A local businessman and philanthropist donated a large gift to the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University.
Peter Knox took a tour through the portion of the cancer center currently under construction, off R.A. Dent Boulevard in the medical district. And he said that’s one of the reasons why he decided to donate $1 million.
It was nothing but gratitude from cancer patient Kim Gauldin who told Knox, “Thank you for giving us hope.”
She spoke in the lobby of the Georgia Cancer Center before a small group of AU and Medical College of Georgia staff and said despite being diagnosed in Atlanta, she found passionate care in the Garden City.
“You don’t have to go outside of our local market for treatment,” Gauldin said.
She is one of many people connected to the Georgia Cancer Center who is grateful for Knox’s donation.
Knox, who is a Managing Partner for Knox Equity told us, “I’ve seen the progress of the cancer center or the construction. I had an opportunity to have a hard hat tour.”
Knox said his sneak peek compelled him to donate the large gift towards a discretionary fund that the future director of the cancer center will use for anything from new equipment to recruitment. We also toured the growing cancer center where the President Brooks Keel said it is moving towards offering more for patients.
“This cancer center that we have here is on track to be the next NCI Designated Cancer Center,” said President Keel. “That will bring clinical trials into Augusta, Georgia and provide opportunities to patients here in Augusta to receive not only state of the art clinical care, but state of the art research.”
Keel added that the cancer center narrowed down its search for a director, who will utilize that million dollar donation, to three finalists and a decision should come in a few weeks. The portion of the center under construction will house cancer center staff working closer to one another and their new boss. The facility will offer more research labs and glass themed work spaces with built-in collaboration rooms.
“We have children coming from all over the world, including foreign countries with brain tumors coming here for that therapy that was discovered here at the Medical College of Georgia in 1998,” said Dr. David Hess, Medical College of Georgia Dean.
Knox also said he does have relatives who battled cancer, but he that many of us know someone who has been impacted by it.
Construction is expected to be completed on the cancer center in October.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps