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Author J.K. Rowling has donated $18.7 million to support research into neurological conditions at a center named after her late mother.
First established in 2010, the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland was set up following a previous donation of $12.5 million from the Harry Potter author and is named in memory of her mother who died at age 45, from complications related to multiple sclerosis (MS).
The author’s mother battled with MS for 10 years and passed away in 1990 when Rowling was 25 years old. This was just six months after she has begun sketching the legendary Harry Potter plot on paper napkins. The center is an integrated care and research facility focusing on MS and neurological conditions, with the aim of bringing more clinical studies and trials to patients.
“When the Anne Rowling Clinic was first founded, none of us could have predicted the incredible progress that would be made in the field of regenerative neurology, with the clinic leading the charge,” says the Edinburgh-based writer.
The recent donation, which includes Gift Aid, will also support research projects focusing on the invisible disabilities experienced by people living with MS – such as pain and cognitive impairment. Multiple sclerosis motor neuron disease (MND), dementia and Parkinson’s are some of the other neurological conditions studied at the Clinic.
The iconic "Harry Potter" scribe was named the highest-paid author of 2019, with a net worth of $92 million, though book sales no longer account for the bulk of her earnings. The 54-year-old collected eight-figure sums from theme parks, theatrical productions and a new film about "The Boy Who Lived". The "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" production made $2.3 million in ticket sales in a single week - the highest of any non-musical in Broadway’s history.
Rowling became a billionaire after the great success of her blockbuster series, however, she dropped off the list and lost her title in 2012 after she donated an estimated $150 million in charitable giving. In 2005, she founded Lumos, an NGO working to end the institutionalization of children worldwide.