More than 600 people attended the 7th annual Dealing for Duchenne Texas Hold ’Em poker tournament and silent auction on May 10, 2014, at Sony Pictures Studios. The star-studded event raised $650,000 for the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at UCLA, one of a handful of facilities in the nation offering comprehensive care, clinical trials and translational research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. American Idol finalist Jessica Sanchez, the Canadian quartet The Tenors and Grammy Award-winning musician/ producer David Foster provided live music and entertainment at the gala, hosted by Mad Men actor Joel Murray.
Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton presented Dr. David T. Feinberg (RES ’92, FEL ’94), president of UCLA Health System, with the Meyer-Whalley Instrument of Change Award for his support of the center. The award is named for Tom Whalley, former CEO and chairman of Warner Bros., and his wife Melanie Meyer, who were instrumental in raising money to launch the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at UCLA.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy strikes one-in-3,500 boys, weakening their muscles until they lose the ability to move and breathe on their own. UCLA researchers and physicians combine their efforts to extend the lives of children with the deadly genetic disorder. Dealing for Duchenne was launched seven years ago by local parents Amy and Chris Martin, who have a son affected by the disease. Proceeds from the event have led to promising experimental therapies.