Chip Wilson announces new venture philanthropic organization Solve FSHD
The Lululemon founder will invest $100 million to find a cure for the disease he has.
Say this for Chip Wilson: Usually, when he does something, he does it big.
That was the case this week, as the erstwhile founder of Lululemon and current owner of Vancouver’s most expensive home announced a new organization called Solve FSHD. A philanthropic venture that will seek to find a cure for FSHD (facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy)—a disorder characterized by muscle weakness and wasting that Wilson himself has—Solve FSHD will pledge $100 million in its mission.
The organization, which Wilson calls “more of a company than a foundation,” will invest in ground-breaking companies and technologies around the world that are geared towards finding a cure for FSHD.
He’s confident that Solve FSHD can find a cure by the end of 2027. “I’m out for survival, and I have the resources to do something about something that affects so many people in the world,” Wilson said at a press conference earlier this week. “I’m fortunate to have the money and the resources to be able to hire and align myself with great people—people in pharma and academics are the heroes of this.”
One such person is Eva Chin, a global expert in science, academics and pharma and the executive director of Solve FSHD.
“There’s a global community of people working on FSHD,” said Chin, who estimated that 60-to-70 percent of the funding will go toward biotech innovation. “They’ve Identified some of the causes and molecular pathway that lead to some of the deficits and the ability to walk and take care of oneself. We can take new therapies into trials; the cure is not far away.”
Wilson himself predicted that he is not far away from being unable to walk. “I thought I was going to be okay,” said Wilson. “Then, four years ago, it started to affect my lower body—I started to fall and trip. The solar plexus muscles are going, the back muscles are going. If it continues, I expect in seven to 10 years I’ll be in a wheelchair. We’re going to have a solution for FSHD by December 31st 2027, or at least be able to replace muscle faster than its fading.”