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Gala celebrates ‘Changing Lives and Creating Cures’

USC Institute of Urology honors cancer survivor and advocate Derrick Hall, as Sheryl Crow and Jay Leno entertain the crowd

USC Institute of Urology, one of the nation’s top-ranked urology programs, honored Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league baseball franchise with the inaugural Louis Zamperini Courage Award at its annual “Changing Lives and Creating Cures” gala.

Hall, a native of Los Angeles and a prostate cancer survivor and advocate, received the award at the annual event, held Nov. 20 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

“Derrick Hall is a well-known leader on and off the baseball field,” said Inderbir S. Gill, executive director of the USC Institute of Urology. “He faced his greatest personal challenge when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011, just as his team was battling for a division title.

“When he immediately went public, encouraging other men to get tested after age 40, he showcased the courage and resilience that exemplifies the spirit of Louis Zamperini and this award.”

Now cancer-free, Hall has become a tireless advocate of cancer-fighting charities including his recently formed Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation, created to support patients and families battling prostate cancer.

The evening’s entertainment showcased comedian Jay Leno and nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow. Actor and comedian Joe Piscopo served as emcee.

The event hosts included USC President C. L. Max Nikias; Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC; Jeff Small, president and COO of DreamWorks Studios; and Gill. The evening’s presenting sponsors, Tom and Holly Gores with Platinum Equity, were joined by Tina and Rick Caruso and Randy and Ken Kendrick as honorary co-chairs.

Named for World War II P.O.W. survivor, Olympic athlete, USC alumnus and prostate cancer patient of the USC Institute of Urology, the Louis Zamperini Courage Award embodies the spirit of this hero who faced life’s toughest tests and challenges and showcased the courage that survivors need. Zamperini is the subject of the best-selling book, “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand and major motion picture of the same name premiering next month and directed by another example of courage in the face of cancer, Angelina Jolie.

The USC Institute of Urology annual gala event draws more than 500 leading businesspeople, philanthropists, entertainment industry executives, medical and health care professionals, celebrities, media and other VIPs from Los Angeles and around the country to raise awareness and funds for the cancer-fighting robotic and open surgery treatments, research efforts and world-class programs for men’s and women’s pelvic health issues.

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Gala celebrates ‘Changing Lives and Creating Cures’

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