This GivingTuesday give back to innovative cancer research

25 November 2014

Halifax -

After the retail deals and blowout sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday on December 2 gives Canadians an opportunity to give back through donations or volunteering. This year, the Canadian Cancer Society is doing something new for GivingTuesday by launching The Great Canadian Innovation Grant.

During the week leading up to GivingTuesday, Canada’s leading cancer charity is encouraging everyone to join together and raise $200,000 to establish the Great Canadian Innovation Grant – a high-risk, high-reward cancer research project.

This year is the second annual GivingTuesday in Canada. The Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division, urges Nova Scotians to remember all those touched by cancer and come together to propel cancer research forward.

The Society’s Innovation Grants program supports unconventional concepts, approaches or methodologies to address problems in cancer research. While many grant competitions have become conservative in the types of projects they fund, the Society is investing in ideas that are more risky, but also have more potential for dramatically advancing our progress against cancer.

Dr Yingfu Li and Dr Bruno Salena were recently awarded an Innovation Grant for their work on an inexpensive, non-invasive test for colorectal cancer. They are developing fluorescent DNAzymes that will detect cancer markers in stool samples. If cancer is present, the molecules will glow, leading to early treatment and better outcomes for patients.

“The Innovation Grants program is perfect for this type of research,” says Dr Li. “There are no other grant programs in Canada that support unconventional approaches like this.”

This is just one example of exciting, unusual and creative Innovation Grants the Canadian Cancer Society has supported through this program. This year alone, 97 Innovation Grants were awarded, worth over $18 million in total.

“The Great Canadian Innovation Grant will be a reflection of the strength we have when we come together from coast to coast to support Canadians touched by cancer,” says Barbara Stead-Coyle, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division. “If Canadians can raise $200,000, early in the new year the Society will announce the specific project that will be named in honour of the generous Canadians who make cancer research possible. Donate to the Great Canadian Innovation Grant today by visiting”

Almost half of all Canadians are expected to develop cancer in their lifetimes and it is the leading cause of death in this country. In 2014, an estimated 191,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and 76,600 will die from the disease.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information visit or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

Twitter: @cancersocietyNS
Facebook: CancerSocietyNS
Hashtags: #GivingTuesdayCa


For more information, contact:
Heather Creighton Spriet Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division
(902) 423-6183