Letter from Chair of the Board of Directors, Robert Lawrie
Cancer most often occurs in older people, and our population is aging and facing that higher risk. While medicine continues to make progress detecting and treating cancer, and producing higher survival rates, the Society needs to prepare to provide more services to more Canadians who are facing the disease.
Today, cancer continues to affect us all – patients, families and friends – and the Society will do more to improve all of our journeys caused by this disease. We are working to streamline our operations and improve communications. We have already combined our administration into a single structure reaching from coast to coast. Our donor dollars will go even further as we eliminate duplications and simplify internal processes. With our committed staff, volunteers and donors, we will continue our progress towards our vision of creating a world where no Canadian will fear cancer.
Since 1938, we have kept patients and their families at the heart of our work, by collaborating with all levels of government to shape public policies to protect Canadians from environmental threats and behavior that can cause cancer. Our staff and volunteers continue to reach into communities across the country to educate people about prevention. And the Society continues to be the largest charitable funder of cancer research, advancing understanding of the disease, and discovering treatments and cures.
Our mission is focused on enhancing the lives of patients and their families in any way we can - from support and information services to funding clinical trials, to advocating for better health policies.
A message from our local chair
Cancer changes everything. It’s still the leading cause of premature death in Canada, and with an aging population, the number of cancer cases will increase by 65-75% by 2030.
That’s why I volunteer as Board Chair. The Canadian Cancer Society is the longest serving cancer charity in the country. We help people living with cancer every day, and at every stage of the journey – patients, caregivers and families.
We know how to fight back, with the help of generous donors.
We fund life-saving cancer research – in universities, hospitals and research centres in Alberta and across Canada. In fact, we’re the largest non-government funder of research in the country. We are internationally recognized for our ability to put the money where it matters most, and our peer-review process for allocating money to the research community is recognized as the gold standard. Every year, more than 300 world-class scientists volunteer their expertise and work together to help us find and fund the most promising research in the country.
As an entrepreneur in the real estate market, I value success and I push hard to accelerate progress. So I’m proud to say that overall we’ve made tremendous progress – survival rates have doubled since the 1940s, now at 63%.
But moving the needle further and faster, especially for a whole range of underfunded cancers where there hasn’t been enough progress, is a very complex challenge.
The most common question I get every week is, “Why don’t we have a cure?” The answer is that cancer isn’t just a single disease. There are actually more than 200 different diseases we call “cancer.”
And at the Canadian Cancer Society we fight them all. Because every three minutes another Canadian is diagnosed with cancer. That was me and it could be you, your friend, your family or your neighbour. It is a shared concern; and change can’t happen without you. Join us. Together we will change cancer forever.
Chair, Board of Directors
Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division