By Bruce Northam

Global Cancer-Fighting Brain Trust Team Captain—Dr. Waxman—Rocks Wall Street

Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation overwhelms Cipriani Wall Street—and raises more than $2 million for liberation from cancer.

The Avett Brothers

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation hosted its 20th annual benefit dinner and auction featuring folk-rock icons The Avett Brothers. More than $2 million was raised to support cancer research, while the Grammy-nominated band raised the roof at Cipriani Wall Street. Cipriani Wall Street is a towering triumph of Greek revival architecture and one heck of a place to enjoy a fantastic band—and a great cause, the ultimate red carpet for cancer survivors. It’s all about finding cancer before it finds you.


The main focus of this annual event is supporting cutting-edge cancer research—Dr. Samuel Waxman handily redefining the concept of Collaborating for a Cure by traveling the country and the world to expand his global brain trust. Entertainment aside, the energy in this epic auditorium bustling with some of New York’s most influential finance and medical heavy-hitters was not about being seen, but more about supporting a visionary cancer specialist and founder and CEO of Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Waxman, a disarming dream-come-true maker, who while mixing affably with everyone, also introduced me to some of his patients who have overcome the odds to beat cancer and continue to thrive.


  1. (for Waxman) “What is your most recent revelation about curing cancer?”


  1. (Waxman) “Cancer is a disease of aging—secure the next generation by understanding why.”


Waxman’s vision: Imagine a world in which cancer can be treated without disrupting life, can be cured, or can even be prevented. Known affectionately by New Yorkers as “The Waxman,” the yearly gala is considered to be among the top fundraising events in New York City. Waxman’s laboratory is at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.


The fundraiser’s brainchild is Long Island native Michael Nierenberg, a philanthropist who is Chairman of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Nierenberg, a CW Post graduate, investment guru, and classic rocker, also had his fingerprint on the event’s soundtrack before the live performance.


Once again, CBS News anchor Chris Wragge was the Master of Ceremony while auction donations and bids were received via texts and raised hands. The live auction, led by ever-humorous Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Auction House, offered guests the opportunity to bid on many dandy items including a puppy and a Milwaukee Bucks Experience including a G4 flight to a game where they were showered by team memorabilia.


The event was attended by Waxman Foundation board members and 800 corporate executives and their guests. The money raised will support the Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer by reprogramming cancer cells and to deliver tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. The scientists funded have made significant breakthroughs in cancer research, including identifying pathways to deliver novel therapies to treat cancer.

Michael Nierenberg, Dr. Samuel Waxman, CBS News anchor Chris Wragge

Go here for more information about the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation—and here for more information on Collaborating for A Cure.


The prior year’s musical guest was Roger Daltry. Past celebrity supporters have included John Fogerty, Ziggy Marley, Train, the Warren Haynes Band, Kid Rock, Chevy Chase, Steely Dan, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, and Counting Crows.

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