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Cornelius News

Tallardy’s give $1 million to Atrium for cancer research

Photo: Atrium

March 24. A daughter and son-in-law of the late Dr. Claude Hardison McConnell and Dr. Mary Jane McConnell, beloved local optometrists, have donated $1 million to Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute. The gift will establish the Gayle J. and Charles C. Tallardy III Foundation Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research Endowment.


—David M. Foureau, associate professor of medicine and research group director of Levine Cancer Institute’s Immune Monitoring Core Laboratory, is the first recipient of the chair.


Gayle Tallardy established the Gayle J. and Charles C. Tallardy III Foundation, inspired by her interest in science and her family’s experiences with cancer. Her father battled melanoma. After his passing two years ago at the age of 95, the Tallardy’s were moved to support immunotherapy, according to Atrium Health. Her mother passed away at 85 in 2012.

The McConnell’s first office was located in what is now the second floor of the Kindred restaurant in Davidson. They had offices in Davidson and Mooresville, retiring after 40 years of practice.

—The family lived on a street originally called Farrier Lane in Davidson. “My mother did not like the name so she petitioned the Town of Davidson to change the name of the street to Dogwood Lane,” said Gayle’s brother Hardison “Hardy” McConnell, a member of the Cornelius Planning Board.

Gayle and Charles Tallardy

Opportunity to give back

Gayle and Carl toured the translational research laboratory at Levine Cancer Institute and immediately saw an opportunity to meaningfully impact the trajectory of cancer care in the greater Charlotte region.

“We are honored to stand behind Levine Cancer Institute’s commitment to research, allowing clinicians to move beyond simply treating patients, to developing lifesaving cures,” said Gayle Tallardy.