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‘New cures:’ Gov. Evers proposes $15M investment in cancer research at Medical College of Wisconsin

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WAUWATOSA -- For a change, it was good news that brought a group of doctors together at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"We will bring new cures to this region, to this state and to the world," said Dr. Joseph Kerschner, Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine Dean.

On Friday, March 8, leading researchers met with Governor Tony Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, discussing the state's involvement in a state-of-the-art cancer research facility.

Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes at Medical College of Wisconsin

"Our capitol budget will include a $15 million investment," said Gov. Evers to a round of excited applause. "This project will provide research space and high-tech facilities to expand cancer research benefiting Wisconsin residents statewide."

Gov. Evers is himself a cancer survivor -- and he said he fully understands the fear cancer can bring to a person who is coping with it -- along with the family and friends of that person.

"It is personal for me. But it's even more important that the people of Wisconsin get the best research possible," said Gov. Evers.

The center will include high-tech laboratories, new therapies and advanced research opportunities "to bring the cutting-edge cures to the people of Wisconsin," explained Dr. Kerschner.

The center will give residents like Michael Robinson a second chance at life.

"Look at me," said Robinson, a cancer survivor. "It worked!"

Robinson's battle did not come easy. After years of fighting lymphocytic lymphoma, doctors tried CAR-T cell therapy.

"A month later, his reprogrammed immune cells had wiped out every trace of cancer in his body," said Robinson's doctor, Dr. Parameswaran Hari.

In addition to helping patients like Robinson -- who is now in remission -- the new center aims to tackle another hurdle.

"We've got a lot of work to do to make sure cancer care and cancer services are spread equally across our populations," said Dr. Kerschner.

"Everyone deserves access to affordable healthcare," said Lt. Gov. Barnes.

MCW is looking to secure additional funding, and the project proposal still needs to be evaluated.

"Be strong," said Robinson. "Take it day by day."

Doctors say the cancer research center will likely cost upwards of $50 million.

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