SPVM chief Marc Parent and 120 other police officers shave their heads to support people touched by cancer - More than $175,000 raised to help save more lives

07 February 2014

Montreal -

The 14th edition of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer took place today in the Grande-Place at Complexe Desjardins. The Director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (Montreal Police Service), Marc Parent, and 120 other officers who are all members of Quebec’s various police forces, including six other directors, had their heads shaved to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). The initial goal of $75,000 has been largely exceeded, more than $175,000 have been collected. A record for this activity.

Losing hair is one of the many ordeals that people living with cancer must go through. It can appear to be an insignificant matter when someone is fighting for their life, but it is distressing for many patients because it is an obvious sign of the disease.

“Finding yourself bald overnight is a huge shock. It’s a constant reminder of the disease. You don’t recognize yourself any more. Plus, our skills and everything we were in the eyes of others are questioned to a great extent,” says Mei Lin Yee, a CCS – Quebec Division volunteer who has had breast cancer for more than four years.

With Cops for Cancer, the guardians of public safety show their solidarity with those touched by cancer through a symbolic gesture: shaving their heads, and by this, saying to tens of thousands of children, women, and men who lose their hair after cancer treatment that they are with them. It’s also an occasion to help save lives by raising money to fund innovative research projects as well as support services and prevention programs.

The Cops for Cancer fundraiser for the CCS was held for the first time in 1994. Police officers in Edmonton had decided to have their heads shaved and pose for a photo with a young boy who was being bullied in school because he had lost all his hair following chemotherapy. The photo made the rounds across Alberta and thousands of police officers in the country, inspired by such a show of support, also decided to take up the challenge. To date, Cops for Cancer has helped raise more than $50 million for the CCS. 

Money collected through Cops for Cancer helps:
  • Fund innovative research projects that save lives.
  • Respond to the increasing needs of people touched by cancer and enhance their quality of life by providing reliable information, psychosocial support, financial assistance, and accommodation during their treatment far away from home.
  • Put in place prevention programs.
  • Actively advocate to pressure the government for laws and public policies that protect the health of Quebecers.

About the CCS

Every day, the Canadian Cancer Society works to save more lives. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research, and support people touched by the disease. For 75 years, our goal has remained unchanged: do more so that fewer of us have to face cancer and more survive. Let’s save more lives: visit cancer.ca or call our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

A few facts about cancer
  • On average, every 11 minutes, a Quebecer (every 3 minutes in Canada) finds out that he or she has cancer. Every 26 minutes, a Quebecer (every 7.5 minutes in Canada) dies from cancer.
  • Last year, in Quebec, there were 48,700 new cancer cases (187,600 in Canada) and 20,200 deaths as a result of this disease (75,500 in Canada).
  • Today, more than 60% of Canadians who have been diagnosed with cancer survive. In the 1940s, the survival rate was only around 25%.

For more information, please contact:

André Beaulieu

Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Quebec Division

Phone: (514) 393-3444