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DKMS Gala Honors Heidi Klum and Alejandro Santo Domingo

Klum was visibly moved by the first-time meeting of pediatric nurse Katie and Gregory, the six-year-old whose life she saved with her bone marrow.

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Katherina Harf Heidi Klum

Katherina Harf and Heidi Klum

Photo By Steve Eichner

SHINE ON: Heidi Klum shone from morning to night Thursday, first illuminating the Empire State Building and then Cipriani Wall Street to raise awareness for DKMS, the largest bone marrow donor network in the world. Klum and Alejandro Santo Domingo were the sixth annual gala’s honorees; the evening was emceed by Nate Berkus, with musical performances by LP and Skylar Grey.

Klum was visibly moved by the first-time meeting of pediatric nurse Katie and Gregory, the six-year-old whose life she saved with her bone marrow. “You see these video clips on television or you read about it, but when you actually see it live in front of your eyes it is so different,” said Klum after Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc., presented her with her award. “I hope that everyone here tonight walks away and remembers this moment, and talks about what they can do, and gets swabbed themselves.”

A visibly pregnant Katharina Harf — who founded the charity in 1990 after her mother’s death from leukemia — grew teary-eyed when she spoke of her mother’s passing. “My mother made my father promise to keep fighting, even after she knew she wasn’t going to make it,” she said, adding that DKMS, of which she is chief operating officer for the Americas division, was the result. Harf and her husband Mark Jordan will welcome a baby girl, Ava, in June.

To date, the DKMS galas have raised $33 million in total, and Harf noted that Thursday’s totals would enable the charity to register 36,000 new bone marrow donors.

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