After writing my previous post, Cancer Research Deserves A Fair Share of the “Pie”!, I remembered reading about the mysterious man from Iowa and his recent generous ($100 million to be exact) donation to Mayo Clinic. This was the largest outright monetary gift in Mayo Clinic’s history. Recollecting about this donation made me consider a few things. First of all, a little background on this guy.
The man’s name is Richard O. Jacobson. He founded one of the largest privately owned public warehouse companies in the United States, headquartered in Des Moines, IA. He is a long-term patient of Mayo himself, although for what I do not know. He is a true philanthropist, with an extensive list of charities and causes he supports.
In addition to making this substantial donation, he specifically dictated where he wanted his dollars to go. I imagine he made it mandatory. As they say, “money talks.”
Obviously, most of us are not giving $100 million in donations to our favorite organizations. Mine tend to be in the under $50 category. Probably none of us will get a building named after us like he will. However, once again, the point I want to make is anyone should be able to designate where they would like their donated dollars to be spent. If we all did this, even our comparatively tiny donations (and accompanying requests about where we would like our dollars spent), would count up.
Mr. Jacobson’s generous donation will be used on a new 110,000 square foot facility to be built at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester, MN location. The new facility will house Mayo’s new Proton Beam Therapy Program. $100 million will still not be enough as the new facility will cost $400 million. They are looking for more donations. (Opportunity is here for the big cancer fundraising organizations!)
The Proton Beam Therapy Program is part of an advanced high intensity-modulated technology known as pencil beam scanning. With my limited understanding, I believe this simply means this procedure is far more precise, able to better target a tumor and deliver a higher therapeutic dose of radiation. Basically, it pinpoints tumors more accurately, so therefore more radiation can be given with significantly less damage to surrounding organs and tissue. This is especially important for children with cancer. Their bodies and organs are smaller, so it’s harder to pinpoint such treatments. It would also mean big improvement for breast cancer radiation treatment, as well as prostate radiation treatment, and many others as well.
This brings me to my second reason for this post. There are new and better treatments available such as this one, but like so many times money, or the lack thereof, stands in the way. I would be interested to learn if some of our favorite cancer fund raising organizations are donating to stuff like this?? I hope they are.
The third point I want to make is I applaud the mission of Mayo Clinic’s Cancer Center, which by the way, has three locations. In addition to the Rochester location, they also have sites in Phoenix, AZ and Jacksonville, FA.
What I admire is that they strive to serve a diverse cancer patient population.
But this is the best part – With their world-renowned physicians and scientists, they focus on the FULL SPECTRUM of cancer RESEARCH, as well as improving treatment for all patients, in order to lessen the burden of cancer on society.
Gotta love that.
Hats off to Mr. Jacobson for making such a generous contribution and for stating where he wanted his money spent. I think he did OK. After research, better treatment is right up there on my list of priorities for how to spend “cancer dollars.”
After all you need good treatment while you wait for that cure.
I’ll get off my soapbox now. Keep donating and keep specifying where you want your dollars spent. The size of your donations doesn’t matter, but where it’s spent does. Don’t be afraid to direct where you want YOUR DOLLARS spent!
After all, you work hard for the money too. I think that’s even a famous song!!