Alexandra and Sean Parker
PHILANTHROPIC LEADERSHIP AWARD
ABOUT SEAN PARKER
Sean Parker is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. He is the founder and President of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement. In April 2016, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, of which UCLA is a founding member. The Institute builds on Mr. Parker’s leadership in funding and promoting research into the relationship between the immune system and cancer. He helped to establish the Stand Up 2 Cancer and Cancer Research Institute's (CRI) Immunology Dream Team in 2012, and was honored by CRI with the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research in 2013. Mr. Parker was ranked number 5 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Philanthropy 50 list. In 2016 he received the Pontifical Key Philanthropy Award from the Vatican, the Jefferson Foundation Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Private Citizen, and the Friends of Cancer Research Cancer Leadership Award.
Mr. Parker was the co-founder of Napster at age 19 and of Plaxo at 21. In 2004 he joined with Mark Zuckerberg to develop the online social network Facebook and served as Facebook's founding president, and in 2007 he co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered 180 million people to donate money and take action around social issues. In 2014, he announced his backing of Brigade, an online platform for civic engagement. Mr. Parker is also chairman and founder of the Economic Innovation Group, based in Washington D.C. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alexandra and their two children.
ABOUT ALEXANDRA PARKER
As a founding board member of The Parker Foundation, Alexandra Parker is an active philanthropist with a passion for supporting initiatives around the arts, education and conservation efforts. Her work is highly focused on causes that benefit children with the potential to make a difference in young lives now and in the future.
Based in San Francisco, The Parker Foundation was established in June 2015 through a $600 million gift by Alexandra and Sean Parker. With a mission to positively impact social, economic and environmental challenges, the foundation is dedicated to funding and implementing programs across three areas of focus: Life Sciences, Global Public Health, and Civic Engagement. Alexandra plays an instrumental role in the organization’s strategic, innovative approach to identifying and solving the biggest problems facing humanity today. Beyond Alexandra’s philanthropic work, she is an artist, musician and dedicated mother to two children.
Oscar®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose 1998 turn in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE garnered her Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes®, Screen Actors Guild Awards®, and Academy Awards®, is also a decorated author and singer. In 2011, she won an Emmy® for Guest Actress in a Comedy series for playing substitute teacher Holly Holiday on Glee, and her song, "Coming Home," from the soundtrack for COUNTRY STRONG, was nominated for an Oscar® (the album went gold). In addition, Paltrow has authored two New York Times Best Selling cookbooks, My Father's Daughter (2011) and It's All Good (2013)—the latter hit #1. She also co-wrote Spain, A Culinary Road Trip with acclaimed chef Mario Batali after their PBS documentary, "Spain...on the Road Again," which was about Spanish food and culture, aired. In 2008, Paltrow launched goop, a brand devoted to making every choice count, where food, shopping, and mindfulness collide: In particular, goop has gained acclaim for its focus on health, wellness, and clean eating, as well as its city guides, an insider’s perspective on the very best places to eat, shop, and stay in the world’s most compelling destinations. Other notable film credits include PROOF (for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination), Wes Anderson's THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, Anthony Mighella's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, David Fincher's SEVEN, the Farrelly brothers’ SHALLOW HAL, Alfonso Cuarón's GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Douglas McGrath's EMMA, and SLIDING DOORS. Recently, Paltrow has appeared in Marvel's IRON MAN franchise. Gwyneth’s latest cookbook, It’s All Easy was released in April 2016.
Kaiis Davis Jarrahy
EXTRAORDINARY CHILDREN’S AWARD
Kaiis William Davis Jarrahy was born seven weeks prematurely and, together with his twin, spent his first week in the neonatal intensive care unit. From the start, he dealt with adversity with a positive attitude. His parents swear that they saw him smiling in his incubator.
Kaiis enjoyed a typical childhood—school, sports, friends, and French fries—and was happy and healthy until one day in the spring of 2016. He sustained a simple fall on his side while running around the house, but his pain and discomfort persisted and grew worse, prompting an emergency room visit a week later to make sure he hadn't fractured his ribs. No fractures were found, but a few days later Kaiis became feverish, confused, lethargic, weak, and unable to keep his balance. He was rushed to the emergency room and placed in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.
He was diagnosed with sepsis, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream caused by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which had spread throughout his body. His workup revealed an abscess of his chest wall where he fell, another surrounding his spinal cord, an infected blood clot deep in his chest, one in his heart, as well as a small hole in one of the walls of his heart. Inflammation of his pancreas and all the muscles in his arms and legs made the slightest movement extremely painful, and a severe pneumonia would ultimately cause most of his lung tissue to disintegrate.
During the first week in the ICU, Kaiis continued to deteriorate, failing to respond to the best treatments, including antibiotics. Dr. Paul Krogstad, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Disease at UCLA, reached out to a colleague at another institution who was conducting a clinical trial of an experimental drug to treat severe pediatric MRSA infections. They decided to try it on Kaiis, moving mountains to get the medication, not yet approved for use in children at UCLA.
Within 24 hours of starting the new antibiotic, the bacteria disappeared from Kaiis’ bloodstream. His infections cleared and his heart and lungs began to recover. The light returned to his eyes, the color to his cheeks, and the smile to his face. He walked out of the hospital five weeks after his initial admission, having celebrated his 12th birthday in the ICU.
Kaiis was healed and saved by Dr. Krogstad working together with pediatricians, ICU physicians, nurses, consultants in cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, pulmonology, infectious diseases, neurosurgery, radiology, gastroenterology, nutrition, physical therapy, and general surgery. The unwavering dedication of this multidisciplinary team embodies the UCLA spirit.
Kaiis is back to school, sports, friends, and French fries. “One thing you can always count on,” he recently told his father, “I’ll always have a big smile on my face.” Thanks to the wonderful and caring physicians, nurses, and support staff at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Kaiis is smiling every day.