1260255 tn?1288654564

J K Rowling Donates $15.5 Million to MS Research

Reuters 8/31/10

The clinic, based at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, will be named after Rowling's mother Anne and the author said she hoped it would become a world center for excellence into neurological conditions.

"I have just turned 45, the age at which my mother, Anne, died of complications related to her MS," Rowling said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I know that she would rather have had her name on this clinic than on any statue, flower garden or commemorative plaque, so this donation is on her behalf, too; and in gratitude for everything she gave me in her far-too-short life."

The donation is the largest made by the author, whose wealth is estimated at more than 500 million pounds thanks to the global success of the seven boy wizard books, and the biggest single donation the university has received.

"This exceptionally generous donation will provide great help in the worldwide effort to improve treatments for multiple sclerosis," said Professor Timothy O'Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh.

The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic follows the setting up of the Center for Multiple Sclerosis Research at Rowling's home town of Edinburgh which she also supported.

The new center will also look into other degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntingdon's disease, which like MS are progressive and incurable.

There are around 100,000 MS sufferers in Britain, while Scotland has one of the highest rates in the world.

"I cannot think of anything more important, or of more lasting value, than to help the university attract world-class minds in the field on neuroregeneration, to build on its long and illustrious history of medical research and, ultimately, to seek a cure for a very Scottish disease," Rowling said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)
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1253197 tn?1331209110
Well that is some good news hopefully for the future and I am glad that JK Rowling has been so thoughtful (but she probably can afford it!!)
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Avatar universal
Thank you for this post, Audrey.

I am a descendant of the clan MacNab (my grandmother was Irene MacNab) and she had autoimmune disorderders including Pernicious Anemia.

Many others of my family have thyroid problems, including me. This all could relate to MS in some way as yet unknown.

It's wonderful to learn that JK Rowling has contributed so much to MS research, as well as to other neurodegenerative diseases.

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1386048 tn?1281012333
is that right?  

god love that woman.  i met her once...at a luncheon she hosted to thank small independent booksellers.  even have an autographed copy of the 4th book.

awesome news.
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Avatar universal
Isn't that great news? Maybe Harry Potter can wave his magic wand and find a cure :)

I was never sure why she stood down as a patron of the MS Society Scotland last year, it was all a bit vague.

I'm not far from Edinburgh so I'll be keeping a close eye on this one.

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1396846 tn?1332459510
That is amazing. It always amazes me when someone takes it upon themself to donate such a large amout of money for suck a wonderful cause.

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667078 tn?1316000935
How cool!  Everyone gives there money to cancer MS needs a little help.

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1312898 tn?1314568133
that's wonderful!!  Maybe some will study PPMS

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1382889 tn?1505071193
Whooohooo!  Great press to keep the spotlight on the research.  It's all about the money unfortunately.

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572651 tn?1530999357
Generous acts like this make me feel good that these public figures give back in some way.  

I love watching Brad Pitt and the architects rebuilding in New Orleans - it is a great example of philanthropy at a personal best.

And now JK Rowling and this donation - wouldn't it be great if her fans - especially the younger ones - become aware of her interest and commitment?  

Thanks for sharing this story.

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Avatar universal
Good on her. I was only thinking the other day how "unfashionable" some diseases are at different times. MS was big here in the 80s, now it's all breast cancer. IN fact I delberately avoid any breast cancer fund raising stuff because it seems overdone, to the detriment of other things.

Here the breast cancer stuff is all pink. Buy a pink balloon, a pink wrist band, a pink hat, pink this pink that. Then last year, when my cousin (aged 48, female) was disanosed with bowel cancer, I thought, gee, wonder what colour balloons and wrists bands for bowel cancer would be? Smelly brown? Well, there is no obvious bowel cancer fund raising stuff, no one shows pretty women wearing pink and discussing the loss of their feminity when it's all poo-related. ........so I need not have wasted my brain cells wondering. Makes me kind of cross when I think of my poor cousin........

So good on Ms Rowling! I stuck the news article on my Facebook page......

PS why do we hear that MS doesn't kill you, but so many die from "complications"??
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Avatar universal
"I love watching Brad Pitt........." LOL don't we all!!!!!!!

I'll  bet you just love watching him doing anything - the rebuilding New Orleans is just a bonus!!!!
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1260255 tn?1288654564
I may be reading between the lines on this one, but my sense is that J K was not exactly thrilled with how her previous donation were spent, so she set up an entirely new source for her money to support MS research.

Given her fortune, let's hope that she is pleased with this and continues to give. This may just be seed money to get things started in a direction that meshes with her objectives.

This comes from one who has worked in the nonprofit sector for 15 years which has given me an understanding of donors. The work doesn't make me rich, but it does enrich me in more ways than one can imagine.

Let's hope that I am correct in my take, because $15.5 million or 10 million British Pounds is only a fraction of her 500 million British Pound net worth.

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649926 tn?1297657780

  Thanks for sharing this! I don't get a newspaper delivered as it was one of our cost cutting things the past few years (very expensive out here in the rural sticks) so if I don't catch something on the news or here I am clueless. No wait I'm always clueless, ha ha.

My grandfather was from Scotland so I think this is cool for MS and cool to be connected in some way since she has brought us back out in the spotlight in a big way.

Erin :)
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