2012 Medal of Hope Award Recipients
We are thrilled to announce Deb & Bill MacMillan and Teri Garr as our honorees at our 19th Annual Race to Erase MS event on May 18, 2012. Deb, Bill, and Teri have been instrumental in the support of the Nancy Davis Foundation for MS and have made a tremendous impact in the community by educating the public, raising awareness, and funding vitally important multiple sclerosis research.
We look forward to honoring these three generous individuals who have a made a significant mark in the field of MS research, bringing us one step closer to finding a cure for multiple sclerosis.
Biographies of those Changing the Face of Multiple Sclerosis
Deb & Bill MacMillan
The MacMillan family, Deb, Bill Cammy, Jim, Kiki, Bill Jr., and Alexis, has been a passionate and driving force in the battle to conquer Multiple Sclerosis. Their interest in the Race to Erase MS began with Deb’s battle with fibromyalgia and her desire to find an organization that effectively funds research into curing auto-immune diseases. Soon after, she met Nancy Davis and learned about Nancy’s great success in bringing experts together from throughout the world to research cures for MS and, hopefully, other auto-immune disorders. The MacMillans quickly become devoted to The Race to Erase MS and The Center Without Walls.
The entire MacMillan family has become ardent supporters of The Race to Erase MS, serving on committees, donating auction items, making generous donations, and bringing dozens of guests to this wonderful and important event. During their many years of supporting the Race to Erase they’ve developed a highly increased awareness of the devastating effects MS has on not only those who suffer from it but also the patients’ loved ones, and the MacMillans have been especially happy to be able to introduce several friends who struggle with MS to the wonderful work of the Race to Erase and The Center Without Walls.
The MacMillans have also been ardent supporters of, and have hosted countless fundraisers for many other charitable organizations including The National Kidney Foundation (Bill served on the national board, and both Deb and Bill chaired their highest-grossing fundraisers in the Denver area), Families First (the family as a whole created and hosted the still highest-grossing fundraiser for this group that serves abused and neglected children), The Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Colorado Uplift, and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, to name a few.
The MacMillans own and operate The Crazy Merchant, Inc., a jewelry and community boutique in Denver that showcases one of the largest collections of Peace and Love Jewelry. Profits from this fantastic collection help with the battle against MS. The MacMillans have been thrilled to help spread awareness and help ensure success in finding a cure through selling and gifting countless pieces of this beautiful collection.
The MacMillan family is very happy and proud to be the 2012 Medal of Hope honorees and looks forward to this year’s event with the optimism that it will meet with record-breaking success.
Teri Garr can claim a career in show business by birthright. She was born in Hollywood, the daughter of Edward Garr, a Broadway stage and film actor and Phyllis Garr, a dancer. While still an infant, her family moved from Hollywood to New Jersey. After the death of her father when she was eleven, her family returned to Hollywood where her mother became a wardrobe mistress for movies and television.
By the age of thirteen, Teri had already made her debut as a professional dancer with a San Francisco-based ballet company, which led to her first television appearance on the music/dance show “Shindig.” She attended North Hollywood High School and later attended Cal State University/Northridge where she majored in speech and dance. Continuing her drama studies, she trained with Charles Conrad and Lee Strasberg.
While Teri’s dancing can be seen in nine Elvis Presley movies, her first speaking role in motion pictures was in the 1968 feature “Head,” starring The Monkees.
In the ’70’s she became well established in television with appearances on “Star Trek;” “It Takes a Thief;” “McCloud;” and as a regular on “The Sonny and Cher Show” as Cher’s friend, Olivia.
Teri has since risen to become one of Hollywood’s most versatile, energetic and well-recognized actresses. She has starred in many memorable films including: “Young Frankenstein;” “Oh God!;” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind;” “Mr. Mom” and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Supporting Actress in “Tootsie”. She is also well known for her roles in “The Black Stallion,” “One From the Heart,” “After Hours,” “The Escape Artist,” “Firstborn,” “Let It Ride,” “Full Moon in Blue Water,” “Out Cold,” “Short Time,” “Waiting for the Light,” “A Perfect Alibi,” Robert Altman’s “Ready – To – Wear, Pret-A-Porter,” “Ghost World,” “Life without Dick,” “Searching for Debra Winger” and “Unaccompanied Minors.”
Her other varied television performances include: the CBS-TV sitcom “Women of The House,” starring opposite Delta Burke; a starring role in the ABC-TV sitcom, “Good and Evil;” the CBS sitcom, “Good Advice,” the NBC-TV movie, “Fugitive Nights” opposite Sam Elliott; “Deliver Them From Evil: The Taking of Alta View;” “Stranger in the Family;” and the HBO series “Dream On.” Teri did a hilarious turn as the birth mother of television’s most popular ditz – Phoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow) on NBC’s hit sitcom “Friends”. Previously, fans were treated to Teri’s return to television in two NBC telefilms: “Murder Live!” and “Night Screams”.
In October 2002, Teri announced on national television that she had multiple sclerosis, making headlines across the country. Since then, she has become a leading advocate in raising awareness for MS and the latest treatments for the disease, traveling around the United States speaking to corporations, physicians, and patients about her experience.
Teri’s much anticipated memoir Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, was published in November 2005.