LONDON (Reuters Life!) - “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling has donated 10 million pounds ($15.5 million) to set up a new clinic to carry out research into multiple sclerosis (MS), the disease which killed her mother.
The clinic, based at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, will be named after Rowling’s mother Anne and the author said she hoped it would become a world center for excellence into neurological conditions.
“I have just turned 45, the age at which my mother, Anne, died of complications related to her MS,” Rowling said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I know that she would rather have had her name on this clinic than on any statue, flower garden or commemorative plaque, so this donation is on her behalf, too; and in gratitude for everything she gave me in her far-too-short life.”
The donation is the largest made by the author, whose wealth is estimated at more than 500 million pounds thanks to the global success of the seven boy wizard books, and the biggest single donation the university has received.
“This exceptionally generous donation will provide great help in the worldwide effort to improve treatments for multiple sclerosis,” said Professor Timothy O‘Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh.
The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic follows the setting up of the Center for Multiple Sclerosis Research at Rowling’s home town of Edinburgh which she also supported.
The new center will also look into other degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntingdon’s disease, which like MS are progressive and incurable.
There are around 100,000 MS sufferers in Britain, while Scotland has one of the highest rates in the world.
“I cannot think of anything more important, or of more lasting value, than to help the university attract world-class minds in the field on neuroregeneration, to build on its long and illustrious history of medical research and, ultimately, to seek a cure for a very Scottish disease,” Rowling said.
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison