Steve Fox is donating $25 million to establish a cancer treatment center at Texas Tech University after his own cancer went into remission.
More than 20 years ago, Steve Fox, car salesman and owner of several dealerships in El Paso, Texas, was diagnosed with severe tongue and throat cancer.
“Being a (car) salesman, I thought I’m going to make a deal with God. So, I made a promise that if God allowed me to survive, I would spend the rest of my life helping those who followed me with cancer,” Fox said during a ceremony hosted to announce the donation.
His cancer went into remission. And now that he’s able, he’s putting his vow into action.
The $25 million donation to Texas Tech University will help staff a planned cancer treatment facility in El Paso. The facility, built with a $65 million grant from the Texas legislature, will be known as the Steve and Nancy Fox Cancer Center.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in El Paso County, especially among the Hispanic community which is the majority there. Currently, many cancer patients have to travel out of state to Tucson or Albuquerque, or like Fox, as far as Houston, for specialist care, but the center will change that.
Fox says traveling for cancer treatments outside of town is physically and mentally taxing, making the battle against cancer more challenging.
The 90,000-square-foot facility is projected to begin outfitting next summer, possibly opening in 2025 or 2026.
“This (donation) will transform cancer care, treatment and research here and across the border,” Dr. Richard Lange, president of the Texas Tech El Paso campus, said at the ceremony.
Cancer kills around 600,000 people per year in the U.S., the second-most prevalent cause of death in the United States. Texas’s cancer rates are slightly higher than the average. And per capita, Hispanic people die of cancer at twice the rate of the general population.