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Macklin Foundation Pledges $2 Million to Rady Children’s to Advance Research and Develop New Therapies for Kawasaki Disease, A Life-Threatening Childhood Illness of Unknown Origin

Gift will establish an endowed chair to pursue promising discoveries and understand the cause of the mysterious condition.

SAN DIEGO – February 6, 2024 – The Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation has pledged $2 million to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego to establish the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation Endowed Chair in Kawasaki Disease Care and Research, in Recognition of Brooke Dawn, KD Survivor with the goal of developing new treatments, pursuing promising discoveries, improving diagnosis and outcomes, and understanding the causes of Kawasaki disease (KD).

A rare condition that typically affects children ages 5 and under, KD symptoms include high fever, rash, and inflammation of the blood vessels and heart. So far, KD’s cause is unknown, and the disease can be life-threatening if not treated quickly. Significant progress is being made in KD research and treatment through the Kawasaki Disease Clinic at Rady Children’s and the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UC San Diego.

“All of us at Rady Children’s are proud of our premier team of Kawasaki disease clinicians and researchers,” said Patrick Frias, MD, president and CEO of Rady Children’s. “This extraordinary investment from the Macklin Foundation will further our understanding of this disease and ultimately will benefit countless children here in San Diego and around the world.”

Rady Children’s has selected Jane C. Burns, MD, director of the Kawasaki Disease Clinic and Kawasaki Disease Research Center, as the inaugural Macklin Foundation Chair.

“I’m honored to be the first Macklin Foundation Chair at Rady Children’s and grateful for the foundation’s ongoing support of our work,” said Dr. Burns. “We care for about 90 new KD patients each year and 1,300 survivors across San Diego, including children with cardiac complications. Our team is composed of leading experts in this disease who provide excellent care for our patients. I’m excited to see the progress we will make on behalf of our young patients with this generous support.”

The Virginia-based Macklin Foundation has been the largest single funder of KD research and is a longtime supporter of KD innovations at Rady Children’s. The Foundation is named for the late Gordon Macklin, the first-ever president and CEO of NASDAQ, and his wife, the late Marilyn Macklin.

The Chair is being endowed in honor of Brooke Dawn who survived a battle with KD at age 4 and is now an ambassador for KD awareness. Brooke is the daughter of Donald Dawn, nephew of the Macklins and the foundation’s president.

Mr. Dawn stated, “The Macklin Foundation is endowing the KD care and research chair in order to help ensure that KD research and care remains a priority into the future.  Although much has been accomplished, much is left to do. We’ve worked for many years with Dr. Burns and her team and are convinced that they will continue to make great strides in improving diagnosis and therapies. Rady Children’s was the right place to make this further investment in KD research and treatment.”

Ben Metcalf

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:
Ranked as one of the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for 2023-2024, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego includes a 511-bed pediatric hospital that serves as the largest provider of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, southern Riverside and Imperial counties. With more than 40 locations, Rady Children’s is the only health system in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric health care and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit and find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.