5 Sep 2015

Cancer research receives $10m donation

10:08 pm on 5 September 2015

An entrepreneur has made a $10 million donation to cancer research in Auckland.

It's the largest donation in the 50-year history of Auckland University's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

It's the largest donation in the 50-year history of Auckland University's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Photo: AFP

Mr Liangren Li made the donation to Auckland University's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

Mr Li said he was diagnosed with lung cancer in February this year, despite never smoking and living a healthy lifestyle.

"I think it was quite bad luck to get the tumour," he said.

"Before I had the lung tumour diagnosis I was thinking about setting up a charity fund, but I was not sure what for."

He said when he decided to give the money to cancer research, he thought he only had a couple of months to live.

"Now already it is looking much more positive thanks to the medicine I am taking and I am able to live longer."

The Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Professor John Fraser, said the donation was the largest in the department's 50-year history.

"The fund provides a very substantial boost to our world-class cancer research programme and will for example, provide much needed long-term support for our brilliant young research fellows who we are trying to retain in New Zealand," he said.

"By establishing a trust with the university, Mr Li will ensure that his name will live on in cancer research in New Zealand for many years to come and may just be responsible for the breakthroughs that I know will come with continued research."

Mr Li and his family moved to Christchurch in 1996, then moved to Auckland to start his business.

"At first the business was very small and we started the business from our garage in Christchurch and later from our basement garage in Howick," said Mr Li.

"Six months later we were able to move the business into a commercial warehouse in Greenmount Drive in East Tamaki."

He said it was important to contribute to the community, and that he had always wanted to do this through philanthropy.

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