For the past handful of years, Orange County-based non-profit Global Genes has taken the time to recognize advocates for research into rare diseases and supporters of programs for patients with its its annual Global Genes Rare Tribute to Champions of Hope blue carpet awards ceremony. It also honors the patients and scientists that have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and serve as advocates for rare diseases on a global scale.
This year’s event will be spread out over two days at City National Grove of Anaheim on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16 and feature live performances by Dana Point-resident and singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon, Houston, Texas, native Stephanie Rice, who rose to fame on the latest season of NBC’s “The Voice,” 14-year-old YouTube star Sparsh Shah and Anaheim’s own Gavin Stevens, a 8-year-old boy who was born with a rare genetic retina condition and won over audiences by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on NBC’s “Little Big Shots.”
Jill Escoto, co-host of 104.3 MyFM’s Valentine in the Morning Show will host the Friday awards evening and “Arrow” and “Supernatural” star Madison McLaughlin will host the festivities on Saturday. Both nights will feature celebrity presenters and supporters including Jim O’Heir, Jerry Gergich from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”; MTV’s “Awkward” star Jillian Rose Reed; Scout Compton of “Nashville” and Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” remakes; Karan Brar from Disney Channel’s “Jessie and Bunk’d”; and Maria Quiban, weather anchor of FOX 11’s “Good Day L.A.”
McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2005 and was able to make a full recovery thanks to a stem cell transplant, with his sister Katie serving as his donor. A year later he started the Dear Jack Foundation to raise funds for research and provide information and resources for adolescents and young adults living with cancer.
“I think the beauty of this event and the cause it supports is that it gives a voice to so many who otherwise would not have one,” McMahon said of supporting Global Genes’ mission of wiping out the challenges of some 7,000 rare diseases. “As a young adult cancer survivor I am well aware of the difficulties facing underserved disease populations and it makes me all the more pleased to play a small role in this amazing evening.”
As McMahon has been out touring the country with his band Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness,…