About 250 people gathered on Friday, April 22nd at the Hotel Westin Palace, Madrid, at the request of Mrs Isabel Lavín (the Foundation’s Founder and President), her husband, Mr Valero Soler and the rest of the Committee Members.
Following the same pattern as all the other charity events organized by the Foundation, the evening kicked off with a scientific talk, introduced and moderated by Mr Valero Soler (Secretary and Patron of the MENCÍA Foundation). The talk was given by two of the most prestigious and highly regarded researchers in Spain: Dr Pablo Lapunzina, who was recently named Scientific Director of CIBERER and who holds the post of Coordinator for the Genetics Department at Hospital La Paz, Madrid, and Dr Carmen Ayuso, member of CIBERER and Head of Genetics Service at the Fundación Jimenez Díaz, Madrid.
Both speakers explained the need for investment in research in order to continue making progress, emphasizing the fact that the benefits resulting from research into rare diseases can also be applied to other more prevalent diseases that affect us all. They described several success stories, in which treatment for different “rare” diseases had recently been discovered through research.
The President, Mrs Isabel Lavín, started her speech by underlining how important it is for the Foundation, despite its short existence, to have the support of the most important scientific bodies in Spain, such as CSIC (a video was shown in which its President, Mr Emilio Lora-Tamayo, expressed his support for the Foundation) and CIBERER.
She also pointed out that the MENCÍA Foundation is not just one family’s initiative to find treatment for a specific disease, but rather a Foundation that belongs to everybody and that benefits everybody. Thus, through its research projects, based essentially on Gene and Cell Therapies, it aims to make its own contribution to science and help scientists to find treatment for these terrible diseases.
The talk ended with a moving speech given by Mr José Mª Michavila, one of the Foundation’s Patrons, inviting all those present to contribute to this worthy cause and to join the Foundation.
After the talk, all the guests enjoyed a buffet supper and there was a fantastic raffle and auction of exclusive gifts specially donated for the occasion, with the entertaining TV presenter, Belinda Washington, as Mistress of Ceremonies.