Lawrence Piro, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, will be honored with the Special Service Award, “The Duke,” at the 27th annual Odyssey Ball, the yearly fundraising event that benefits the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Saint John’s Health Center. This year’s gala held on April 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel will celebrate “Club JWCIA” and feature a special performance by David Foster. Tony Dovolani will emcee with music provided by DJ Enferno.

The Odyssey Ball is organized by the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary. Established in 1982 by two breast cancer survivors, Noreen Nelson and Sandy Cohen, it is currently helmed by President Hollace Brown. This year’s gala chairs are Teddi Gilderman (daughter of Sandy Cohen), Katie Lewis and Marisol Zarco. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $17 million to support JWCI’s life-saving cancer research and treatment programs.

The prestigious Special Service Award, affectionately called “The Duke,” is presented annually to an individual who has made an extraordinary and lasting contribution in the fight against cancer or has demonstrated humanitarian spirit within the community. This year’s award recipient, Dr. Piro, personifies this ideal.

Dr. Piro, Adjunct Faculty Member at JWCI, has achieved worldwide recognition for working on the development of cutting-edge cancer drugs including Leustatin and Rituxan. As clinician, researcher and lecturer, Dr. Piro is an internationally recognized expert in oncology. Through his work, major advances have been made in the treatment of patients worldwide. His expertise on health issues and on-air personality in front of the camera have made Dr. Piro a frequent guest on television shows such as Barbara Walters, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, “The Doctors” and many others.

Since 1981, the John Wayne name has been committed by the Wayne family to groundbreaking cancer research and education in memory of their father, who died of cancer. The courageous researchers at the JWCI have changed the way the world approaches cancer research and treatment yielding new breakthroughs that have helped doctors detect cancer sooner, stage it more precisely and treat it more effectively. For information, call (310) 829-8324 or visit

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