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'Apprentice' Winner Rancic Establishes Kidney Cancer Fund

Bill Rancic, self-made millionaire and winner of The Apprentice reality television show, visited the Clinical Center recently to thank NIH staff for the care of his father, Ed Rancic, a kidney cancer patient. In 2000, Dr. Ed Rancic enrolled in the NHLBI intramural allogeneic transplant trial, but his cancer was very advanced and aggressive and he died shortly after returning home to Chicago. To commemorate his father, Bill plans to establish an NIH fund for the advancement of biomedical research in stem cell transplantation to treat kidney cancer.

NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni (c) and Dr. Richard Childs (r), senior investigator in NHLBI's Hematology Branch greet Bill Rancic in the new Clinical Research Center.

According to NHLBI investigator Dr. Richard Childs, who treated Ed Rancic, "Bill felt that NIH gave his father hope when everyone else had already written him off."

One of Bill's personal goals, now that he has realized his dream of working with Donald Trump, is to help the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) fight against kidney cancer. The foundation will administer the research fund. According to Childs, Bill hopes the fund will stimulate interest in NIH research and encourage young scientists to study novel treatment methods to improve the outcome in kidney cancer patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

"[Bill] has a wonderful personality and radiates energy and optimism, and I think he would be a terrific unofficial spokesman and advocate for the research we are conducting here in the intramural program," said Childs.

While visiting NIH, Bill met with NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni and NHLBI acting director Dr. Barbara Alving, toured the new Clinical Research Center and had lunch with the hematology nursing staff and research team, and later met with FNIH. Other activities included one-on-one meetings with Dr. Neal Young, chief of NHLBI's Hematology Branch; Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, NHLBI scientific director; and Dr. Marston Linehan, chief, Urologic Oncology Branch, NCI.

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