With one of the largest philanthropic gifts in the MGH’s more than 200-year history, philanthropists James S. and Carol J. Herscot have committed $50 million to support a variety of capital projects, initiatives, and the Center for Children and Adults with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) that bears their name. In honor of their generous and historic support, the MGH will name the building that houses the Herscot Center – the Carol and James Herscot Building. The outpatient facility is located at 175 Cambridge St. in Boston’s Charles River Plaza. 

“Jim and Carol have been among the hospital’s strongest supporters and champions for more than 50 years,” says Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “Through founding the Herscot Center and providing vital support for other hospitalwide efforts, their vision, friendship and generosity has been enormously helpful to advancing the MGH mission.”

The gift was announced Feb. 5 during a reception at the Palm Beach, Florida, home of longtime hospital benefactors Gerald R. Jordan, Jr., director of MGH President’s Council, and Darlene Jordan, a member of the MGH Fund Leadership Council.The dinner featured remarks from Slavin and Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc, chief of Neurology at MGH.

The Herscot family legacy is one of steadfast commitment to supporting the very best in patient care, advancing the latest science and educating the next generation of caregivers. Thanks to a $10 million gift in 2005, the hospital established the Herscot Center for Children and Adults with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Another gift of $17.5 million gift followed in 2017.

TSC is a rare genetic disorder that affects 40,000 to 80,000 people in the United States and as many as 2 million people worldwide. In TSC patients, tumors grow throughout the body, and the disease alters fundamental cellular signals and can affect every organ in the body, including skin, kidneys, heart, liver and lungs. One of the most frequently affected organs is the brain, where it causes a wide variety of symptoms such as seizures, autism, cognitive impairment and mental health disorders. Because of the wide variation and range of symptoms, the disease is often misdiagnosed.

For the Herscots, the center’s mission and work is personal. Their son Brad was diagnosed with TSC nearly 50 years ago and since that time, the Herscots have devoted themselves to helping other patients and families affected by the disease.

Led by Elizabeth Thiele, MD, PhD, a world expert in TSC and epilepsy, the Herscot Center seeks to improve diagnosis, treatment and research of TSC. It has become one of the largest centers of its kind, providing comprehensive clinical care to hundreds of patients annually. The Herscot Center also performs and publishes important clinical research that improves understanding of TSC and helps to educate physicians worldwide about its diagnosis and treatment.



Read more articles from the 02/08/19 Hotline issue.