Dr. Kim Chi, chief medical officer at BC Cancer, says donor support plays a vital role when it comes to research and breakthroughs in cancer care.

Changing the outcome through philanthropy

Donor support plays a vital role when it comes to cancer breakthroughs

It’s a startling statistic: one in two British Columbians will face cancer in their lifetime.

Thanks to the generosity of BC Cancer Foundation donors, philanthropy is helping to move the dial on cancer research and care in B.C.

Experts at BC Cancer are continuing to break down cancer in the labs and in the clinics, and change the outcome for thousands of families affected by the disease.

Donor support plays a vital role when it comes to the latest cutting-edge research and breakthroughs in cancer care, according to Dr. Kim Chi, chief medical officer at BC Cancer.

“We’ve made great strides in advancing cancer care — people are living longer and there are more people getting cured from their cancers than ever before,” says Dr. Chi. “This would not happen without donors.”

For 17-year-old Michelle Reilly, the latest in personalized cancer medicine has provided her with more time to spend with family and friends after a devastating Glioblastoma Multiforme diagnosis in September 2018.

After her diagnosis, Michelle was enrolled in BC Cancer’s Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) Program, where a sample of her tumour was analyzed. The results revealed an innovative treatment option: an immunotherapy clinical trial that would be infused once every two weeks.

While on her new treatment, Michelle showed great progress and her tumour shrank. Unfortunately, seven months later, her cancer progressed again.

Michelle and her mother Carla are optimistic Michelle’s care team will once again use crucial pieces of information from her POG analysis to provide her with another treatment option.

“For me, the science and advancements make me really hopeful for the future — even if it doesn’t pan out for Michelle, we feel it’s all worthwhile for future pediatric patients,” says Carla.

Funded by BC Cancer Foundation donors, the POG Program is changing the way cancer is diagnosed and treated, proving that genomics — the study of the human genome — can transform cancer treatment and therapies.

It’s just one example of how donor support is ensuring British Columbians have access to the latest in cancer care, including innovative therapies, which was the fundraising focus of the BC Cancer Foundation’s Jingle Mingle event in November.

“Donors enable cutting-edge research to be taking place here in British Columbia,” says Dr. Chi. “Every little bit helps to drive forward the research that we do here at BC Cancer.”

This Dec. 3 on Giving Tuesday, donors have an opportunity to double their impact, as Murray and Lynda Farmer, longtime BC Cancer supporters, will be generously matching donations up to $50,000 to advance world-leading innovative therapies at BC Cancer.

To learn how you can have your donation matched and help save lives in our community, visit: www.bccancerfoundation.com/giving.

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Seventeen-year-old Michelle Reilly and her mother Carla are optimistic the BC Cancer care team will continue to provide them with treatment options for Michelle’s Glioblastoma Multiforme.

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