by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes.

Harry Potter scribe JK Rowling has made a huge donation of $15.4 million to setup a multiple sclerosis research and testing clinic at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The clinic will be named after Rowling’s mother Anne, who was killed by the disease.

“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.”

It’s the single-largest donation ever received by the university — and the largest that Rowling has ever handed out. Her fortune, thanks to the popular Harry Potter series, is estimated to hover somewhere close to $800 million.

“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 added.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Erin Elizabeth

    medical research? as in animal research? :(

    I have same heritage as she does (and Uncle with MS) but don’t know that scientific research (more of it) is going to solve MS.

    • Michael Raymer

      Scanning, scanning, scanning, beepbeepbeepbeepbeep,click, ding! Yeah I don’t see the term animal research anywhere in the article. So cheer up. Hopefully they’ll use unborn fetuses instead.

      • don miguelo

        The only way to test a disease of this level “currently accepted” is thru animal testing.

        The University of Edinburgh appears on this current list of institutions using animal testing:

        Related to that, this article says: “Fluorescent chickens were developed by scientists at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute, the zoological research organisation responsible for the creation of Dolly the sheep.” —

        Seems the University, for the sake of argument, is using alternative methods when possible:

        It’s hard to tell what the program will do, but since they don’t outright state they are NOT testing on animals, you can deduct that they are.
        They have a history of doing it, they are a major vet school, and I see nothing to the contrary. If you take a look at their course even the course descriptions somehow do not have what is involved in the labs, they just say “detailed descriptions will be given later”. And given that their Research policy page has links to HIPPA guidelines and FOIA processes, you can bet it’s no easy task getting them to state what they do behind their closed doors. That doesn’t make me give them the benefit of the doubt, like you have good sir.

  • Multiple Sclerosis

    Well, when you’re richer than the Queen of England, $15,4 million is a common sense donation. That’s a good initiative, because Multiple Sclerosis is a disease with a low incidence, and the treatment and aid for MS patients can be quite scarce. We would like to applaud JK’s donation, and we hope that this will pave the way to other celebrities donating some of their fortune to MS.