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Spring 2002
Why I Give
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TOM AND MADELEINE SHERAK:
FINDING A CURE

AND MADELEINE SHERAKTom Sherak and his wife, Madeleine, have friends. Lots of friends. As former chairman of 20th Century Fox Domestic Film Group and now a partner in Revolution Studios and a professor in UCLA's M.F.A. Producers Program, Tom Sherak has friends whose names and faces regularly appear on the pages of entertainment magazines. Add to these the wide-ranging friendships of Madeleine, who has raised three children in Calabasas and, with a Ph.D. in education, has spent a decade as a highly respected math teacher in the Las Virgines Unified School District.

It was their friends, the Sheraks say, who helped pull them through when their teenage daughter, Melissa, woke up one morning 14 years ago to find parts of her body mysteriously going numb. At UCLA Medical School's Department of Neurology, they learned that Melissa has multiple sclerosis.

At first the Sheraks were devastated by the news. Then they mobilized. "We were not going to give in," Tom recalls. "We needed to figure out a way to help find a cure."

While Melissa began to undergo treatment, her parents became active with the Southern California Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Tom became host of the chapter's annual Dinner of Champions, turning it into an entertainment-industry fund-raiser. "But we realized that we could, and should, do more," Madeleine says.

They decided to help raise money for research.

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