HOLLYWOOD — Children’s Hospital Los Angeles celebrated its 10th anniversary as the charity partner of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon July 18 by naming the lobby of the fourth floor in the Anderson Pavilion in honor of the triathlon.
As part of the celebration, Michael Epstein Sports Productions, which stages the Malibu Triathlon, has committed to a $3.5 million pledge through 2017 in support of pediatric cancer research at Children’s Hospital. The pledge means the triathlon will have raised nearly $12 million since 2007 to the hospital.
The 30th annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon will be held Sept. 18 at Zuma Beach in Malibu.
The event brings more than 3,000 athletes from around the world – individuals, corporations, celebrities and members of the entertainment industry.
For the 10th year, 100 percent of the proceeds from the triathlon will benefit the Pediatric Cancer Research Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Cancer Research Program provides treatments and therapies for children with some of the most serious, life-threatening forms of cancer. Proceeds from the triathlon over the years have resulted in the development of a new “genetic signature” that helps predict the outcome and therapy needed for children with neuroblastoma, one of the most deadly of childhood cancers.
Funds also have helped researchers identify new pathways in leukemia cells to target for novel treatments in patients, especially those whose cancer is resistant to existing therapies.
Proceeds also have supported the first clinical testing of new agents in children with resistant leukemias, lymphomas, neuroblastoma and brain tumors.
The triathlon’s support also has been critical to the research efforts of more than 50 faculty members of the hospital and has made possible dramatic advances in cancer research and treatment, ultimately saving lives. In its annual ranking of hospitals, U.S. News & World Report ranks Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as having the top pediatric cancer program in California and number seventh in the nation.
The annual triathlon, which consists of a half-mile Pacific Ocean swim; an 18-mile bike ride; and a four-mile run through Zuma Beach, is sponsored by Nautica, presented by Equinox and produced by Michael Epstein Sports Productions, the official organizer of several lifestyle sporting events throughout the country.
Epstein was on hand for the lobby-naming celebration along with Hazel Hammersley, a cancer patient at the hospital, and her mother, Lauren Hammersley; Paul Viviano, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and Dr. Alan Wayne, Director of Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at the hospital.
Hazel Hammersley, now 5, first came to Children’s Hospital when she was just 2. She was treated for Stage 3 Neuroblastoma, which is the most common solid tumor outside of the brain for children. Last September she was given the good news that there was no longer any sign of the disease.