NBA owner putting millions toward stroke care, health research in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — The family foundation of NBA team owner Dan Gilbert will give nearly $375 million for a 72-bed rehabilitation center for stroke patients in Detroit and a research institute that will focus on a genetic disease that afflicted his son, officials announced Wednesday.

Gilbert, the billionaire owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and founder of Detroit-based Rocket Companies, had a stroke in 2019 and received extensive care in Chicago. He said his foundation would create a $10 million fund to help low-income residents who get care at the new Detroit rehab center.

“I’m forever grateful to the doctors, nurses, therapists and staff who helped me improve every day," Gilbert said. “However, while there I met many other patients who could not get all the rehabilitative care they need because insurance limited the number of hours covered.”

The rehab center will be managed by the Chicago-based Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and become part of an expansion by Henry Ford Health, a major Detroit health-care provider.

Gilbert's foundation is also creating the Nick Gilbert Neurofibromatosis Research Institute with Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University.

Nick Gilbert died in May at age 26. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to develop in the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.

"Today, we double down on our commitment and honor Nick’s passion for a future without neurofibromatosis,” his mother, Jennifer Gilbert, said.