Tim Duncan is not only one of the NBA’s most quietly awesome superstars, he’s also a quietly awesome person.

On Monday, it was reported that Duncan donated $247,000 to the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Research Project which is one of the world’s leading programs dedicated to cancer research.

Through the support and involvement of these participating surgeons, START researchers are collecting fresh tumor tissue from 1000 patients with the 10 most common cancers in San Antonio. The project then aims to perform whole genome sequencing on both the cancerous and normal tissue from each patient. Then, for the first time anywhere, researchers will link this genetic information to the patient’s clinical outcomes. Most significantly, all data will be made available publicly at no cost to researchers worldwide. The project’s promise to make all data freely available is built on the belief that no single investigator or institution has all of the answers and encourages the involvement of outsiders who might bring fresh ideas to the urgent and complex problem of gene abnormalities and cancer.

Duncan was reportedly drawn to the project because the research results would be collected and shared freely.

Dr. Anthony Tolcher, the project’s founder, was immensely grateful for Duncan’s contribution to the wonderful cause.

“I couldn’t have been more surprised and grateful,” said Dr. Tolcher, when presented with Tim Duncan’s donation. “This gift will benefit the people of San Antonio and demonstrates the commitment that Mr. Duncan has to this city and the people of San Antonio.”

Counting Tim Duncan’s generous donation, the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Research Project has raised $1.8 million out of a targeted goal of $3 million. Hopefully, Duncan’s generosity spurs others (no pun intended) to do the same. More information on the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Research Project can be found at www.sagenome.net.

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