EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Auto dealer Steve Fox and family has given Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso $25 million to support a “future comprehensive cancer center” to be built on campus.

Fox is president and chief executive officer of Fox Auto Team, a group of car dealerships based in El Paso. The Fox family’s gift will “support clinical trials, research and recruitment of world-class physicians, nurses and researchers to the center,” according to the news release.

Fox is a “cancer warrior” who battled stage 4 tongue and neck cancer over 22 years ago.

The center will be named the Steve and Nancy Fox Cancer Center, TTUHSC El Paso announced.

“When you have the diagnosis of cancer, what you want is the best possible outcome, which is to be cured,” Fox said. “You know in your mind, in your heart, that often times the best treatment option is not in El Paso. You end up having to travel, which is very difficult. Sometimes your work doesn’t allow you to go. You have a wife at home with small children. It compounds the stress of fighting cancer. What you want to know is that you’re receiving world-class care. We’re working on that with the new cancer center in El Paso and I’m optimistic that we’ll deliver, for the vast majority of cancer patients, world-class care. I truly believe that.”

The Texas Legislature approved a $65 million appropriation in the 2024-25 state budget for planning and building the center.

The Fox Cancer Center will “consolidate outpatient services such as cancer imaging, treatment, research and clinical trials, and outreach programs under one umbrella,” according to the news release.

“We stand at the threshold of a momentous chapter in our university’s and our community’s history as we embark on a transformative journey to create a cutting-edge cancer center,” said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “This endeavor exemplifies our unwavering commitment to advancing knowledge, extending compassion, and fostering hope for families in our Borderplex. With a dedication to innovative research, multidisciplinary collaboration, and patient-centered care, our vision for the cancer center is to be a beacon of progress in the fight against cancer. I am deeply grateful to Steve and Nancy Fox for transforming dreams into reality by helping to bring this cancer center to life. Together, we’ll bring forth a brighter, healthier future for our community and beyond, as we embark on a mission to conquer cancer, one discovery at a time.”

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Hispanic population, and addressing health care disparities in this area is critical, particularly when it comes to research, according to TTUHSC El Paso.

In El Paso, which has an 83% Hispanic population, there is an annual average of 395 cancer cases per 100,000 Hispanics, according to the National Cancer Institute. That’s trending above Texas’ average of 346 cases per 100,000.