he was told that he had six months to three years to live. His family's research led them to Dr. Silver, who was conducting a clinical trial of a new CML drug. Approved by the FDA in 2001, this drug, known as imatinib, has revolutionized CML treatment, saving thousands of lives. At the dinner, Bharat spoke movingly of his experiences as a CML patient. Today, he is leading a healthy, active life and supports many charities in the U.S. and India. Every year, he joins Dr. Silver at Weill Cornell, where he speaks to medical students about his cancer journey.

Dr. Richard Woodman, SVP and Head, US Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which produced imatinib, congratulated Bharat and spoke about the impact of the drug on the cancer community.

Richard Rose, former CR&T President and current board member, introduced Mack Dryden, our 2017 Cancer Survivor honoree. A speaker, comedian and author, Mack won two Associated Press writing awards as a reporter in his home state, Mississippi. He then became a professional comedian, and has appeared in several movies and hundreds of TV shows, including "The Tonight Show" with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno.  A hilarious motivational speaker who has survived both testicular and eye cancer, Mack now travels the country, bringing his message of hope and humor to thousands each year. CR&T was proud to be among the the Fortune 500 companies, health care associations, hospitals, and cancer centers whose audiences have been inspired and entertained by Mack's story.

Raphael Miranda, the Emmy Award-winning meteorologist for NBC 4 New York, again served as our master of ceremonies.

All proceeds from the Hall of Fame Dinner benefit CR&T and its cutting-edge initiatives, including funding basic and clinical research at the Richard T. Silver, MD Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Center at Weill Cornell Medical College.   

Our 2017 honorees joined the prominent physicians, scientists, researchers, humanitarians and philanthropists that CR&T has been proud to recognize since Hall of Fame event was launched in 1997. 

To learn more about previous Hall of Fame events, visit these pages: