Press Releases

Seattle Children’s Receives $50 Million Gift to Support Leukemia Research, Treatment and Clinical Trials

One of the largest donations from an individual donor in its 117-year history

SEATTLE – Seattle Children’s announces it has received one of the largest philanthropic gifts in its 117-year history from the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation. The transformational gift will support the research and development of revolutionary therapies and treatment options for leukemia and other pediatric cancers, accelerating the global advancement of groundbreaking cures for pediatric disease by leveraging next-generation cell and gene therapies.

In total, the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation, B. Wayne Hughes and the Hughes Family have contributed more than $100 million to support lifesaving cures at Seattle Children’s, including the new $50 million gift to advance pediatric immunotherapy cancer research and fund clinical trials. In recognition of the Hughes family’s generous lifetime contributions of more than $100 million, Seattle Children’s will name the Seattle Children’s Research Institute building located at 1920 Terry Avenue in honor of B. Wayne Hughes.

The Hughes Family has been instrumental in the advancement of Seattle Children’s Therapeutics, an enterprise within Seattle Children’s Research Division devoted to cell and gene therapies for pediatric disease, founded under the pioneering vision of Dr. Michael Jensen. Jensen led the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research and Seattle Children’s Therapeutics for a combined 13 years before partnering with Seattle Children’s to launch BrainChild Bio late last year to accelerate CAR T-cell therapies for children with brain tumors.

The new $50 million gift from the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation hopes to catalyze similar growth and innovation.

“We are honored to support the lifesaving research and development of treatments for childhood leukemia being developed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute,” said Tamara Gustavson, director, William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation. “My father, Wayne Hughes, always wanted to not only cure childhood leukemia, but to help create a future free of pediatric cancers so that fewer families suffer the traumatic loss of a child. He would be proud to see how his early investments in this important research, continued through our family’s ongoing support, is giving children with cancer a fighting chance to live long and meaningful lives.”

Generous donor investments have helped Seattle Children’s reach the forefront of pediatric medical research and pediatric cancer research and treatments.

“We are deeply grateful for the William Lawrence and Blanche Hughes Foundation and the Hughes family’s incredible generosity that will enable our talented teams to continue to expand their groundbreaking work,” said Dr. Jeff Sperring, Seattle Children’s chief executive officer. “Support from Wayne and the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation helped Seattle Children’s build one of the largest childhood cancer immunotherapy programs in the country. This generous gift will ensure we can continue to work toward curing childhood disease and improving outcomes for children here at home and for children all over the world.”

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About the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation

The William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation is dedicated to supporting medical research related to pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia and has contributed more than $100 million to Seattle Children’s. B. Wayne Hughes was a man devoted to family and community. He was a dedicated and generous philanthropist with a personal mission to find a cure for childhood leukemia — a quest inspired by his youngest son, Parker, who passed away from the disease at the age of eight in 1998. During Parker’s treatment, Wayne launched the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation, a charitable organization named after his parents.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation’s top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Foundation, along with Seattle Children’s Guild Association – the largest all volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country – works with our generous community to raise funds for lifesaving care and research.

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