Ailing chef Kerry Simon is hoping he may have good news to share about his health when fellow celebrity chefs and his rock star friends gather for a fundraiser on Feb. 27.
The $1,000-a-person cocktail party in Las Vegas is intended to raise awareness of multiple symptom atrophy (MSA), the rare, fatal disorder that Simon was diagnosed with last October. As with Parkinson's disease, the illness attacks nerve cells, causing various body functions to fail.
"I call it Parkinson's on speed," the restaurateur told me. "Parkinson's you can live with for a long period of time. MSA just goes fast."
Only around 50,000 Americans suffer from the disorder, according to the MSA Coalition. Since it's relatively unheard of, Simon is now championing efforts to develop a research center at the Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.
The center will host the Feb. 27 gala. The A-list of chefs who'll be creating hors d'oeuvres includes Daniel Boulud,Michael Mina, Rick Moonen,Charlie Palmerand Megan Romano.
Guests will be entertained by rock musicians including Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Vince Neil, Todd Rundgren and Slash.
Simon may have some positive news by the time the event arrives. He will undergo stem cell therapy Feb. 10 at the Mayo Clinic.
The $1,000 tickets include a VIP reception and an after-party. A limited number of $500 tickets for just the 7 p.m. cocktail party are also available.
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