Chef Kerry Simon undergoes stem-cell transplants at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

Erik Kabik/Retna/

Kerry Simon and Barry Dakake at Chefs to the Max, a fundraising dinner for food critic Max Jacobson, at Rx Boiler Room on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in MandalayPlace.

By Robin Leach (contact)

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 2:08 p.m.

Celebrity Iron Chef champion Kerry Simon underwent the first of two days of initial stem-cell transplants at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on Wednesday. After todays second set of spinal injections, Kerry will return to Las Vegas on Friday.

Before he returns to Rochester in early March for more intensive sessions of stem-cell transplants, he will preside over his Feb. 27 celebrity chef and rocker showcase at the Keep Memory Alive event center in the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health downtown.

Word from Kerry, a 2013 Silver State Award recipient, on Wednesday night was that he was in good spirits, although very tired, resting comfortably and optimistic with the medical procedure. There is no known cure or treatment for Multiple Systems Atrophy (a stronger, more-aggressive form of Parkinsons) hes fighting that we reported in December.

On Friday, he meets here with 20 volunteers who formed a committee to organize the Feb. 27 events. His good pal comedy actor Bill Murray will serve as MC, and Christian Kohlberg will join him as auctioneer.

Before he underwent surgery, Kerry told me this week: I cannot believe the support we are getting for our Fight MSA campaign. It is unbelievable. I am deeply touched by all these wonderful people helping out at the drop of a hat with nothing more in mind than to conquer this terrible disease.

Im not going to let it stop me doing what I must do.

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Chef Kerry Simon undergoes stem-cell transplants at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

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