The London Health Sciences Foundation has received the largest estate gift in its history, which will support research into finding a cure for ovarian cancer.
Officials announced on Tuesday a $5.25 million dollar gift from the estate of former Western University economics professor John Knight, who passed away in January 2016.
Bob Merrifield is a family friend of Knight’s and helped make Tuesday’s announcement. He revealed to AM980 that John’s wife, Mary, died of ovarian cancer.
“This was a gift in tribute to John’s wife, Mary, and it was both a loving gift, but also I think it was to demonstrate the admiration and the respect that John had for Mary,” he said. “That was really the thinking behind this legacy gift.”
Foundation officials have said the gift will expand their capacity to find innovative new approaches to ovarian cancer treatment that ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes.
Foundation president and CEO John MacFarlane tells AM980 this contribution will support the Translational Ovarian Cancer Research Team.
“It was a tremendous announcement and frankly this is a game changer in London,” he said. “Gifts of this kind are rare, and particularly for ovarian cancer research, which is a difficult disease requiring significant resources and this is the kind of gift that can help make that happen.”
The Translational Ovarian Cancer Research Program started in 2007.