Bair raises the cancer research bar

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The Day 1 Survivors’ second annual Grand Garden Party & Bocce Tourney for Cancer Care on June 10 transformed the Wilmette Harbor Club into a “Summer Soiree,” with guests dressed in Kentucky Derby-style hats and attire while raising funds for cancer research. The event was organized and hosted by an all-volunteer crew.

The organization was founded by Dina Bair Maher, a medical reporter and anchor at WGN-TV, and her husband, John Maher. The couple presented an initial check for $35,000 to Dr. Leon Platanias, director of the Lurie Cancer Center. The funds will support Lurie’s Day 1 Survivorship Program.

“Our party at the Wilmette Harbor Club was an incredible success, raising crucial funds for our program,” Bair says. “Our mission is to help anyone facing a cancer diagnosis to become a survivor from Day 1. Cancer patients not only see their oncologist, they get a team of doctors to help them thrive through therapy. The multidisciplinary approach with a nutritionist, heart doctor, as well as mental health experts, allows patients to remain healthy and tolerate treatment longer. It’s a novel way to treat cancer and help save more lives.  Studies show treating the whole person helps cancer patients live longer.”

Donations are being accepted throughout the summer at


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