Lymphoma Action celebrates Paul Allen

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has sadly died from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Paul Allen quote

We would like to take this opportunity to recognise the fantastic contributions he made.

Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 after dropping out of Washington State University and convincing Bill to drop out of Harvard University. Paul and Bill were school friends who shared a great enthusiasm for computers and went on to change the world with their company. 

Paul was a great philanthropist, and was the founder of the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Institute for Cell Science, amongst others. Over his lifetime, he gave more than $2 billion to causes such as education, wildlife / environmental conservation, the arts and healthcare. His contribution to the world of science and technology will not be forgotten, and he will be remembered as one of the most influential people of the early 21st century. 

Paul was diagnosed with ‘Hodgkin disease’ (now called Hodgkin lymphoma) in 1982. He was successfully treated and continued to be a huge influence in the world of business, technology, conservation and sports team ownership after leaving Microsoft. 

In 2009, Paul announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma can lead to an increased risk of secondary cancers later in life, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A lot of the research and development in treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma over the last 30 years has focused on reducing this risk of secondary cancers. This has led to changes in the way that radiotherapy is targeted, and the development of standard chemotherapy regimens (combinations of drugs) with a lower risk of causing a second cancer than regimens used in the past. 

Paul was successfully treated for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009, but unfortunately, 2 weeks ago, he announced that his non-Hodgkin lymphoma had relapsed (come back) and he was back on treatment. The official announcement from Vulcan Inc. (who managed his business and philanthropic efforts) states that he sadly died from complications on Monday night. More details have not been released, but ‘complications’ often means that the person died from something related to their cancer or its treatment, but not from the actual cancer itself. For example, a severe infection or a blood clot. 

Everyone at Lymphoma Action extends their deepest sympathies to his family and friends.