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OHSU Surprised By Size Of Knight Gift And Two Year Deadline

OPB | Sept. 24, 2013 12:21 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 3, 2014 2:19 p.m. | Portland

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Phil and Penny Knight’s pledge of $500 million to Oregon Health and Science University has administrators there bustling.

Doctor Brian Druker, who developed the cancer drug Gleevec, had been in on-going talks with the Knight family about fighting cancer.

Doctor Brian Druker, who developed the cancer drug Gleevec, had been in on-going talks with the Knight family about fighting cancer.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

The school was surprised by both the size of the challenge and the timeline of just two years instead of seven to match it.

“Give early, give often and give a lot,” said OHSU Foundation president Keith Todd to a cancer survivor who asked how to help.

Todd said he’s working on a new, expedited donation plan.

Hospital president, Joe Robertson, said he’s confident about raising the matching money, but says they’ll have to go look worldwide,.

OHSU president, Joe Robertson.

OHSU president, Joe Robertson.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

“People give to those causes that they’re passionate about and they’re passionate about cancer,” he said.

Five years ago, the Nike founder gave $100 million to create the Knight Cancer Institute.

The university said the money helped them attract half a dozen of the nation’s top researchers plus almost 100 new scientists.

This new money will likely be used for more of the same.

On the Web

OHSU Press Release

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