Volume 96, Issue 16
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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Lottery winner gives to work, doesn't quit

By Cheryl Van Der Mark
Gazette Staff

Just imagine.

London researcher Robert Hardie won $10 million in Lotto 6/49 this past June and decided to donate $1 million for research in prostate and other urologic cancers at the London Health Sciences Centre.

Hardie is clinical trials research co-ordinator in the division of urology at LHSC and works closely with Dr. Joseph Chin, chief of urology. Chin has been working on techniques to treat prostate and other urologic cancers with minimal invasion to surrounding tissues.

"I enjoy working here and we needed research funds. I wanted to share my good fortune," Hardie said.

Hardie's $1 million donation will create the Robert Hardie Chair in prostate and other urologic cancers, which will be the funding cornerstone in the establishment of a Prostate Cancer Centre, said Theresa Gebrail, director of communications at the London Health Sciences Foundation.

"It will be the nerve centre of urologic research," Chin said, adding the centre will be able to attract more scientists, in addition to keeping the high quality of scientists already employed.

The Prostate Cancer Centre will involve a joint effort of the LHSC, the Lawson Health Research Institute, St. Joseph's Health Care and the London Regional Cancer Centre, Chin said. They will work together sharing information and exchanging ideas, he added.

"The goal includes the development of programs, research on causes and cures and education of patients, families and professionals," Gebrail said.

Hardie's donation will not only directly increase research in prostate cancer, but will also encourage and leverage additional future funding, she added.

One in eight men in Canada will develop prostate and other urologic cancers, Gebrail said, with 18,000 new cases detected in southwestern Ontario every year. The division of urology treats 15,000 patients annually, she said.

The Chatham to Windsor corridor has a higher number of cases than the national average, Gebrail explained, adding the cause of the abnormality is unknown which increases the importance of their research.

First-year arts student Darren Schmidt said he thought the donation set a positive example. "It's really great that he has taken a part of his own good fortune and given it back to what he's working on, and what he cares about," he said.

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2002 THE GAZETTE