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July 19, 2017

Their name may be on a UCI building, but members of the Chao family prefer working behind the scenes to improve the health of the community. Since their first gift to the university in 1995, three generations of Chaos have given nearly $30 million to the campus, quietly reshaping cancer research and care in Orange County and beyond. Recently, the second-eldest of the four Chao siblings, Allen Chao, agreed to discuss the story behind the family’s philanthropy, but only because doing so might raise awareness of UC Irvine Health’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center as a community resource. The tale he tells includes a brush with death, a tranquilizer that treats schizophrenia and a dash of motherly wisdom. It begins in the late 1960s, when the siblings – Allen, Agnes, Phylis and Richard – trickled out of Taiwan to attend colleges in the U.S.  …