Many thanks to the Serota family (Cherie, Daniel and Vivian) for hosting a fun, festive evening of music, food and drink billed as Cabaret & Cocktails—a fundraiser for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. Together, 75 generous attendees raised $65,000 for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and its world-class research and quality, clinical care programs that have come to define the Berrie Center.
Cherie, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) seven years ago, told her guests in a heartfelt speech what it is like to be a patient at the Berrie Center. She mentioned she is always captivated by the research enterprise run by Rudy Leibel, MD, Co-Director of the Berrie Center and the Christopher J. Murphy Memorial Professor of Diabetes Research and that she herself has a “Cherie Mouse”—whose immune system mimics her own immune system, thanks to the mastery of stem cell technology and the engineering of her skin cells into beta cells.
A member of the Berrie Center’s advisory board, Cherie spoke about her participation in the Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Exchange research study (the Berrie Center is a participant in this nationwide, multi-center study) in which her insulin is measured to see why some people with diabetes still make insulin (like she does) and why some do not.
Cherie also spoke with heart and humor about her clinical care with Robin Goland, MD, Co-Director of the Berrie Center and the J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes, calling her “my go-to-person and guiding light ”. Cherie told one anecdote about how “Dr. Goland saved me from hitting rock bottom” when she mistakenly took a high dose of rapid-acting insulin, instead of her long-acting insulin, one Sunday evening. Through Dr. Goland’s guidance over the telephone that lasted well into the late hours, along with a few bowls of raisin bran, and a container of chicken lo mein, Cherie successfully averted a severe low blood sugar.
“We all have our own stories to tell about the Berrie Center and that is what makes it such a special place to receive care for type 1 diabetes,” added Cherie.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by cabaret singer KT Sullivan with a décor equally befitting of red velvet, an abundance of flowers, feathers and festivity. On hand for the event was Berrie Center patient and young entrepreneur Jennifer Ross, who makes a bourgeoning line of all natural, zero calorie, cocktail mixers. Even the gift bags at the end of the evening were terrific: they contained one of Jennifer’s BeMixed mixers, a gift card to any LDV hospitality restaurant, a Soul Cycle pass and a few carb friendly treats.
Added advisory board member Paul Healy: “Vivian, thank you for opening your beautiful home and for coming up with the evening's theme. It helped us all feel a sense of hope and joy in all the great work that happens up at the Berrie Center. And a call out to Cherie and Daniel for your very moving remarks. As one dear friend noted, you are so courageous and indeed you are, Cherie.”