Since its launch in 2015, the Digestive Health Foundation has been committed to advocating and raising money to further research in digestive health diseases. Including the 2019 Gala, which was held June 8, the Digestive Health Foundation has raised more than $11 million since its establishment to be put toward research for digestive health diseases.
The 2019 Digestive Health Foundation Gala was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and featured actress Bonnie Hunt as emcee and over 600 attendees. The Gala presented emotional testimonials from families that have been affected by hereditary digestive diseases, including Mike McCready, the lead guitarist of Pearl Jam, who shared his own experience with being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
The Gala also commemorated the newly established Deborah and Martin Elrad Research Fund for Hereditary Digestive Diseases. Founded by Gala co-chairs Becky and Michael Elrad, the pair established this fund in honor of Michael’s parents, who devoted their entire lives to fundraising and researching digestive health diseases after their daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The Elrad Research Fund announced a $300,000 donation to the Digestive Health Foundation BioRepository, one of the few medical research databases in the world that has a blood and tissue bank dedicated to digestive disease research.
Lily Yu was born and raised in Chicago but eventually found herself studying in the heart of the cornfields at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is majoring in business management and marketing, and is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.