Press Release

January 23, 2006


Tax Check-off for Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s and breast,
cervical and ovarian cancer research

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois taxpayers have the opportunity to contribute to special research funds for Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and breast, cervical and ovarian cancer when filing their 2005 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 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 211,000 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 more than $3 million to support 130 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 has received almost $216,000 since it first appeared on the 2003 state income tax form.

Money given to the Penny Severns Breast, Cervical and Ovarian 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 approximately 200 die annually from the disease. Since the fund first appeared on the 1993 state tax form, $2.3 million has been donated to help fund 109 research projects.

Taxpayers can donate $1 or more to the Alzheimer’s disease fund (line 28c of the 2005 IL-1040 state income tax return), the Lou Gehrig’s disease fund (line 28h) or the breast, cervical and ovarian 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.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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