Wednesday, 30 January 2008 17:00
I saw a news/talk show the other night, and they had Jon Huntsman on. What a remarkable man - in so many ways. In addition to being a very generous contributor to cancer research, he wrote a book titled "Winners Never Cheat", and he lives by that concept.
At one time, when his business was doing poorly his advisors said he should file for bankruptcy, but he said that was not an option, some business suffers when another files for bankruptcy, and he felt that was not an option for him. So, he decided to sell off part of his business for around $54 million, found a buyer and made a verbal commitment and shook hands on it. Due to various delays, by the time the buyer's lawyers got all the paperwork together, the business had turned around and was then valued at $175 million. The buyer said he would be willing to split the difference since his lawyers were the ones to hold the deal up, by Huntsman said absolutely not, they shook on it so it was a done deal for $54 million.
Around this time, Huntsman took out loans of between $50 and $100 million to cover his commitments to cancer research. His advisiors told him he was nuts to try to live up to his charitable commitments when things were looking so grim financially, but he said he pledged the money, and he would honor it. Period.
He donated $100 million to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. It's main focus is research to find cures for cancer, but it is also a unique cancer care facility with an emphasis on the dignity and comfort of its patients.
HCI has a staff of world renowned research scientists whose approach to cancer research is based on genteics. They hope to find new methods to detect and treat cancer while at the same time reducing the side effects of that treatment. For more information on HCI, refer to: http://www.huntsmancancer.org/