New York, New York – (June 1, 2015) – Forty years ago music executive Tony Martell was faced with a devastating diagnosis for his young son T.J.  His son who was a victim of leukemia at the age of 19, asked his father to do whatever he could to find a cure. When T.J. unfortunately passed Tony devoted his life to keeping his promise to his son. Forty years ago The T.J. Martell Foundation was created and has since gone on to support innovative research and medical treatments for leukemia, cancer and AIDs. Devoted to the memory of his son, Tony gathered music executive friends and medical experts and announced the formation of the T.J. Martell Foundation in 1975.  Tony’s promise has far exceeded his initial promise to raise $1 million dollars to fight leukemia and the Foundation has provided over $270 million dollars to support innovative medical research in fighting these diseases.  The Foundation has made phenomenal advances in treatments for gastric cancer, sarcoma cancer, prostate cancer, neuroblastoma in children, leukemia, AIDs, breast cancer, HIV related cancers, lung cancer and others.


(photo l to r: Dave Rothfeld, Floyd Glinert, Clive Davis, Dick Asher, Sheila Asher, Tony Martell and Dr. Jim Holland. Photo Credit: Getty Images)


Since the foundation’s beginning musical artists and industry executives have supported Tony’s vision.  Stars like Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Grace Potter, Mary J. Blige,  Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Neil Diamond, Little Big Town, John Legend, Norah Jones, Enrique Iglesias, Bryan Adams, The Band Perry, Crosby & Nash and many others along with industry decision makers like Clive Davis, the late Bruce Lundvall,  Monte and Avery Lipman, Mel Karmazin, Tom Corson, Marsha Vlasic, Irving Azoff, Rick Krim, Kid Leo, the late Frances Preston, Daniel Glass, Judy McGrath, John Sykes and others have stood by the man with a promise in the fight to cure cancer and AIDS.  The T.J. Martell Foundation has become known as Music’s Promise for the Cure.


The T.J. Martell Foundation’s contributions to medical research and their encouragement of scientists to leverage funds with other larger funding sources has resulted in more than $1 billion dollars  in additional research funding and alliances with the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute.  Current research facilities funded by The T.J. Martell Foundation include Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia-Presbyterian Cancer Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“It has been many years since the $1 million dollar mark was achieved — but for my beloved son T.J., and for everyone else who has undergone the experience of cancer, leukemia, or AIDS, I pledge that the T.J. Martell Foundation will not rest until a true cure is discovered,” said Founder and CEO, Tony Martell.

As part of the Foundation’s 40th Anniversary the organization has announced an aggressive plan including several high level fundraising events, marketing programs and research initiatives with a promise to raise awareness for cancer research and patient advocacy programs. Inspiring stories of thousands of survivors around the country will be included in a national series of videos and a new PSA campaign dedicated to the 40th Anniversary will launch sometime in 2015.  Many of the programs produced for the 40th Anniversary are included below.


The 40th Anniversary T.J. Martell Foundation Annual Honors Gala will take place in New York on Thursday, October 15, 2015. The theme of this highly anticipated event is “Top 40” and will be hosted by original MTV VJs Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood. It will bring together celebrities from entertainment and music for a star-studded celebration at Cipriani on Wall Street.


Honorees include John Amato, Co-President of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group,  Bruce Bozzi, Sr., Co-Founder and Co-Owner of The Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, Wally Ganzi, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of The Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, Janice Min, Co-President and Chief Creative Officer, Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group,  Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN International and  John Varvatos, Chairman of John Varvatos  and President and CEO of John Varvatos Records. In recognition of further research and medical treatments the Foundation will also announce the newly created Clive Davis Research Fellow Award, an annual grant bestowed upon a young investigator who has made innovative strides and extensive research in cancer or AIDS.

                            (photos l to r: John Amato, Bruce Bozzi,  Wally Ganzi,  Janice Min, Dinesh Paliwal, John Varvatos)


Davis, who helped create the T.J. Martell Foundation in 1975 with Tony Martell will be recognized at the Honors Gala where the official announcement will be made.  The Clive Davis Research Fellow Award will nurture the next generation of basic, translational and clinical scientists and bring about life-changing opportunities for cancer and AIDs research.


Other 40th Anniversary programs will include “Music to Beat Cancer,” a program led by Brian Kaplan, an energetic entertainment attorney who at the age of 52 was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) in December of 2012. Brian’s disease caused him to live in a hospital in New York for more than 115 days and watch other patients face the devastating issues that getting cancer causes. With the fear of dying depression, loneliness and anger, Brian took his positive spirit and love of music and put it into a profound idea to help other patients cope with their disease.  Now in full remission,  Brian wants to help cancer patients get through the tough times by connecting to something positive: Music.  He has created a special project titled “Music to Beat Cancer.” It will be a compilation CD of songs created and written by iconic recording artists to instill hope, inspiration, positive thinking and happiness for those battling cancer.


London based visual artist Tim Wakefield will create Soundwaves Artworks for the benefit of the T.J.  Martell Foundation.  Soundwaves Art uses the actual digital sound waves of a musician’s song transferred to canvas and autographed by the musician. The collection of art will later be auctioned for the benefit of The Foundation.  Wakefield will also create special Sports related artworks for the benefit of the Foundation throughout the year.


CharityBuzz has teamed up with the T.J. Martell Foundation to offer an exciting online 40th Anniversary online auction of items and music experiences that are not only one-of-a-kind but “money can’t buy” opportunities to be bid on. All proceeds will benefit the Foundation.  From luxury items to exotic locales, items that will be offered on CharityBuzz and will represent the biggest single online auction the T.J. Martell Foundation has ever offered.


“Candles for Cancer” will be a campaign celebrating survivors of cancers and bring to light their inspirational stories. The “Candles for Cancer” program will be announced on national television and survivors will be invited to light a virtual flame on the T.J. Martell Foundation website and donate in the name of another survivor or patient.  This will also bring together survivors from around the nation as they celebrate how research supported by the T.J. Martell Foundation makes a difference in lives every day.






In November 2015, the T.J. Martell Foundation will partner with world renowned Julien’s Auctions for the Celebrity Purse Auction. As part of Julien’s Auctions unprecedented annual Hollywood Legends auction, the Foundation will the beneficiary of a collection of purses used by some of the world’s greatest celebrities and also autographed by them. The purses have been collected by the Foundation from stars of television, film and music and in November bidders will have the chance to bid on each of them online, on-site or by phone. Over 100 purses are expected to be included from that Chanel clutch to that Dolce & Gabana satchel: this unique auction will help raise funds for further research.


The Women of Influence Awards and Luncheon will take place in New York and Los Angeles once again, renewing awareness for women’s health related issues and treatments and bringing together distinguished businesswomen and leaders who will celebrate the milestones of the 40th Anniversary of the T.J. Martell Foundation. Details and dates for these two exciting events will be announced later.


Other anniversary programs include The 2nd Annual Chad Brown Memorial Poker Tournament at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on July 2nd, an extensive partnership with Banded whereas a percentage of website sales of the no pain, no slip stylish headband will benefit the Foundation and a partnership with The Hard Rock International Corporation for an Artist Spotlight campaign and associated sale of top musician’s merchandise at the Hard Rock Cafe locations worldwide.


“Our 40th Anniversary year is going to be an ambitious one. We want to bring about excitement and celebration for all of the advancements the Foundation has achieved over the past forty years and we also never want to forget those patients who continue to fight each and every day as they battle their own diagnosis,” said Laura Heatherly, CEO of the T.J.  Martell Foundation. “The patients, survivors, researchers and supporters I meet continue to profoundly change my life in many ways.  Each and every day I am astounded at how many innovative advancements and changes the T.J. Martell Foundation has made for thousands of people around the globe.”


Neuroblastoma, a deadly form of cancer attacking young children, had a survival rate of less than 15% for those with the high-risk form of the disease. For 30 years, the T.J. Martell Foundation has supported  Dr. Robert Seeger’s outstanding research in this area and now the cure rate is 45%. Drs Seeger, Yves DeClerck, and Shahab Asgharzadeh are improving our understanding of tumor growth and developing new treatments for targeting the microenvironment (soil) and tumor cells (seed) that may improve survival of children with neuroblastoma.  The T.J. Martell Foundation has helped these investigators obtain numerous peer-reviewed research grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, and several other foundations so that they are a leading group in neuroblastoma research.

The T.J. Martell Foundation funded internationally known researcher Dr. Brian Druker at the Oregon Health & Science University who developed the drug Gleevac, a powerful weapon against myeloid leukemia. Because of the T.J. Martell Foundation funding Gleevac revolutionized the way cancer is now treated.  Before Gleevac, 50% of patients with CML survived the disease, now nearly 90% survive.

The creation of the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has exceeded and projected results in programming, research and its efforts to give back to the community. The Vanderbilt-Ingram Center also houses a web based program,, where patients and doctors can get high quality information and a network of investigators can communicate for further research and clinical trial availability. Frances Williams Preston laboratories were created as the cornerstone of the facility and to create a “laboratories without walls.”

The creation of the field of psycho-oncology by Dr. Jimmie Holland is due solely as a result of the work of the T.J. Martell Foundation. This collaboration at Memorial Sloan Kettering essentially established an entire field of study and research. There the department runs communication modules which are mandatory for every physician on staff.

My Cancer Genome, the nation’s first personalized cancer decision support tool, created by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center was funded by the T.J. Martell Foundation and has provided physicians and patients with the latest information on discoveries and clinical trials around the world.

The Joel A. Katz Music is Medicine Fund will provide dedicated cancer research for Melanoma, Leukemia and other blood related cancers at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University School of Medicine. For the first time in any hospital, a music wall will be created that will give patients and hospital visitors the opportunity to see music history represented in the form of platinum record plaques and other  music memorabilia from the personal collection of global entertainment attorney Joel A. Katz. In addition a full program experimenting with music’s effects on lessening pain for patients undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer related treatments will be commenced and vetted by the Medicine Fund at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University School of Medicine.



The 40th Anniversary of the T.J. Martell Foundation is a tribute to the young man named T.J. and his father Tony who made a promise, kept it and saved thousands of lives along the way.  To view video testimonials from patients go here:



The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.  The Foundation, headquartered in New York, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1975 by music industry executive Tony Martell and his colleagues in loving memory of his son T.J., who died of leukemia. The Foundation has provided more than $270 million dollars for research that supports top hospitals in the United States. For more information click on the T.J. Martell Foundation go to



Caroline Galloway


(440) 591-3807


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