Your Dollars at Work
Walkin’ The Walk! A Peek at This Year’s Walk from Paul!
Dear Weekend Participants,
The most powerful force on earth is a large group of over 4,000 women and men with a just cause who decide they want to change the world. This is the best and most accurate description of the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers that I can think of. September 8 and 9, 2012 will mark the tenth year of the Walk - our “10 Years Strong” celebration! It is going to be the best Weekend ever!
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised across Canada by the remarkable women and men of the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. The walking is not easy…..32 km on Saturday and 28 km on Sunday for a grand total of 60 km for the two day walkers. Fundraising is also challenging in that a two day walker must raise $2,000 and one day walkers commit to raising $1,250. However, we know that anyone can do it you are fully supported with fundraising and training advice from the time you register. We have 16 year old students who do the walk, and the amazing 99-year old Kitty Cohen. This is truly a walk for all walks of life!
So why do these brave and spirited women and men sign up to walk? We all want to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime…..and particularly we want to End Women’s Cancers in Our Lifetime! We have made significant progress at The Princess Margaret in women’s cancers research, clinical enhancements and survivorship programs, but there is more to be done, and we need your help. We have recently launched our BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE, a five-year initiative to help revolutionize cancer care by creating a new gold standard of Personalized Cancer Medicine at The Princess Margaret. Every patient is unique. Every patient's cancer is different. So it follows that individualized treatment will get the best results. As one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, The Princess Margaret has the responsibility to lead the way in improving the standard of care for patients in the province, across Canada and around the world. Changing the paradigm of cancer medicine requires a major investment. The donations you make and raise for The Princess Margaret over the next 5 years will make Personalized Cancer Medicine a reality.
We are going to have another incredible event in 2012! We’re 10 Years Strong and in recognition of the amazing accomplishments made possible by Weekend walkers through the years, we have some special announcements. We are returning to the classic route which will take you by the waterfront and through some of the most beautiful and diverse neighborhoods of Toronto. We will be starting and ending at Exhibition Place, and camping at Downsview Park.
Walking past The Princess Margaret is a highlight for all our walkers, and we’ll stop here on Saturday morning for pictures, cheers and high fives with hospital staff and volunteers by the score. We’ve planned a special Friday night pre-party and an amazing all-star musical line-up to entertain us throughout the Weekend, including Divine Brown, Michael Burgess and Glass Tiger! This year we are especially pleased to have Pickle Barrel & Rose Reisman Catering as our official Weekend Caterers and camp dinner sponsors.
Get ready, veteran walkers, for some exciting changes and delightful surprises. Newbies, get ready for a weekend that will change your life. I can’t wait to see you and start walking!!!! “10 Years Strong” will be the BEST WALK YET!!! See you on September 8 and 9!!!
IT WILL BE AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME!
Paul Alofs (9 Year Walker)
President & CEO
Click on the image to read and download our full report of how we're using your fundraising to help end women's cancers:
Our Report on Women's Cancers
Princess Margaret Hospital has provided an amazing resource for participants of the Weekend to End Women's Cancers to aid your fundraising! Simply click on the link below for an interactive report that explains how YOUR funds help research, cancer prevention, and treatment of women's cancers at Princess Maragaret Hospital. You can view the report which includes short videos with our leading doctors and researchers, or download it in handy pdf form to send out to potential donors! The choice is yours. Just click on the image below to get started!
Be Inspired by Dr. Tak Mak
Thank You, Walkers
The 2012 Weekend will mark the tenth year we have walked together.
These ten years of shared experiences have formed a long-lasting bond between us, and I am ever grateful for your support and, above all, for your trust.
I can promise you this: as researchers we will do all in our power to reward that trust.
With your help, in 2004 we launched the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. Today that Institute houses over 100 researchers and clinicians who are working ceaselessly to bring about the defeat of this devastating disease.
However, these past years have shown us that ours is a mission that cannot be achieved by a small group in a short time.
Several years ago, with your help, we took our battle beyond the borders of Ontario and joined forces with the formidable team of Dr. Dennis Slamon at UCLA. Dennis is the inventor of Herceptin, the only sharp-shooting drug for breast cancer to date. Since then, we have gained two more outstanding allies in our fight: Dr. Sam Aparicio of the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, and Dr. Jeff Pollard of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. We share a joint vision, and we will all work together, sometimes slowly but always methodically, and in the end, we will learn why breast cancer starts and how to stop it.
As we approach the ten year mark, we can rejoice in significant progress. We now know that breast cancer is not one disease, but several different ones. Some have been easy to characterize, but others remain a difficult challenge.
So, I once again thank you for your continued support. Rest assured that the research community shares your dreams, and that we remain united with you in our cause to make women’s cancers, and eventually all cancers, a nightmare of the past.
The walkers, crew, volunteers, supporters and donors of The Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women’s Cancers™ throughout the years are extremely important to breast and gynecologic cancer work at The Princess Margaret. All funds raised for The Weekend are advancing Personalized Cancer Medicine in critical areas such as:
- $45.5 million to The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research led by Dr. Tak Mak, with 11 Principal Investigators and over 130 staff.
- $5.2 million to purchase cutting edge research equipment and support breast cancer research activities in the PMH research expansion at MaRS (Medical and Related Science).
- $3 million to create The Weekend to End Breast Cancer Chair in Breast Cancer Research, held by Dr. Tak Mak, a world renowned cancer research scientist.
- $1.5 million to the Walker Innovation Program, which supports researchers and new ideas that have the potential for advancing scientific knowledge of breast cancer.
- $1.3 million to support Dr. Norman Boyd’s research into breast cancer prevention, focusing on the understanding of mammographic density as a risk factor.
- $1.8 million to support Mass Spectrometer program.
- Funding to support Dr. Pamela Ohashi’s research into T-cell activation and boosting the immune system to fight breast tumours.
- $3.9 million toward a comprehensive breast imaging program and the purchase of a breast MRI and digital mammography machine.
- $3 million toward a newly revamped and re-designed M. Lau Breast Centre that provides complete care for breast cancer patients.
- $2.4 million to support clinical trials for breast cancer patients, and $500,000 for fellowship program.
- $2 million to support an extensive Tumour Bank, database maintenance and pathology renovations.
- $1.3 million to support Dr. David McCready’s rapid diagnosis pilot study, which is now The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre and sees up to 750 patients a year.
- $550,000 to support the clinical trial of intraoperative radiation therapy, led by Dr. David McCready and Dr. Anthony Fyles.
- $250,000 toward the design and creation of the new Conway Chemotherapy and Transfusion Centre, the largest centre of its kind in North America.
- $400,000 to support the surgical robotics program for gynecological cancer patients.
- $160,000 toward the Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic, which now also provides genetic counselling for breast cancer patients.
- $2.2 million for other clinical enhancements and genetics research programs.
- $8.9 million for the establishment and continued support of the first in-hospital Survivorship Clinic and Program in Canada. This includes ELLICSR, a 12,000-square-foot innovative research centre, led by Dr. Pamela Catton, and www.caringvoices.ca, an award-winning online community for survivors and their families.
- $1 million to provide reconstructive breast surgery for women who have had breast cancer.
The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Hospital
The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute is recognized as one of the top 5 cancer research facilities in the world as measured by its number of new discoveries, the quality of its research, its reputation and its overall impact on conquering cancer in our lifetime.
- Scientific excellence
- Relevance of research to the clinic
- Ability to bridge disciplines
The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute was launched in June 2004 thanks to an extraordinarily generous gift of $25 million from the late Audrey Campbell and her three daughters. In addition, Susan Grange donated $5 million to support the innovative work of Dr. David Jaffray in the area of image-guided radiation.
The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute, supported by the significant and long term commitment of the Campbell Family, is an international powerhouse supported by The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI). The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute leads the world in many of the most promising areas of cancer research such as tumour metabolism, cancer stem cells, cancer genomics, proteomics, informatics and molecular imaging/guided therapeutics. The Campbell Family Institute builds on the breast cancer research work of internationally recognized Dr. Tak Mak, and his team, to benefit all cancers.
The sustainable development of The Campbell Family Institute will depends on the close integration of people and resources, enabling maximum global impact in the fight against cancer.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ben Neel, The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute capitalizes on the work of existing stars such as Dr. Tak Mak, Dr. John Dick (cancer stem cells) and Dr. David Jaffray (radiation medicine and physics) and a long list of distinguished researchers, to accelerate the pace of cancer research, facilitating the translation of scientific advances into new life-saving therapies that will help us in our collective efforts to CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME.
The vision of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute is to be recognized as one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world as measured by its number of new discoveries, the quality of its research, its reputation and its overall impact on conquering cancer.
A Message from The Princess Margaret’s Leaders in Personalized Cancer Medicine
At The Princess Margaret, we are excited to be leading a new integrated approach to cancer treatment called Personalized Cancer Medicine.
This approach will include using a patient’s genetic information to more precisely diagnose their cancer and tailor the most effective treatment for them.
But Personalized Cancer Medicine at The Princess Margaret is so much more. We have always focused on the individual needs of each patient and not just their disease.
That is why we have:
- Developed award-winning clinical programs to assist our patients and their families
- Recruited highly-skilled physicians and scientists who have the expertise to lead important research projects and clinical studies that improve the standard of care for patients
- Built integrated teams that include engineers, bioinformatics specialists and medicinal chemists. These teams are translating new technology and discoveries into improved therapies that will help more patients sooner
Our strong culture of innovation has made this centre a world leader in cancer research and treatment, and with your financial support, we will lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine.
Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz
Dr. Ben Neel
What is Personalized Cancer Medicine?
Over the past 50 years, our scientists and physicians have learned just how complex cancer is. Every patient and every patient’s cancer is unique.
There has been a clear understanding for some time that cancer is a very different disease depending on where it originates. So today, lung cancer is treated in a different way than colon or kidney cancer, or leukemia.
But more recently, new technology and insight have allowed us to see that the disease is even
more complex than that. There can be many forms of lung cancer or colon cancer, and a
genetic analysis of a tumour may be required to confirm the specifics of each patient’s disease.
The Princess Margaret is one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world with an outstanding reputation for breakthrough research, exemplary teaching and
Over the next five years, The Princess Margaret will be creating the blueprint, developing and implementing new procedures, and setting a gold standard for Personalized Cancer Medicine for all patients at The Princess Margaret, across Canada and around the world.
In addition to genetic analysis of tumours, this new approach to cancer treatment encompasses four main themes:
Detecting cancer earlier
If cancer is detected at an early stage, the prognosis for a complete remission is much improved. Our research teams are working on many early detection initiatives, including:
- Developing and testing better imaging equipment so small tumours can be seen more clearly
- Identifying unique ‘markers’ of cancers that can be detected in blood and serum tests
Diagnosing with more precision
New equipment and procedures that determine the specific genetic mutations or changes that
gave rise to a patient’s cancer are being tested at The Princess Margaret. This information will
enable the experts to recommend the optimal combination of drug and other therapies for
successfully treating each patient.
Targeting treatment for each patient
Improved surgical, radiation and drug treatments will target only the cancer and leave healthy
tissue alone, minimizing toxic side effects. Our scientists and doctors are testing new treatments that can more effectively detect and eradicate cancer cells leading to more durable cures.
Supporting patients and families throughout their cancer journey
Being well-informed about their disease, the treatment they will receive and the side effects
that can be expected gives patients and their families more confidence, reduces anxiety
and leads to improved quality of life. Our award-winning survivorship, patient education
and psychosocial support programs need to be expanded so that more patients can be
empowered throughout their personal cancer journey.
The Billion Dollar Challenge
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation is embarking on a BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE to continue our world-leading efforts to improve the standard of care for cancer patients at The Princess Margaret, across Canada and around the world.
This Challenge is a 5-year initiative to secure $1 billion to revolutionize cancer care by creating a new gold standard: Personalized Cancer Medicine.
Every patient is unique. Every patient’s cancer is different. So it follows that individualized treatment will get the best results.
Changing the paradigm of cancer medicine requires a major investment. The BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE includes the largest single fundraising campaign in the history of Canadian healthcare.
Our scientists and physicians have an excellent track record of leveraging the financial support they receive. So to meet this challenge, we’re reaching out to our donor community with a goal of $500 million which our researchers hope to match with $500 million in research grants.
Your support of The Weekend is helping The Princess Margaret lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine.