On GivingTuesday support life-saving innovative cancer research

25 November 2014


After the retail deals and blowout sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday on December 2 will give Canadians an opportunity to give back by making a donation to charities they care about. 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 all Canadians to join together and raise $200,000 to establish the Great Canadian Innovation Grant – a high-risk, high-reward, cancer research project.

Almost half of all Canadians are expected to develop cancer in their lifetime and the disease 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. To mark our country’s second annual GivingTuesday, the Canadian Cancer Society urges you to remember those touched by cancer and come together to propel cancer research forward and save more lives.

The Society’s Innovation Grants program supports unconventional concepts, approaches, or methodologies to creatively address problems in cancer research. While many research 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 progress against cancer.

McMaster University researchers, 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. These researchers are using fluorescent DNAzymes to develop a ‘poop that glows’ test aimed at finding 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, the Society awarded 97 Innovation Grants, worth more than $18 million in total. A great need for research funding remains because last year, on average, due to lack of funds, the Canadian Cancer Society could support less than 30% of research grants approved for funding by expert reviewers.

“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 Mike Kirkpatrick, director of marketing for the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario. “If we 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 supported this campaign. Donate to the Great Canadian Innovation Grant today by visiting cancer.ca/GivingTuesday.”

 Innovation Grants

Dr Bruno Salena (left) and Dr Yingfu Li (right), researchers at McMaster University, recently received a Canadian Cancer Society Innovation Grant for their work on an inexpensive, non-invasive test for colorectal cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

Website: cancer.ca/GivingTuesday
Twitter: @cancersociety
Facebook: CanadianCancerSociety
Hashtags: #GivingTuesdayCa

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026