Gilead Sciences Inc. became the inaugural recipient of the Life Award by conceptual artist David Datuna. The award, instituted by Datuna, is awarded to corporations and individuals for exceptional contributions to sustaining and saving of human lives.
The Life Award is a heart-shaped art installation, made by David in his signature style of laying a cascading veil of varying optical lenses over an intricate, multi-dimensional narrative made of photographs of individuals sending pieces of their hearts in gratitude and support for Gilead’s unprecedented work in Georgia.
“Hepatitis C virus claims over 700,000 lives annually, with Georgia, my birthplace and a country I cherish, having the world’s third highest prevalence of the disease” said Datuna. “Gilead Sciences is at the forefront of the global war on HCV, and the difference they make is difficult to understate.
An artist’s job is to question conventions, stimulate thoughts and emotions, and above all to bring hope. From that perspective, I think that the men and women of Gilead take a truly artistic approach to science, and I am honored to make a small contribution to their mission.”
In 2015 Gilead, in partnership with CDC and the Government of Georgia, \ launched an unprecedented program to demonstrate to governments and multilateral agencies worldwide that hepatitis C prevalence can be reduced or close to eliminated with a pilot project in Georgia, offering free drugs to those who need them. To date Gilead Sciences has provided therapies to more than 6,000 of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens, and is on track to cure 20,000 more annually.
Life Award was instituted by Datuna as part of his philanthropic work following his battle with cancer.
Says David: “It’s hard to describe the feelings when one is faced with a terminal disease. And there are no words to describe the moment when you realize that there might be hope for a miracle. Having lived through that experience I made it my life’s mission to inspire others to bring more hope into the world. I want to personally thank those who dedicated themselves to making these miracles possible. The hope they bring to those helped is the true life-engine that makes the world around us a better place for all.”