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Nike’s Phil Knight Donates $500 Million to Cancer Research

Update Date: Sep 23, 2013 12:23 PM EDT

Cancer screening tests and treatment options have improved significantly over the past years. Even though researchers have made huge advances in science, more still needs to be done. Now the founder of Nike, Phil Knight, has provided some more incentive for cancer research. Knight and his wife, Penny, have pledged $500 million to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). OHSU will get the money after they, themselves, raise at least $500 million for cancer research within two years.

This donation will be his third to OHSU. The first gift Knight gave to the University was $100 million in 2008 that went directly to the hospital's Knight Cancer Institute. The second generous donation by the Knight family was in 2012 when Knight pledged $125 million to help create a cardiovascular institute at the hospital. Both the Knight family and OSHU hope that this new funding could jumpstart a lot of new research studies that could change cancer treatment for the better.

Knight made his announcement last Friday night at a gala that joined together 400 of the top supporters for OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute. The gala took place on the sixth floor ballroom in The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.

"It is incumbent on every one of us to do what he or she can to keep the miracles coming," Knight said according to USA Today.

The president of OHSU, Joe Robertson, added, "This is a transformative moment...not just for OHSU and for Oregon, but for the people who matter most. This is about changing the lives of cancer patients around the world."

According to Robertson, the university has already started working on a national fund-raising campaign in order to raise half a billion dollars. If OSHU is successful in getting that money, the $500 billion from Knight will be the largest gift in the university's history.

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