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American Girl founder donates $10 million toward University Hospital transplant clinic

Artistic renderings of the new transplant clinic at University Hospital in Madison.
Artistic renderings of the new transplant clinic at University Hospital in Madison.(UW Health)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 3:13 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2021 at 3:15 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The founder of American Girl donated $10 million Tuesday toward a new transplant clinic at University Hospital, and UW Health noted this donation may be one of her most personal yet.

Pleasant Rowland, best known for being the founder of Middleton’s Pleasant Company that became American Girl, underwent a kidney transplant herself in 2012 after having been in kidney failure for almost 20 years.

According to a news release, Rowland had her transplant at University Hospital. She said it felt nearly impossible to thank her kidney donor enough, as well as the doctors and staff that made it happen.

“This gift today is my way of saying thank you to the team for the incredible care I received here, to the many donors and their families for making such a selfless choice, and as a gift to all the transplant recipients who will come here seeking a second chance at life,” Rowland said.

UW Health explained that Rowland’s gift will go toward clinical and operational growth of the new facility.

The $20 million project will allow the relocation of their current transplant clinic to the main floor of University Hospital. UW Health will be able to expand the clinical space, allow easier access into the clinic and provide a family lounge.

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