Nike founder Knight will match $500M in cancer-fighting funds

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 07: Nike Chairman Phil Knight attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2011 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference has been hosted annually by the investment firm Allen & Company each July since 1983. The conference is typically attended by many of the world's most powerful media executives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Nike co-founder Phil Knight has pledged $500 million to Oregon Health and Science University in the form of a challenge he hopes will launch a $1 billion cancer research initiative.

The gift is contingent on OHSU raising at least $500 million for cancer within two years.

"It is incumbent on every one of us to do what he or she can to keep the miracles coming," Knight said at a Sept. 21 gala for the cancer institute.

The gift, announced Saturday by the hospital, is the third one from Knight and his wife, Penny, to OHSU. A 2008 gift of $100 million went to the hospital's Knight Cancer Institute.

The Knights announced the gift Friday night at a gala for the cancer institute.

OHSU President Joe Robertson told The Oregonian that the pledge gives his institution "the opportunity to move from excellence to true preeminence" in the cancer treatment field.

Earlier this year, another billion dollar cancer-fighting effort was announced by another major university.

Last Sept, MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas announced it would spend $3 billion in a "moonshot" effort against eight cancersthat the university hopes will uncover more information to make inroads against the disease.

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