Hitting Close to Home


Walter and Verna Richter have given $3 million to fight against a disease that afflicts millions of families, including their own.

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To help spur the creation of new cancer treatments and hasten a cure for the disease, Walter and Verna Richter have given the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center a gift worth $3 million for the creation of two new en-dowed chairs in cancer research.
The Sierra Madre couple made their recent gift of cash and real estate to aid in the fight against a disease that afflicts millions of families, including their own.
“Cancer has hit our family pretty hard, so
the one thing we really wanted to do is help promote research,” Verna Richter says.
“My sister died at 32 and left four small children. It was devastating to see those four little kids lose their mother. That was our first really bad experience with cancer,” she says. Several other members of their extended family have battled different forms of the disease.
Richter also witnessed the suffering cancer inflicts on families when she volunteered for the American Cancer Society, driving patients to their hospital appointments.
“I used to drive children to Childrens Hos-pital, which was rewarding but simply heartbreaking,” she says.
The couple chose to donate to USC because family members had been treated here and had graduated from the university. More important, they felt that in funding research at the Norris, they could do the most good and get the “most bang for the buck,” Richter says.
“I’d just love to see it help. The best thing that could happen is that it could help find a cure,” she adds.






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