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Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, two tennis legends, were honored at A Conversation With a Living Legend

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HOUSTON A Conversation with a Living Legend ®, the hallmark event of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, took place on Wednesday, May 1 at the Post Oak Hotel in Uptown Houston. Cancer survivors and tennis stars Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova engaged in a fireside-style conversation. With over 800 people purchasing tickets, the sold-out event earned more than $1.5 million for MD Anderson’s cell therapy research.

The onstage interview with Evert and Navratilova was conducted by Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America and a past Living Legend honoree. Gina Gaston, anchor of ABC13 Houston’s Eyewitness News, served as the event emcee.

The event paid tribute to the tenacity and resolve left behind by Navratilova and Evert, both on and off the court.

The great tennis players talked about how their intense competitiveness on the field developed into a personal relationship that has lasted both after their careers ended and through each other’s subsequent cancer diagnoses.

Margot Athon, Kelli Blanton, Maya Fleyhan, Vanessa Gilmore, Amy Lee, Ashley Loeffler, Sonny Messiah-Jiles, and Delia Stroud were this year’s event chairs. Patsy Fourticq, Joan Schnitzer, Cyvia Wolff, and Barbara Hurwitz were among the honorary chairs.

From adversaries to friends, Everton and Navratilova delighted the crowd with intimate stories about their friendship, making them laugh one minute and cry the next. The women openly reminisced about their happy times playing tennis together, taking trips to Aspen, and helping one other through their experiences with cancer.

Navratilova declared with pride that she was wearing a necklace that Evert had given her, and that she intended to wear it in support of Evert until she recovered completely from her ovarian cancer relapse in 2023. Evert said that after finishing her treatment and beginning maintenance therapy, she is gradually regaining her strength.

Navratilova urged the audience to have mammograms, while Evert stressed how her life was spared by genetic testing for BRCA mutations. When informed that they had cancer, both ladies stressed the need of seeking second views.

At the conclusion of the conversation, Roberts said, “I’m so proud of what you both did for women in sports, but also with how you have handled everything with such grace.” “It speaks volumes about your character that you used your platform to raise money for cancer research and to effect change in this room.”

The proceeds from A Conversation with a Living Legend® Houston go toward funding MD Anderson’s innovative and therapeutic cell therapy programs.

Immune cells that have been modified or altered from a patient or donor are used in cell treatments to help the patient’s body recognize and destroy cancerous cells more effectively. Although not all cancer patients benefit, many individuals with blood-based tumors have shown remarkable improvements as a result of these therapies. Researchers at MD Anderson are creating novel cell treatments to address present issues and treat a wider range of diseases, including pancreatic, lung, and breast cancers. They are doing this by utilizing the clinical and scientific knowledge of the organization.

Rezvani stated, “We will keep advancing cell therapy research so more patients benefit. A lot of what the world knows about cancer and cell therapy started right here at MD Anderson.” “We sincerely appreciate the support of the event’s organizers and participants.”

Immune cells that have been modified or altered from a patient or donor are used in cell treatments to help the patient’s body recognize and destroy cancerous cells more effectively. Although not all cancer patients benefit, many individuals with blood-based tumors have shown remarkable improvements as a result of these therapies. Researchers at MD Anderson are creating novel cell treatments to address present issues and treat a wider range of diseases, including pancreatic, lung, and breast cancers. They are doing this by utilizing the clinical and scientific knowledge of the organization.

Rezvani stated, “We will keep advancing cell therapy research so more patients benefit. A lot of what the world knows about cancer and cell therapy started right here at MD Anderson.”

An Interview with a Living Myth

Thousands of contributors across have contributed to A Conversation With a Living Legend® since its founding in 1990. Up to this point, audiences in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C. have collected more than $55 million for cancer research and patient care programs. Its live interview format has honored celebrities, heads of state, sports legends, and other great personalities. Over $14 million has been raised by the local event series since the inaugural Houston-based event in 2007.

According to MD Anderson President Peter WT Pisters, M.D., “the funds raised through this event will have a significant impact on cancer patients and their families in Texas and around the world.” “Our supporters’ incredible commitment to our mission continues to inspire us as MD Anderson stands at a pivotal moment in its history, making transformative impacts on the future of cancer care and research.”

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