Full Circle – with Dario Sattui
Approximately eight years ago I fell off my bicycle and broke almost every bone in my neck. Now all my neck bones are fused. I have a plate with screws holding my bones together and I can turn my head only partially.
At the time, my wife-to-be, Irina, wanted me to go to University of California San Francisco (UCSF), a well-respected teaching hospital, l but was notified by St. Helena Hospital that there were no beds available. She called her daughter Valeria, a research scientist, who worked for Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. Gladstone Institutes is an independent state-of-the-art biomedical research institution that empowers its world-class scientists to find new pathways to cures. In turn, Valeria called the president of Gladstone Institutes, Deepak Srivastava, who obtained a private room for me immediately at UCSF. I was in surgery the very next day thanks to Deepak and tended to by a great surgeon, Dr. Mummaneni.
Through Valeria Deepak, Irina and I became friends. Three years ago, more health issues surfaced for me. I was in the beginning stages of heart failure, specifically amyloidosis. I then decided to donate $2,000,000 to Gladstone Institutes for heart research. Gladstone employs 600 scientists, all working to overcome various diseases.
I recently visited the Gladstone Institutes and learned they staff two Nobel Prize winners but did not yet have an institute for studying heart fibrosis and amyloidosis. That is when I decided to donate another $2,500,000, for a total of $4,500,000. I am proud to be sponsoring an imminent scientist named Michael Alexanian so he can set up his own laboratory and employ fellow scientists to study heart failure full-time, specifically heart fibrosis and amyloidosis.
“The most effective way to do science is by really using the environment and experts around you to your advantage. Gladstone is a place that makes it very easy to do this.” – MICHAEL ALEXANIAN, PHD
I feel really good about my donation. I, of course, hope there will be a discovery that will help me, but more importantly, it will help a multitude of people suffering from heart failure in the future.
Thus, I have come full circle with Deepak. This extraordinary man helped me eight years ago, and now I am helping him and Gladstone Institutes in support of science overcoming disease.