Press Release

January 27, 2005

TAXPAYERS CAN DONATE TO DISEASE RESEARCH FUNDS

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois taxpayers have the opportunity to contribute to special research funds for Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and breast and cervical cancer when filing their 2004 Illinois income tax returns.

“By contributing to these funds, Illinoisans can help support critical research,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “Illinois taxpayers have shown their commitment to help fight these diseases over the years and I would urge them to continue their support.”

Money contributed to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund is used to find a cause, cure and more effective ways to diagnose and treat this debilitating disease, which afflicts about 222,300 people in Illinois. Victims of this age-related form of dementia suffer a progressive loss of memory, attention span and the ability to learn. Since the fund first appeared on the 1985 state tax form, taxpayers have contributed nearly $2.9 million to support 124 research projects.

Donations to the Lou Gehrig’s Disease Research Fund will be used to make grants to the Les Turner ALS Foundation, which is affiliated with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord and eventually leads to death. More than 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year. In Illinois, nearly 200 people die each year of the disease. The fund received nearly $108,000 last year when it first appeared on the state income tax form.

Money given to the Penny Severns Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Fund, named for the former state Sen. Penny Severns of Decatur who died in 1998 from breast cancer, is used to advance the understanding and techniques effective in early detection, prevention and treatment. One out of every eight American women will develop breast cancer during her life. More than 46,000 women in the United States will die this year from the disease – 2,200 of them in Illinois. In addition, an average of 700 Illinois women each year learn they have invasive cervical cancer and more than 200 die annually from the disease. Since the fund first appeared on the 1993 state tax form, $2.1 million has been donated to help fund 95 research projects.

Taxpayers can donate $1 or more to the Alzheimer’s disease fund (line 28c of the 2004 IL-1040 state income tax return), the Lou Gehrig’s disease fund (line 28h) or the breast and cervical cancer fund (line 28e). Donations may be made to more than one fund. The amount contributed will either be deducted from any refund or added to the amount due. All donations are tax deductible.

A fund must generate a minimum of $100,000 each year in order to appear on the next year’s tax form.

Direct contributions also may be made to the Department’s funds by sending a check, payable to the Illinois Department of Public Health, P.O. Box 4263, Springfield, IL 62708. The designated fund should be clearly noted on the check.

 

 

 

 

 

 





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