Survivor's Family Donate $15 Mln To Milwaukee Cancer Research For Rare Brain Cancer

A privately-owned energy and infrastructure company, Michel's Corp. is donating $15 million to MCW Cancer Research Center for the research of choroid plexus carcinoma, a rare brain cancer. Sophie Michels, a member of the family, was diagnosed with the cancer back in 2011 and it was her successful treatment and recovery that made the family feel profoundly grateful, which led to the donation.

The center is a collaborative effort between Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Wisconsin and the donation is by far the biggest the center has ever received. Tim Michels, the father of Sophie Michels, said, "The whole world is looking at what's happening right here at the medical campus in Milwaukee, the Medical College, Children's, Froedtert. And now we're going to be able to take this cutting-edge research and we're going to be able to do a focus on rare cancers as well."

Gustavo Leone, the director of the center said that there are 180 types of cancers which are called rare as the number of people affected by them is relatively low. However, these cases combined make up for 25% of the total cases in the country. The National Cancer Institute said that fewer than 15 people out of 100,000 are affected by CPC.

John Raymond, president and chief executive of the Medical College of Wisconsin, praised the effort and said, "It's remarkable that the whole family has decided to invest in Wisconsin and in Milwaukee."

The heads of the institutions believe that the funding will help them to buy the much required medical instruments and other important measures to treat more people. The family has also endowed Michels Family Professorship in Pediatric Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

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