JK Rowling’s tribute to her mother

JK Rowling has created a beacon of hope for MS sufferers in honour of her mother

As patron of the Multiple Sclerosis society Rowling founded the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, at the University of Edinburgh with £10 million, in memory of her mother. Her mother was diagnosed with MS at the age of 35 and died on New year's day at the age 45, when Rowling was 25.

“I remember feeling as though there was a paving slab pressing down upon my chest, a literal pain in my heart.”

Anne Rowling with her eldest Joanne Rowling and her sister Dianne.
Anne Rowling with her eldest daughter Joanne and Dianne.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban we’re introduced to Remus Lupin, the Defence Against Dark Arts professor who was a friend of Harry’s father. He is also a werewolf, and every full moon has to undergo a painful transformation; he is driven out of his mind and his body is no longer his own.

Remus Lupin looking soulful
Seized by a maddening hunger werewolves actively seek humans over any other prey.

MS attacks the communication tissue between nerves in the spine and brain, it can strip sufferers of sovereignty of their body. In the wizarding world the potion Wolfsbane is invented, Snape makes it for Lupin at Hogwarts and his condition becomes manageable. The Anne Rowling Clinic strives to create a MS-bane.

Her mother was a school chemistry lab technician and Rowling said 'I know that she would rather have had her name on this clinic than on any statue, flower garden or commemorative plaque, so this donation is on her behalf and in gratitude for everything she gave me in her far too short life.'

The university described her help as ‘quite astonishing’ and in 2010 recognised all her tireless charity work with a benefactors award:

3:30 seconds. We visit this location on the tour

It was the largest single gift the university has ever received and they said her donation had "given hope to thousands of people with the incurable diseases". You can see how heartfelt the effort is to her by her reaction at the end of the segment.

Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks kick ass
"Ignium". When Lumos can't quite get it done.

JK Rowling spends one day a week on charity work, she's the promoter giving oxygen to causes. She's impassioned and would like to do more but said she'd just become static.

Discover more about Rowling's charity work & it's impact upon the saga on

JK Rowling's Edina, a Harry Potter tour


Discover the building Edinburgh university students call Hogwarts.

Art Credits
Elena Mellado's Remus and TonksCartoon Silver Fox's Lupin in pencil