Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Opera legend Plácido Domingo were among the luminaries on hand  for the official premiere of “Gota de la Vida” song and video release event benefiting City of Hope. The song, which was composed and produced by Universal Latino recording artist Arthur Hanlon, was performed by a “New Generation” of Latin talent, including Marcos Witt, Diego Verdaguer, Sandra Echeverria, Luz Rios, Alih Jey, Yesy Milano, Christian Daniel, Denise Stefanie, Jacky Ibarra and Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. This was the first time-screening of the video.

Hosts Fernando Arau and Gabriela Teissier also introduced performances by Ana Isabelle, Diego Verdaguer, accompanied by Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. Also on hand was City of Hope’s Joseph Alvarnas, M.D., director, Quality Systems for Cellular Therapeutics, Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope, who introduced Rodrigo Nuñez, an aplastic anemia survivor and City of Hope nurse. The audience shared a tearful moment as World Boxing Champ Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero introduced his wife Casey, whose life was saved by a bone marrow transplant in January 2010.

The event marked the launch of the historic song and video “Únete con la Gota de la Vida,” which commemorates a national health awareness campaign to encourage the Latino community to join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and support City of Hope, a leading research, treatment and education center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

The “Gota de la Vida” video was directed by Grammy-award winning music video and film director Simon Brand and it shows a dramatic succession of artists, including Placido Domingo, David Bisbal, Marco Antonio Solis, Gloria Estefan, Luis Enrique, Jenni Rivera, Marcos Witt, Luis Fonsi, Aleks Syntek y Tito El Bambino singing the song, whose lyrics are a call to action for Latinos to join the NMDP. The song and video are being distributed by Universal Latino.

The executive producers of “La Gota de la Vida” are veteran Latin music executive Luis Medina and Salvador Treviño, a businessman who co-founded the “Únete con la Gota de la Vida” campaign targeted at Hispanics ten years ago and who has spearheaded efforts to raise awareness on the importance of encouraging Hispanics and Latinos to register as bone marrow donors; it is far easier to find compatible donors among people of the same ethnic background.

“We are very grateful to the 46 artists who participated in the making of La Gota de la Vida song and video. They are the ambassadors of our efforts to raise bone marrow registry awareness in the Hispanic communities,” said Mike Mortensen, chairman of City of Hope’s Hispanic Southern California Food Industries Circle.

In 2010, more than 137,000 new cases of blood-related cancers will be diagnosed in the U.S. Only 30 to 40 percent of patients who need bone marrow transplantation will find a match within their family, while others will be directed to the NMDP to find an unrelated match. Currently, there is a need for more Latino donors in the NMDP.

For more information about the “La Gota de la Vida” national awareness campaign, visit www.uneteconlagotadelavida.com.