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Alumnus earmarks $1 million for the fight against cancer

Left, Peter Jones, director of the USC/Norris, accepts a gift from alumnus Ronald Corradini designed to assist the center in researching cancer cures.

Halfway through a tour of the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ronald Corradini, a successful businessman and USC Class of 72 alumnus, realized that he possessed the means to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

As the researchers explained their work and told me why there is hope for fighting the disease, I was immediately impressed with their drive and passion for their work. It was contagious, he said.

Corradini decided on the spot to help provide USC/Norris scientists with additional resources to delve into the causes and potential cures of the disease. He pledged $1 million in cash over 10 years to help build the Translational Research Tower at the Norris. The Norris has already received the first $100,000 installment to that end.

I would have loved to have been able to do something medically to help people, but for me, this is my way of touching the medical worldãto provide researchers the resources to do their work. If that helps save someoneps life or extend someoneps life, that would make me feel just great, he said.

Corradini said a conversation with researcher Heinz Josef-Lenz, visiting associate professor of medicine, emphasized the reason why he believes the USC/Norris Cancer Center is a truly special place in terms of both the quality of the research performed there and the care provided to patients. Everything is geared toward preserving life and the quality of life.

Dr. Lenz said something that I thought was exceptional. He said, åWe donpt just treat the patient medically, we also treat them emotionally.p I think that really exemplifies the caring attitude at the Norris. They make each person feel that theypre the one who will beat the odds and be a survivor, Corradini said.

That pervasive attitude is important to him not only in the abstract, he said, but because he can see the difference it makes in the fleshãhe has a friend currently being treated at the Norris.

Corradini, a San Marino resident and owner of a specialty contracting firm, said that he recently turned 50 and prepared a list of goals he hoped to accomplish in the coming years.

Among them, he hoped to assist the community as well as the university that helped prepare him for the world of business.

I have done quite well in business and I believe its a direct result of my going to USC not merely the educational aspects, although those were the tools, but also the people who became my friends at USC, he said.

He explained that the friendships he forged here, while helpful as business contacts, were noteworthy more for how they shaped his views about the importance of helping others.

Going to USC was a big springboard for me and I always wanted to give back to the university but I didnpt know where and how to do it. But as soon as I visited the Norris, I knew exactly where and how.

Alumnus earmarks $1 million for the fight against cancer

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