Iconic Houston businessman Jim McIngvale lives for his family and his work.
"I started Gallery Furniture in 1981. We're still at it 35 years later," he says. "We have fun every day taking care of customers and trying to benefit the community."
Better known as "Mattress Mack," McIngvale opened Gallery Furniture, now a major retailer, with just $5,000. After he crafted the signature tag line -- "Gallery Furniture will save you money!" -- business began to boom. Today, Gallery Furniture has expanded to three stores and includes a gigantic furniture warehouse.
Yet one thing has remained the same throughout the years - McIngvale's passion for giving back. Recently, he made a $500,000 gift to MD Anderson.
"I first heard about MD Anderson while playing football for The University of Texas. Freddie Steinmark went there in 1969," McIngvale recalls. "It was clear that MD Anderson was a very special place."
"My father was diagnosed with liver cancer," says McIngvale. "Dr. Stroehlein, along with Dr. Papadopoulos, helped him live an extra 20 years."
Over the years, McIngvale and Stroehlein have grown even closer, with Stroehlein treating many Gallery Furniture employees and even "Mattress Mack" himself. McIngvale's gift will support two unique studies led by Stroehlein. The first clinical trial aims to understand the efficacy of domperidone, a drug used to relieve nausea. The second study focuses on MD Anderson's geriatric population.
"Jim's generosity knows no bounds," says Stroehlein. "His compassion for helping others, whether they be his own employees or complete strangers, will have an impact on cancer patients worldwide for years to come."
MD Anderson saves lives every day, says McIngvale.
"I'm happy to support Dr. Stroehlein and his work because this institution is dedicated to patients and improvements in health care," he says. "That's what Houston is all about - helping people and improving people's lives."