Donors Making a Difference
- Published: September 21, 2016
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Foundation is able to help make focused ultrasound a reality for patients. Read stories from some of those people who have been touched by focused ultrasound and understand its true potential.
In 2014, Dr. Richard Merkin established a fellowship opportunity for international researchers that has brought scientists from around the world to work with the technical and scientific teams at the Foundation. We interviewed Dr. Merkin about his involvement with the Foundation and his passion for focused ultrasound technology.
Ellie Block, generous donor and Council Member, recently spoke with the Foundation about her interest in focused ultrasound, her involvement with the Foundation, and her commitment to pediatric initiatives.
Artist and writer Peter Skinner recently donated the proceeds from his painting exhibit at Les Yeux du Monde gallery in Charlottesville, Va., to the Foundation. His family – wife Jane-Ashley and their children Saana Miklová, Max Skinner, and Jay Everett – supported this decision. In Peter’s words, “This came from my heart. I thought this was a meaningful way to help.”
Foundation supporters Floyd and Bruce Gottwald each received the Outstanding Virginian Award in a ceremony at the University of Virginia on May 13. The two long-time business leaders share a rich history of philanthropic support. They also both generously and consistently support the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
In 1984, Phil Wendel founded the Atlantic Coast Athletic Club, which offers comprehensive fitness and wellness programming and has more than 65,000 members in 12 locations. He was introduced to the Foundation’s mission nearly a decade ago by founder and chairman Neal Kassell, MD, and in March 2017, he helped raise awareness of focused ultrasound through a generous fundraising campaign.
At the behest of Gene and Terry Lockhart, the Foundation has established the Andrew J. Lockhart Fellowship for focused ultrasound research into solid tumors to honor their son Andrew who passed away in September 2016 after a hard-fought battle with cancer at the age of 39.
Advertising technology pioneer Michael Donovan, Vice Chairman of Mediaocean, is no stranger to revolutionary ideas. Donovan met Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD, in Wyoming and was immediately captivated by the promise of medical innovation to change the world. He recently gave one million dollars to support the Foundation.
Jim Morley is an ex-Naval Air Intelligence Officer and founder and President of California Real Estate Management. After learning about FUS in a TEDMED talk named “Healing Without Cuts,” he was “enthralled” and soon became a donor to the Foundation. “The talk was my first experience to witness the revolution and possibilities of FUS,” said Jim. “I was blown away.”
Siblings Mark and Muffin both suffered with essential tremor. Muffin took medication with moderate success for some time, but Mark was not a candidate for medication and searched for other options. His quest led them to become the first siblings to be treated with focused ultrasound.
Although it’s unimaginable to have it occur twice in one family, Jack Cullather lost his son, Chris, and then his wife, Jean, to brain tumors. The clinical trial at Sunnybrook to open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is made possible by his generous personal gift.
Robert & Molly Hardie
The Foundation is collaborating with the Melanoma Research Alliance, Cancer Research Institute, and UVA to fund a new preclinical research project using focused ultrasound to enhance immunotherapy for melanoma brain metastases. This partnership is made possible by contributions from visionary donors Robert and Molly Hardie.
In November 2010, the indomitable, 89-year-old Doris McArdle traveled from Chicago to London. There, she successfully underwent a focused ultrasound procedure to treat a pancreatic tumor. Recently, Doris celebrated her 95th birthday and is now a supporter of the Foundation.