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'Harry Potter' Author JK Rowling Donates $15.4 Million For MS Center

'Harry Potter' author JK Rowling has donated $15.4 million (10 million) to set up a new multiple sclerosis research clinic.

The writer says she hopes the clinic, to be based at the University of Edinburgh, "will become a world centre for excellence" in its field.

It will be named after her mother Anne, who suffered from the degenerative disease and died at the age of 45, and also study other neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease.

The university says Rowling's gift is the largest single donation it has received in its history.

"Edinburgh has given me so very much that I have been looking for a way to give something meaningful back to the city for a long time," Rowling says in a statement.

"I cannot think of anything more important, or of more lasting value, than to help the university attract world-class minds in the field of neuroregeneration, to build on its long and illustrious history of medical research and, ultimately, to seek a cure for a very Scottish disease."

"I have supported research into the cause and treatment of multiple sclerosis for many years now but when I first saw the proposal for this clinic, I knew that I had found a project more exciting, more innovative, and, I believe, more likely to succeed in unravelling the mysteries of MS than any other I had read about or been asked to fund."

"I have just turned 45, the age at which my mother died of complications related to her MS. 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."

Rowling's mother died before she struck fame. She has said her mother's death influenced one of the main themes of a child dealing with loss.

The author is ranked as one of the richest women in Britain, with an estimated wealth of $1 billion.

August 31, 2010 |

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