Darley Gives $2 Million to Cancer Center

Contribution to be used for bloo and marrow transplant unit.

Edited press release

The Markey Cancer Foundation has received a $2 million gift from Darley Stud Management, LLC. the global Thoroughbred-breeding operation of Sheikh Mohammed.

In recognition of the gift, the cancer center's blood and marrow transplant unit will be named the Darley Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and will retain this name when the unit moves to the new University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, scheduled to open in phases beginning in 2010.

“This donation is reflective of Sheikh Mohammed’s desire to assist further technological advances in cancer treatments," said James G. Bell, president of Darley USA. "He is delighted to participate in the new state-of-the-art UK Chandler Hospital that will serve so many Kentuckians now and well into the future.”

The gift will help the BMT program make progress toward its long-term goals, said Dr. Randall G. Rowland, the foundation's president and CEO.

"Through the generosity of Darley and Sheikh Mohammed, the Markey Cancer Center will be able to build on efforts to provide a top-notch blood and marrow transplant program in world-class facilities," he said.

The donation has significance beyond the monetary benefit, said Trish Jaracz, the foundation's vice president and director of development.

“This has been a rare and extraordinary privilege for the foundation to be in a position to help facilitate this gift," she said. "It is certainly an example of how those both inside and outside this community can have a significant impact.”

More than 1,100 patients have received transplants from the 15-bed inpatient BMT program at UK since it was founded in 1982. The staff includes experts in both autologous transplants, which use stem cells from the patient, and allogeneic procedures, which use stem cells from a donor.

The multidisciplinary team, led by five specialized physicians, treats all blood-related diseases, including aplastic anemia and other conditions that stem from a bone marrow failure.

UK's attending physicians are trained in medical hematology and oncology, and each brings specific expertise in transplants and blood-related cancers. Because UK HealthCare takes a cooperative, highly integrated approach to medicine, patients in the BMT program have access to experts in every medical and surgical subspecialty.

"We are extremely grateful for Sheikh Mohammed’s gift to create the Darley Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the UK Markey Cancer Center," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK's executive vice president for health affairs.  "Through community support such as this, we are able to provide Kentuckians a state-of-the-art hospital designed to support cutting edge medicine and a care environment that is patient and family-focused."