Barbara Davis Hosts Carousel of Hope Kickoff Luncheon

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Barbara Davis

"I always ask people if they want to buy a table, but I wish we could buy back the Beverly Hills Hotel," lamented the host, referring to the traditional location of the luncheon.

After years of hosting the Carousel of Hope kickoff luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel, this year guests gathered at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Tuesday afternoon to celebrate Barbara Davis and her family's bid to finding a cure for diabetes.

"I always ask people if they want to buy a table, but I wish we could buy back the Beverly Hills Hotel," said Davis.

Actresses Anjelica Huston and Raquel Welch, musician David Foster and director/producer George Schlatter brunched at the Verandah room to celebrate the star-studded Carousel of Hope Ball, which last year honored George Clooney among an audience including Jay Leno, Sidney Poitier, Jane Fonda and Jerry Bruckheimer.

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Davis and her late husband Marvin started the non-profit Children's Diabetes Association after her daughter, Dana Davis, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as child. The family also established the Barbara Davis Center to treat children with the disease and support research programs that are committed towards finding a cure. 

Davis said at the event that in a step towards finding a cure for the 400 million sufferers, researchers have recently found that the biggest population of diabetes and MS is clustered on the island of Sardinia.

"We treat 7,000 patients now and anybody who needs care can come to us and we take care of them if they can pay or not pay," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "No one is turned away."

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Dana, who has lived with diabetes for 39 years was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) two years ago. Her sister, Nancy Davis, who has lived with MS for over 20 years founded Race to Erase MS and held the organization's annual gala earlier this month featuring performances from Steven Tyler, Cee Lo Green and Natalie Cole. Together, the Davis family continues to receiving an unwavering amount of support from Hollywood for diseases that Dana describes as "sexy" but are still just as important.

"I'm powering through it but it's coming together as a family that really helps… you know you’re going to be OK because I have this amazing mother who does so much for diabetes, I have an amazing sister who does so much for MS and we have this community of people that care and really make you feel supported," said Davis. "That’s what the children's diabetes foundation does. It supports families."

Foster  -- a longtime friend of the Davis family and performer at the Carousel of Hope Ball -- calls himself a "Davis-lifer." When he told Barbara a conflict was going cause him to have to miss his 20-year run of attending the ball this year, he says she changed from being "the sweet beautiful lady that we all know."

"I swear to God a switch went off in her and she said we’ll we’re going to change the date," said Foster. "I said you can’t change the date just for me. Now that’s why it’s on the 11th… I’m sorry."

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