COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Coughlin family who own JEGS Automotive Inc., one of the largest and most successful automotive equipment companies in the nation and a record-breaking racing team, recently made a $10 million gift to The Ohio State University Foundation to help transform cancer treatment and research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James).
The gift to the new cancer hospital, under construction at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, comes from the JEGS Foundation. The Coughlins started the family foundation a decade ago to steer the family’s successes from business and race winnings toward a cause close to their hearts: the fight against cancer.
Jeg Coughlin Sr., the family patriarch, is a bladder cancer survivor. Other members of the Coughlin family and close friends have also battled the disease. The JEGS Foundation tagline, Racing for Cancer Research, seemed a natural fit to merge their passion for racing and supporting cancer research when the JEGS Foundation was launched 10 years ago.
During its June 7 meeting, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees recognized the gift and approved naming the main first-floor lobby of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in honor of the JEGS Foundation.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Expansion is a $1.1 billion revitalization of the research, education and patient care spaces, utilities, infrastructure and green spaces across the Medical Center campus, which includes the construction of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and Critical Care Center slated to open in 2014.
The new 300-bed state-of-the-art facility – which is being designed to place researchers, clinicians and educators in close working proximity – will further distinguish Ohio State as a national leader in innovative cancer care by enhancing collaborations in high-quality, evidence-based medicine.
The Coughlin family – including Jeg Coughlin Sr. and sons John, Troy, Mike, and Jeg Jr. – said they were inspired to make the donation to help those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
Jeg Coughlin Sr. of Delaware, Ohio said he hopes that the family’s gift – and seeing the JEGS Foundation name and the pizzazz of having the racing organization represented in the lobby – will inspire others to give back.
“Hopefully many will see what we did and ask, ‘What can we do to be a part of The James and cancer research, too?’” said Coughlin Sr.
Previously, the family had donated $15 million to cancer research at Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, including funding the Jeg Coughlin Chair in Cancer Research at the OSUCCC–James, currently held by Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, a leading expert in the study of human papilloma virus (HPV) and oral cancer.
“We are so grateful for this generous gift from the Coughlin family that underscores their longtime, ongoing and personal commitment to helping us create a cancer-free world,” said Dr. Michael A. Caligiuri, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute."
The foundation’s logo – a ribbon bearing the black and white checkered motif of a racecar flag, filled in with colors representing various cancer awareness programs – adorns the racecar that Jeg Coughlin Jr. drives in the National Hot Rod Association competitions where he boasts 69 career wins.
“You don’t have to look too far to find someone who has been affected personally or has been a caregiver,” said Jeg Coughlin Jr., of Delaware, Ohio.
The affiliation with the OSUCCC – James is a natural one, with Jeg Coughlin Sr. having started his business on Eleventh Avenue in Columbus, just down the road from Ohio State’s campus.
John Coughlin likens the passion of cancer researchers at OSUCCC – James to the competitive world of racing.
“Every time we meet a doctor at Ohio State, we’re struck by how everyone is so proud to be there and to make a difference. It’s just like a racing team. We’re proud to be faster, and at The James, they’re proud to save lives,” said John Coughlin. “Our goal is to help save lives. Eventually, there’s going to be a cure for cancer. And we’re going to be excited that we helped find it.”
The family’s commitment to cancer research has already spurred others to give. Mike Coughlin, noting gifts others have made to The James in the family’s honor, says, “The longer we stay involved, the more people care about what we’re doing and become passionate about it. It just keeps growing.”
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Click here for a high-quality photograph of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute under construction at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Click here for a high-quality photograph of the new lobby of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute under construction at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Click here for a high-quality photo of the Coughlin family. Jeg Coughlin, Sr., founder of JEGS Automotive Inc., (seated) is surrounded by his sons who now own the business, (from left) John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Jr.
Click here for a high-quality photo of the JEGS Foundation Racing For Cancer Research ribbon.
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