The John and Doris Norton family fight prostate cancer with $1 million gift

The John and Doris Norton family fight prostate cancer with $1 million gift

John and Doris Norton have donated many millions to educational, medical and cultural programs in Tucson.

Their latest gift is personal.

The Paradise Valley philanthropists generously gave $1 million check to support prostate cancer research and establish the John Norton Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research at the Arizona Cancer Center. Doris and John Norton announced their gift at the 2008 Evening in the Park, an annual dinner and silent auction held by the Phoenix Friends of the Arizona Cancer Center. Frederick Ahmann, MD, an oncologist who treated Norton for prostate cancer, fills the chair.

"I made Dr. Ahmann promise I would die of something else," says Norton, a prostate cancer survivor since 1991. "I thought I would do something nice for him."

"We are on the threshold of new and better ways to treat prostate cancer," adds Norton. "We must financially support people with the qualities and abilities of Dr. Ahmann so that they are able to concentrate on research that will further our knowledge and provide better treatment of this disease."

A professor of medicine and surgery, Ahmann has developed screenings and treatments for prostate cancer.

"There is no more deserving physician scientist to receive a named prostate cancer chair," says Arizona Cancer Center Director David S. Alberts, MD.

After Norton's prostate cancer returned several years ago, Norton says his physician in Phoenix told him, "If you want to go to the best oncologist in the Southwestern United States, you need to go to the University of Arizona and see Dr. Ahmann."

"I would like to make sure there is a wider and more in-depth recognition of the Arizona Cancer Center," says Norton, "so that more people in Maricopa County will not only take advantage of it and use it, but support it financially."