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Paul McCartney gives $1 million to Arizona Cancer Center

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 12, 2000
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The Arizona Cancer Center will be able to expand its breast cancer research thanks to a generous gift from a former Beatle.

Last Wednesday, Paul McCartney donated $1 million to the Arizona Cancer Center in memory of his wife Linda. McCartney's gift requires that the money be used to develop new ways of treating and preventing cancer without animal testing.

Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 1995 and died in Tucson in April of 1998.

The Arizona Cancer Center was one of the establishments that treated Linda during her fight against the breast cancer.

In a press release from his office, McCartney stated, "I have given this money on behalf of our family in memory of our lovely Linda, and so that others may be given the chance to live without animals dying."

McCartney and his wife were active members in the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization for 15 years.

Morgan Lei, a spokeswoman from PETA, said McCartney's donation is a big step in ending the "unethical and bad science" of animal testing.

Lei said PETA promotes non-animal research and cancer prevention, and McCartney's donation will help develop these techniques a little better.

"He's taking up that torch of fighting for animal rights in Linda's memory," Lei said.

Laurie Young, assistant specialist at the Arizona Cancer Center, said they have not made any decisions concerning how the money will be used.

Young said the center will honor McCartney's wishes that the money will not be used for research on cancer-fighting drugs that are tested on animals.

With the gift, the center will establish the Linda McCartney Endowed Fund for Breast Cancer Research.

With an endowment fund, the donation is never touched, the center only spends the interest earned.

"This donation creates a lasting legacy for Linda McCartney," Young said.

In the late 1970s, the Arizona Cancer Center was the first research center to develop a fresh human tumor cell in a laboratory setting, Young said.

"This allows testing individual cancer cells against drugs to verify if it has activity against the cell," Young added.

The endowment will also allow vaccine research and further the research for potential targets for treating breast cancer, Young said.

Young said cancer cells have different characteristics than normal cells and the center's goal is to target the cancer cells while leaving the normal cells alone.

McCartney also donated $1 million to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

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