Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation

Don and Patty Dawn with their daughter, Brooke.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, American businessman Gordon S. Macklin was the first president and CEO of the NASDAQ, the world's first electronic stock market, and served as its CEO from 1971 to 1987.

Gordon and his wife, Marilyn, established the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation to support those who are less fortunate from a health or economic perspective.  When the couple passed, Gordon's nephew Donald (Don) D. Dawn, assumed the role of the Foundation’s President.

When his daughter, Brooke, contracted Kawasaki disease in 2008, Don and his wife, Patty, were determined to understand this mysterious and largely unknown disease. Their search for answers led them to Jane C. Burns, MD, Director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital.

After lengthy discussions on research priorities for Kawasaki disease, the Macklin Foundation funded a UC San Diego study of adults with a history of Kawasaki disease to help discover what the future holds for children who have had Kawasaki disease. This was the first adult Kawasaki disease study to answer important questions about long-term outcomes in this patient population.

Completion of the project led the Dawns to wonder how philanthropy could continue to impact Kawasaki disease research. Dr. Burns explained her plans to discover the cause, create a simple diagnostic test and develop new treatments, and solve Kawasaki disease within the next five years. Patty and Don were confident that an investment by the Macklin Foundation in this important work would pay significant dividends in the future.

In support of Dr. Burns’ important research, the Macklin Foundation made a $2.5 million challenge grant to Rady Children’s that will match gifts made to Kawasaki disease research over the next four years. “Thanks to the important work of Dr. Burns and her team, we are on the brink of discovering the cause and ultimately ending the mystery of Kawasaki disease,” Don said. “Our hope is to inspire others to invest in life-saving research and to make this puzzling disease a thing of the past.”