Commit To Cure Gala, October 26, 2013
For decades Dr. Alan Menter has been the adored and respected doctor of lotions and potions. When it came to skin diseases, Alan was the man. Teenagers suffering through the agonies of acne found him to be the go-to man for their formative years. Vicki Chapman recalled, “You don’t make an appointment with him at 4 p.m. You’ll be there until 7.” Why? Because the good doctor is always running late due to his thoughtful handling of previous patients.
A special tribune video (above) honoring Dr. Menter was presented at the Gala with spokepersons including Dr. Kenneth Gordon, Dr. Bruce Strober, Roger Staubach and many more. As a result of the dinner and in recognition of Alan, $1.175 million was raised.
Newcomers quickly learned that Alan’s fame extended way beyond the patient care world. In 1968, he had been a part of the top-ranked Springboks rugby team. But on Saturday, he was the man to be honored for his lifelong work in the area of psoriasis. OK, so go laugh. Psoriasis is that disease that’s on TV. . . the heartbreak of psoriasis. But to the hundreds of medical industry experts from around the world who were present for the Commit To Cure gala in the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom, the disease was a fearful condition and Alan was the knight leading the charge.
The evening’s entertainment ranged from Zambian Vocal Collection to Troy Cartwright and a live auction. But the highpoint of the evening was the plaudits paid to this remarkable physician. It started off with a heartfelt tribute by Alyssa Krafsur, who has suffered from the pain and appearance of the disease. Before she became a well-known speaker on psoriasis, she was just a suffering little girl with both severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Then she met Alan, who treated and helped her during those years. Alyssa and her mother would drive to Dallas from El Paso on a regular basis just to have Alan treat her. With the care that would make Marcus Welby seem like a Spanish inquisitor team leader, Alan worked with her to curb the disease.
Upon receiving his award, Alan showed the grace and articulation that has made him an international star on skin diseases, as well as beloved by his friends and patients who filled the audience including Honorary Chair Richard Fisher (“My chief claim to fame is Alan is my doctor”) along with mom-in-law Dee Collins Torbert, Gala Chair Julie Hubach, Emcee Clarice Tinsley with husband Stephen Giles, Francois Fournier (“Everyone knows Alan”), Dr. Caitriona Ryan, Dr. Alexa Kimball (“He treats his patients like he treats his daughters and sons”) and Baylor Health Care System CEO/President Joel Allison, who passed on attending the Baylor football game just to be at the dinner.
In his remarks, Alan said that psoriasis used to be considered part of leprosy. Today 120 million suffer from the disease, with 7 million of them living in the U.S. In addition to the pain and ugliness of psoriasis, 10% of the victims struggle to ward off additional “inside” problems: liver, lung, etc. In closing he revealed that two of his brothers have psoriasis.