Harry Potter Author Donates $15.5M to fight M.S.

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 AM PDT
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A handmade copy of J.K. Rowling's 'Tales of Beedle the Bard' is on display at the Public Library.

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J.K. Rowling is hoping her donation of $15.5 million will direct some research wizardry at multiple sclerosis, the disease which killed her mother.

The gift will fund a clinic at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, which will be named after the Harry Potter author's mother Anne.

"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 billionaire author, 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.

"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.

Selected Reading: Reuters, jkrowling.com, The Associated Press.

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