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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 03/22/02
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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$5 Million Gift Received for MS Research

Cincinnati--The family of one of Cincinnati's long-time banking leaders is giving the University of Cincinnati (UC) Medical Center a gift of $5 million in an endowment agreement to establish the Virgilee and Oliver W. Waddell Center for Research, Education and Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis. Joseph Broderick, MD, professor and chair of the UC department of neurology said, "Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that damages the sheath that coats parts of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and impairs the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other."

Broderick explained, "Though rarely fatal, it is often progressive and can lead to paralysis or loss of control of the arms and legs, loss of vision, loss of sensation, loss of bowel and bladder control, loss of thinking abilities, depression and pain. MS is a devastating disease for the person who suffers from it but it also has enormous impact upon the family of the affected patient. Recent advances in treatment can slow the progression of the disease, but for the 2.5 million people in the world who suffer from MS at this time, it is incurable."

According to John Tew, MD, Mayfield Professor of Neurosurgery at the UC College of Medicine and medical director of the Neuroscience Institute, "This center will focus on promoting research in MS; providing the most advanced care for patients with MS; and conducting research to discover the causes and new treatments for MS."

Mary Sue Cheeseman, assistant senior vice president for development for the Medical Center said, "This is a very important gift because it will allow the UC College of Medicine to begin building a nationally prominent program in MS. It is also important as an indicator of the changing philanthropic climate in Cincinnati." The permanent endowment fund was set up by Mr. Waddell to honor his wife and to fund research efforts that may lead to a cure for MS.

Oliver Waddell's career spanned 36 years at the First National Bank of Cincinnati, now known as Firstar. Waddell served as president of the First National Bank of Cincinnati from 1957 to 1993; as chief executive officer from 1982 to 1983; and as chairman, president and chief executive officer from 1983 to 1993. His wife, Virgilee Casey Waddell, suffers from multiple sclerosis. She graduated from UC in 1956 with a BS Ed in home economics. They have three children.

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