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Inspired by Bid for a Cure Speaker, Guests Raise $385,000 at San Diego and Imperial County Chapter’s Breath of Life Gala

November 19, 2013

Those who faithfully attend the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation San Diego and Imperial County Chapter’s Breath of Life Gala know that the event is the chapter’s most elegant and anticipated fundraiser of the year. Longtime friends and supporters have come to expect the best in entertainment, gourmet food and luxury silent and live auction items.

But at this year’s event, held Sept. 21 at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., guests were treated to something even more special: an emotional Bid for a Cure speech by Maj. Jesse Sjoberg.

Maj. Jesse Sjoberb, whose wife, Jacqui has CF, gave an emotional Bid for a Cure speech at the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter’s Breath of Life Gala.

Maj. Jesse Sjoberg, whose wife, Jacqui has CF, gave an emotional Bid for a Cure speech at the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter’s Breath of Life Gala. Guests raised $385,000 to help support the mission of the Foundation and were treated to a festive cocktail hour, three-course dinner, live entertainment and one-of-a-kind auction items.

Jesse’s wife, Jacqui, has CF, and for the last three years, Jesse has organized a one-day, 65-mile run called “65 Miles for 65 Roses” to raise funds and awareness for the CF Foundation. Jesse spoke about the trials and tribulations of watching his wife battle cystic fibrosis, his love for her and his family’s dedication to find a cure for all people who have the disease.

“Despite constant infections and hospitalizations, despite an endless stream of blood draws, IVs and PICC lines that have left scars up and down her arms, despite insulin shots, nebulizer and vest treatments, Jacqui has remained positive, spirited, determined and a beacon of light in my life,” Jesse told the event’s 310 attendees. “Behind the scenes there is an amazing group of people working on her behalf. It is to that group — the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation — that I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

Inspired to Give

Jesse’s speech inspired an anonymous donor who had already pre-committed a $50,000 match to increase the match to $100,000. Including the additional match contribution, guests raised $385,000 to help support the search for a cure.

“Jesse eloquently reminded everyone that the Breath of Life Gala is about hope, strength and the commitment to find a cure,” said Leigh Innocenti, executive director of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter.

A Perfect Balance

The evening also offered guests an opportunity to recognize those who work every day to help add tomorrows to the lives of people with CF. Awards were presented to AbbVie, Sequenom and scientists at Vertex for their work to improve the quality of life for people who have CF.

Guests were treated to a festive cocktail hour, three-course dinner, live entertainment and one-of-a-kind auction items. A concert package to SXSW, one of the country’s largest music, film and interactive festivals, sold for more than $5,000, while a woman’s Corum watch sold for $7,000.

“The evening was the perfect balance of recognizing the many individuals and their families who struggle daily with this degenerative disease and acknowledging all of the dedicated individuals who are working toward a cure,” Leigh said.
 
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter would like to thank event co-chairs:

  • Barbara Fischbein
  • Bonnie Grossman

Corporate Sponsors:

  • American Airlines
  • Wells Fargo
  • Life Technologies
  • AbbVie
  • Katherine Cosmetics
  • Qualcomm
  • Porsche of San Diego
  • Sequenom
  • Life Technologies
  • Modern Health
  • Vertex
  • SDGE
  • Moelis & Company
  • McKinsey & Company

And Volunteers:

  • Annie Finch
  • Linda Piazza
  • Judy Lewis
  • Teddie Lewis

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.