Amount donated in 2011: $61.9-million
Beneficiary: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Donors’ background: Mr. Brin co-founded Google. Ms. Wojcicki is a biotechnology analyst and a co-founder of 23andME, a genetic-testing company in Mountain View, Calif.
Mr. Brin and Ms. Wojcicki, both 38, gave more than $61.9-million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The foundation can use half of the money for any purpose. Mr. Brin and Ms. Wojcicki earmarked the other half for the foundation’s research into LRRK2, a gene that in mutated form has been linked to Parkinson disease.
Previously, the couple gave $63-million. On his blog, Too, Mr. Brin has written about his family’s experiences with the disease. Both his mother and an aunt were diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and Mr. Brin found out he carries a Parkinson’s-related mutation of the LRRK2 gene. He wrote on his blog that he feels fortunate be able to support Parkinson’s research.
“Until the fountain of youth is discovered, all of us will have some conditions in our old age, only we don’t know what they will be,” he wrote. “I have a better guess than almost anyone else for what ills may be mine, and I have decades to prepare for it.”
—Maria Di Mento