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Jan 27, 2010 12:27 AM by Carina Corral

Musician Jack Johnson donates to UCSB's disabled students

Jack Johnson, singer and U.C. Santa Barbara alumnus, has donated $50,000 to the school's Disabled Students Program.

The gift will go to the Danny Riley Fund, which helps undergraduates with cancer and other serious illnesses to pursue their education at UCSB by providing support for financial aid, medication, housing, adaptive equipment, home care, transportation, family visits, and other special needs.

Danny Riley was Johnson's cousin who was attending UCSB when he died of brain cancer in 2007.

"Our cousin, Danny Riley, lived life to the fullest and didn't let his battle with cancer deter him from his dream of attending UCSB," said Jack Johnson. "Kim (Johnson's wife) and I created the Danny Riley Fund to support students who face similar challenges and to pass along Danny's zest for life," said Jack Johnson.

Gary White, director of the campus's Disabled Students Program, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Johnsons for their important contribution. "The Danny Riley Fund is already helping students by making it possible for parents to be here at critical times," he said. "This very generous gift will greatly enhance the services we provide."

Riley, Kim Johnson's cousin, was diagnosed with brain cancer in his junior year of high school.

He wrote about the experience on his application to UCSB, noting that "living a normal life with cancer" was one of his "proudest achievements."

Despite interruptions for medical treatment, he was an honor student at UCSB.

Riley shared Jack Johnson's passion for music and sang background vocals on one of his recordings.

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