Borough Park

Maimonides Cancer Center honors Brooklyn Nets, community members at annual benefit

June 10, 2015 By Janaki Chadha Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A cancer survivor holds up a “We Are Survivors” Nets shirt as she marches behind the Brooklyn United Marching Band. Eagle photos by Cody Brooks
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On Tuesday night at the scenic LeFrak Center in Prospect Park, roughly 600 people came together for the 2015 Cancer Center Benefit, organized by the Brooklyn-based Maimonides Cancer Center, to celebrate the facility’s 10th anniversary. The event was hosted by Patrick Borgen, M.D., director of the Maimonides Breast Center, and Erminia Rivera, co-chair of the Maimonides Cancer Center Advisory Board. 

Rivera opened the event with a story of her own.

“When my family decided to join the battle against this disease, we reached out to the Maimonides Cancer Center and asked, ‘How can we help?’” she said. “Five years later, the number of patients being seen and treated has quadrupled at the Gilbert Rivera Pavilion, named for my late husband — but there are still many more residents of Brooklyn who need these services.”

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Borgen echoed this sentiment. “The growth of the Maimonides Cancer Center has been unbelievable,” he said. “We know that we’re filling an important need in Brooklyn. Patients don’t want to travel to get world-class treatment, and thanks to our Cancer Center, they don’t have to.”

Three honors were given out at the event. The Brooklyn Nets were given the Champions of Brooklyn Award for their donations to the Cancer Center, with Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets, and Barclays Center, representing the team. 

The Community Leadership Award was given to Hildy J. Simmons, a Brooklyn-based independent consultant who has been involved with the philanthropic community for decades.

She was previously head of the Global Foundations Group at JP Morgan and has also served as the program director of the Norman Foundation.

Dr. Samuel Kopel, who has served as chief medical officer at Maimonides since 1995, was honored with the Founder’s Award. He has been practicing for 44 years and specializes in hematology, which includes the study and treatment of diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma.

When accepting his award, he commented, “The 10th Anniversary of the Maimonides Cancer Center is a very special event. But the main event is celebrating our cancer survivors and their families, who are all an inspiration to us.”

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