Lee Foundation Donates $10,000 To UNYTS

March 16, 2011 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Lee Foundation Donates $10,000 To UNYTS

March 16, 2011 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Former Republican Congressman Chris Lee visited the offices of UNYTS ( Upstate New York Transplant Services ) on Tuesday to personally deliver a donation to the organization on behalf of the Patrick Lee Foundation.

Eyewitness News confirmed with a spokesperson for the organization that the $10,000 grant had been agreed to before the recent controversy surrounding Lee that resulted in his abrupt resignation several weeks ago.

He has not been seen in public since.

The spokesperson later went on to say that everyone was surprised by his visit, and that he was very gracious and kind.

The following is the release from UNYTS:

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to UNYTS to support its Tissue Acquisition Program for Roswell Cancer Research on Tuesday.

In May 2006, UNYTS began providing tissue samples to Roswell Park Cancer Institute for cancer research. The on-going program allows RPCI investigators to study the molecular mechanism of cancer initiation & growth and to develop better methods to diagnose, treat, and cure cancer.

Through the partnership with RPCI, UNYTS is able to identify, consent and obtain tissue samples of end stage cancer and provide the collected tissue to RPCI investigators for research. This is a unique collaboration, and the only one of its kind in New York State.

The collaboration is a comprehensive program that will enrich the cancer research efforts at RPCI and across the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The purpose of the program is to obtain and bank tissue samples for research that are not available through standard surgical procedures. UNYTS collects tissue from both healthy donors and those with end-stage cancer. Initially, efforts focused on cancerous and normal prostate tissue, but UNYTS’ goal is to expand the project by collecting tissue from other parts of the body, which will meet the needs of research groups working in multiple organ sites.

The goal is to find a better means to diagnose, treat, & cure cancer by banking increased tissue samples from both normal and cancer donors as the collaboration becomes more established and expands to include multiple organ and tissue sites. The tissue UNYTS collects will provide previously unattainable research materials needed by RPCI investigators.

UNYTS is among the leading tissue procurement organizations in the United States. In 2007, UNYTS collected 1,971 tissue samples for researchers nationwide. UNYTS employs full-time recovery technicians who perform surgical recovery of tissue for transplantation and research.

Located in Key Largo, FL and Amherst, NY, the Patrick P. Lee Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing support to non-profit organizations that empowers families and communities with the resources needed to create positive change in areas of education, cancer treatment/research, mental health and human services in South Florida and Western New York. For more information, visit www.patrickpleefoundation.org .