The University Record, February 11, 2002

Actor to donate ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ winnings

By Kara Gavin
U-M Health System

When actor Robert Urich of “Vegas” and “Spencer for Hire” appears on the celebrity version of the popular game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” early this week, he might use a “life line” to help him get an answer right and win more money. But, no matter how much he wins, he’ll be throwing a real life line to people with the same kind of cancer he already has survived.

Urich will donate all of his winnings to the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Heather and Robert Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research, which he and his wife established two years ago after he was successfully treated for the disease by a University team. Urich traveled to the U-M for his treatment because of the Cancer Center’s national reputation for advanced care and cutting-edge research on sarcoma, a rare and challenging group of cancers that arise in connective tissues such as muscles, cartilage, tendons and bones.

According to the National Cancer Institute, sarcomas strike more than 11,000 people a year, killing more than 5,000. The Urich fund is designed to accelerate the pace of research on the disease, through support for laboratory and clinical studies.

“Mr. Urich knows firsthand that sarcoma is not an easy disease to find in time or treat effectively, and that many people who develop it do not do as well as he has,” says Laurence Baker, co-director of the U-M’s connective tissue oncology program. “We’re tremendously grateful for his help in bringing attention and funding to the fight against all forms of sarcoma.”

Urich’s “Millionaire” winnings will be added to the more than $100,000 raised for the fund last November at the Robert Urich Golf Classic. He will appear on the ABC network show on a yet to be announced night.