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Philanthropist donates $10M to medical center

The founder of the nation’s largest truck stop chain has donated $10 million for neuromuscular and cancer research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The gift, announced Monday, was made by E. Philip Saunders of Dansville, founder of what is now known as TravelCenters of America and creator of the Sugar Creek convenience store chain now owned by Williamsville-based Tops Markets.

The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports that one of Saunders got to know the doctor in charge of the medical center’s Neuromuscular Disease Center when his daughter was being treated for an autoimmune disease in the late 1980s. The newspaper reports that his other daughter is receiving cancer treatment through the medical center.

Saunders founded a truck stop company that merged with Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America.