Nike Founder To Donate $500 Million To Cancer Research

nike founderNike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife announced plans to donate $500 million for cancer research at the Oregon Health & Science University’s cancer institute.

$1 billion donation challenge

Their announcement stuns backers of the Oregon Health University.

The multi-million dollar donation from Phil and Penny Knight is depending on the Portland university’s ability to raise $500 million from other donors over the period of two years.

The couple promised $500 million if others put up the same amount in two years.

Knight made the announcement at an event for the cancer center’s top 400 supporters, which the couple had previously  given $100 million in 2008, said Dr. Joseph Robertson, president of the university.

New cancer treatments

“This was probably the biggest surprise of my professional life,” Robertson said.

The university president said donations will bring new treatments and earlier detection of cancer. He also said university leaders were already working on planning a national fundraising project to match Knight’s gift.

The donation aims for cancer treatments that would shut down cells that enable cancer without harming healthy cells.

“It is incumbent on every one of us to do what he or she can to keep the miracles coming,” Knight said in remarks announcing the challenge at a gala for the Knight Cancer Institute.