Music legend Dolly Parton learned that her donation was partly used to fund the promising Covid-19 vaccine research lead by Moderna.
In April, less than a month after Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s research.
More than seven months later, she discovered that her name appeared among the sponsors of the vaccine along with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Emory University.
“Praise the lord!” she said in an interview.
“I’m just very grateful that this is happening, and if I had anything to do with it, that’s great.”
Parton shared how honored she is to be a small piece of what could be an essential treatment for the dreaded disease.
“I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she said.
“I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic.”
She initially donated to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Covid-19 research efforts in honor of her long-time friend, Dr Naji Abumrad.
The two met when Parton was left bruised on a minor car accident back in October 2013, and sought medical advice at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Abumrad, a physician and professor of surgery, knew nothing about of Parton’s fame but befriended her because he deeply enjoyed their talks about current events and science.
The doctor recalled how Parton’s curiosity about Vanderbilt’s research led to her helping through her generous donation during its early stages.
“Her work made it possible to expedite the science behind the testing,” said Abumrad.
“Without a doubt in my mind, her funding made the research toward the vaccine go 10 times faster than it would be without it.”