Tying the knot

Tying the knot: 5-year-old cancer survivor Jaxson Tugnett (centre) joins cancer survivor and volunteer Nadege St Philippe; Minister of Health, the Honorable Jane Philpott; Peter Gilgan, philanthropist (back centre); cancer researcher Dr John Bell; Canadian Cancer Society CEO Lynne Hudson; CCS Board Chair Robert Lawrie; and Executive Vice President of CIBC Christina Kramer, as they tie a unity knot to celebrate the merger of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

On February 3rd, the eve of World Cancer Day, distinguished guests, including cancer survivors, supporters, donors, researchers, volunteers and staff, gathered in Toronto to mark a historic moment: the unprecedented consolidation of two leading health charities, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). The merger will redefine the fight against cancer.

Commemorating this transformative partnership, Lynne Hudson, President and CEO of Canadian Cancer Society, shared the unified organization’s first major initiative: a total collaborative investment of $12 million by philanthropist Peter Gilgan and the Canadian Cancer Society to establish The Peter Gilgan Centre for Women's Cancers at Women's College Hospital (WCH).

"We're thrilled to have developed this new partnership with Women's College Hospital and are very proud to join Peter Gilgan in supporting WCH to develop a national strategy on care for women's cancers," Hudson said. "Our vision is to empower women and their families by transforming care for women's cancers nationwide."

CCS-funded researcher Dr John Bell, a world leader in developing treatments that use viruses to target and kill cancer cells, echoed the transformative nature of partnerships. Dr Bell recognized that greater collaboration in the sector will result in more focused support for new research breakthroughs that will save lives.

With Canadians facing an almost 40 per cent surge in cancer cases by 2030, an increased demand for services, programs and research is inevitable. Guest speaker the Honorable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, acknowledged this threat and applauded the merger for the impact it will have on the health of Canadians.

"Moving forward, we are going to be looking at other partners – at the local, provincial and national levels – to help us deliver and enhance our services," Hudson said. "I have every confidence that CCS and CBCF will join forces in a way that will make us better positioned to serve Canadians coast to coast."

Over the past 30 years, CCS has invested $1.2 billion in cancer research – including over $100 million in breast cancer research. Since its inception in 1986, CBCF has invested over $360 million in breast cancer research, funding more than 1,400 scientific and community grants. The new Canadian Cancer Society is positioned to accelerate the impact of donor dollars on cancer research and vital support services for people living with and affected by cancer.

We thank our caring donors for their generous support. Your investment in a future where no Canadian fears cancer will now go further than ever before. Together, we are stronger.