GMA Hosts Moved by $400 Million Cancer Research Gift

GMA Hosts Moved by $400 Million Cancer Research Gift

There wasn’t a dry eye on the Good Morning America set as record executive David Geffen and philanthropic businessman Kenneth C. Griffin made an astounding $400 million donation to advance cancer research on Tuesday’s beloved talk show.

GMA cohosts Robin Roberts, who faced her own battle with breast cancer in 2007, and Lara Spencer welcomed Griffin and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center CEO Dr. Selwyn Vickers to the program to unveil this substantial gift, surrounded by a group of healthcare workers and patients.

Through tears, Spencer turned to Griffin, asking about his philanthropic effort. “It’s unbelievable the difference it will make in so many lives. I’m sorry,” Spencer said, pausing to collect herself amid her question. “Why was this so important for you to donate in such a large number that will make such a huge difference?”

Griffin acknowledged Geffen’s contribution to the $400 million sum, praising the MSK center’s work to fight cancer. “All of us here dream of the day we end cancer,” replied Griffin, the founder of Citadel and Griffin Catalyst, before praising Vickers and his staff for giving “hope, dignity, and compassion” to cancer patients throughout their care. “I’m certain MSK will play an important role in ending cancer in our lifetime.”

Roberts also held back tears as she spoke about the donation. “I hope you feel the emotion from everybody that is here. There’s nobody that hasn’t been impacted, both personally with family and friends — it’s impacted everybody,” Roberts said. “Dr. Vickers, just talk about $400 million. How is that going to help your team achieve what it is that you want to achieve?

Vickers called the gift “transformative” while MSK employees around him also wiped away tears, explaining that the money would not only help his team care for patients but also contribute to bettering the lives of MSK’s 20,000 staff members, from nurses to researchers.

Roberts ended the segment with a laugh, motioning to off-camera GMA employees: “Our crew doesn’t have Kleenex for us? Tissues?” she joked. “How can we do a segment like this and they don’t have any tissues for us? The one time!”

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