||PRAISING THE USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center staffs excellence and professionalism, Connecticut entrepreneur Charles W. Costello and his wife, Carolyn, have given the USC/Norris $2 million to establish a chair in colorectal diseases.
The new Charles W. and Carolyn Cos-tello Chair in Colo-rectal Diseases will be held by Robert W. Beart Jr., chair of the division of colorectal surgery.
In January, Charles Costello, 60, underwent surgery at the USC/Norris to treat his ulcerative colitis, a condition that had grown steadily worse despite several operations elsewhere. Al-though his surgeons said his condition was practically untreatable, Costello said that he wanted to try one last surgery.
I read up on Dr. Beart and found out that he may be the best in the United States and thats what I wanted. When I met with him, he said he couldnt guarantee anything but he seemed very confident, and I just felt quite frankly that I was in the best hands possible, Costello said.
The operation went well and Costello, a retired software businessman and Boston native, said that his positive experience with the Norris spurred his and his wifes desire to fund the chair.
I never knew about the USC/Norris until November 1998. But when I got there, I was very pleasantly surprised. The whole staff seemed to be on top of everything. They were very caring and very professional and knowledgeable, he said.
After two to three years of working with doctors who just seemed to be doing their job, I was really impressed that people at the Norris were not only doing their job, but doing research and trying to cure cancer. Being an entrepreneur myself, I really like those kinds of people, he said.
Costello said that he and his wife are pleased to be able to give their gift to the Norris, an institution waging the fight against cancer, noting that they had lost family members to the disease.
Weve been very fortunate in life and its wonderful to be able to do something like this, he said.
Costello added that even if his gift does not directly result in a major breakthrough against colorectal diseases, it is well invested at the Norris.
I think its still fantastic to foster USCs spirit of commitment and dedication, as well as its focus on fighting disease.