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Basking Ridge Boy Celebrates 5 Years Of Being Cancer Thanks To Dr. Boulad

Dr. Farid Boulad - photo provided by the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Farid Boulad - photo provided by the American Cancer Society.
Press release provided by the American Cancer Society. 

Jake Schmidt, an 11-year-old Basking Ridge boy, is celebrating five years of being cancer-free next month thanks to Dr. Farid Boulad, who is one of the three honorees at this years’ 7th Annual Starry Night Gala, A Royal Masquerade Ball which benefits the American Cancer Society. The resplendent Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, New Jersey, is once again the beautiful setting for this years’ highly anticipated black-tie gala held on Saturday, May 10th.

Back in 2009, six-year-old Jake was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia after bouts of unusual lethargy, significant bruising, and unex-plained low and then raging high grade fevers. Once diagnosed, Jake spent the summer at the Valerie Center in Morristown Medical Center undergoing in-patient chemotherapy. Shortly thereafter, Jake’s parents took him to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City whereby  Jake underwent two bone marrow transplants with Dr. Boulad. The first donor was anonymous from Germany and the second was Jake’s mom, Stephanie. “Parents are surprisingly not a common match for bone marrow transplants,” explained Stephanie Schmidt, “but once they looked deeper into my test results, the doctors discovered that I could be the one to help my son.”

Stephanie Schmidt expressed, “My husband and I met with many different doctors once Jake was determined to need a transplant. From the beginning, Dr. Boulad was different. He was extremely caring and compassionate and he treated Jake as if he was his very own son. We put our faith and trust in him and feel it was the best decision we could have made.”

Five years have passed since undergoing the two bone marrow transplant surgeries and Jake Schmidt is a healthy and happy 11-year-old boy who loves playing ice hockey and anything having to do with computers. He attends Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, New Jersey and is in the 5th grade.

Dr. Farid Boulad is the Medical Director, Pediatric Day Hospital, Attending, Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Boulad holds various board positions including the Thalssemia Reports, Clinical Trial Network and Center for International Bone Marrow Transplant Research and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He has won awards and recognition from numerous international organizations and is currently a team member pediatrician for the Global Smile Foundation where Dr. Boulad has taken many mission trips to Ecuador, Peru, the Ivory Coast and Senegal to perform surgical corrections for cleft lips and palates.

Dr. Boulad makes his home in New York City with his wife and three children. In his spare time he enjoys singing, playing the guitar, traveling and running in the New York City Marathon.

This years’ other two honorees also hail from the medical world and include:  DAVID J. SHULKIN, MD, President Morristown Medical Center and Vice President, Atlantic Health System and  DR.WILLIAM L. DIEHL, Summit Medical Group, Attending Surgeon at Morristown Medical Center.

This exciting evening begins at 6:00 PM with an elegant cocktail reception,
 followed by premier live and silent auctions, a world-class gourmet
experience and live entertainment which will be provided by New Jersey’s favorite oldies group, The Cameos.

“We have gathered an energetic and creative group of volunteers and all of us have a personal connection to cancer,” said Nancy Marino, Senior Specialist, Distinguished Events. “The evening will be great fun and will raise funds to support the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) efforts this year.

Proceeds raised each year from the Starry Night Gala directly support our mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  The American Cancer Society encourages people to make healthy lifestyle choices that can help reduce their risk of cancer.  For over 100 years the American Cancer Society has been leading the way to transform cancer from deadly to preventable.  We celebrate more than 400 birthdays every day because of the progress made against cancer.  Due to the generosity of our supporters, we are conquering this disease.”

Tickets to the Starry Night Gala, A Royal Masquerade Ball are $500, and Chairperson Barbara Ann Sellinger believes this year’s event will be even bigger and more successful than in the past. “My work and association with the American Cancer Society and the tireless efforts of so many in this global fight to end cancer, all while assisting those battling the disease, is something that makes me extremely proud. Thanks to the work of the American Cancer Society, over a million and a half more people celebrated their birthday this year.”

Sponsorships and major donations are on the rise and those already committed include: OMEGA and Tourbillon Boutique Short Hills, Atlantic Health System, Summit Medical Group, Avis Budget Charitable Foundation, Dun & Bradstreet, Hess Corporation, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the NY Jets, Les Quick, Finn and Kim Wentworth, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and Adams Addressing Associates, Inc. of East Hanover, NJ remains the printing sponsor and Triad Isotopes, Inc. is the gift bag sponsor. The Daily Record newspaper and NJ Monthly are the media sponsor for the Starry Night Gala, A Royal Masquerade Ball.

Since 2009, this exciting annual black-tie event has raised more than $1.2 million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission to finish the fight against cancer. Over 300 guests consisting of corporate sponsors, medical practitioners and business leaders in the New Jersey community are expected to attend this lively and entertaining gala on May 10th.

To purchase tickets and for additional information on the 7th Annual Starry Night Gala, A Royal Masquerade Ball, please contact Nancy Marino, Senior Specialist, Distinguished Events atnancy.marino@cancer.org or call 973-285-8039.

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