Local MP  champions Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network

Cancer Centres Funding Announcement
Local MP  champions Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network
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Keri Schoonderwoerd

Keri Schoonderwoerd

Keri is a communications professional with a Master's Degree in Professional Writing and Public Relations and over 20 years experience in professional writing, editing, public relations, marketing communications, crisis communication and fundraising.

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On Oakville’s Terry Fox Day, MP Pam Damoff shared details of the federal government’s $150 million investment in the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network. The federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor along side MP Damoff  first announced the funding at Precision Medicine Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The Firehall in Bronte hosted the Terry Fox Kick-off, and donated ten percent of lunch proceeds to the Oakville Terry Fox Run.

Pam is the  Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, the Minister of Health’s Parliamentary Secretary and Chair of Oakville’s Terry Fox Run.

The 2019 federal Budget  included funding that will accelerate precision medicine for cancer patients across the country. These funds will be matched by the network’s partners and money raised by Terry Fox Runs across Canada. The partners will also work together to share data, resources and knowledge.

The goal is to achieve Terry Fox’s dream of a world without cancer.

Cancer research and care institutions in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, are expected to participate in the network once it is fully operational. A key network result is creating a high-quality and shareable dataset of 15,000 cancer cases by 2023.

It was on July 13, 1980 that Terry Fox ran through Oakville in the early morning on his way from Toronto in the Marathon of Hope. Terry ran a marathon a day in his quest to raise funds for cancer research.

Cancer Centres“We thank the Government of Canada for its leadership in making this investment and for this vote of confidence,” Dr. Victor Ling, Terry Fox Research Institute President and Scientific Director, said at the Moncton announcement.

“Under this new network, centres and researchers will form the Team Canada of Cancer Research, sharing knowledge, harnessing technology and championing collaboration so cancer patients from coast to coast to coast will benefit,”  continued Dr. Ling.

As “Team Canada of Cancer Research” members, the centres and their researchers are joining forces to apply new technologies such as genomics, advanced imaging, big data and artificial intelligence. This is a first.

It started back in April, 2016, when Dr. Ling visited MP Damoff’s Ottawa office. He introduced the concept of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network.  Dr. Ling asked if the federal government would support the project.

She told Dr. Ling it wouldn’t be easy.  He replied, “what Terry did wasn’t easy either, but we have to try”.

As a long-time supporter of the Terry Fox Foundation and Chair of Oakville’s Terry Fox Run, Pam was immediately on board. She spoke with Ministers, fellow MPs and Terry Foxers about the network’s importance.

Three years later, on March 18, 2019, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the budget and stated, “To help give more cancer patients and their families help and hope, we will provide the Terry Fox Research Institute with up to $150 million to establish a national Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network.”

This brought Pam to tears.

“On the road 39 years ago, Terry wrote in his journal that he wanted ‘to try the impossible to show that it can be done.’ The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network will try the impossible every day in research labs, hospitals and institutes across Canada,” said Pam in Moncton. “Today we keep our promise to Terry to continue his dream of a world without cancer. One day we will look back and recognize this as the moment we truly transformed cancer research in Canada and around the world, just like Terry did.”

At The Firehall, Damoff stressed the importance of increasing participation in this year’s 39thannual Oakville Terry Fox Run. The $150 million government investment must be matched in part by  funds raised by the Runs.

“Every dollar invested by the government in this bold initiative needs to be matched. We encourage Oakville residents to join our roadmap to cure cancer by making a donationand/or fundraising for The Run. It makes a difference.

“Right now, we have a critical opportunity to realize Terry’s dream of a world without cancer. We need everyone to come out on Run day – join a team, form a team, encourage your friends, family and neighbors to join you – so that we can raise the matching funds in support of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network. Our goal for this year’s Oakville Terry Fox Run is $200,000.”

“It’s ambitious, but we can do it,” she stated emphatically.

At the Moncton announcement, Terry’s brother Darrell Fox said, “We have remained protective of the “Marathon of Hope” branding, using it sparingly and selectively, waiting for the right opportunity to maximize its meaning and value. We have found that opportunity with the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network and precision medicine. Terry said the “Marathon of Hope” must continue without him and he would be very proud to see this happening in this highly collaborative and inspired way.”

ABOUT THE MARATHON OF HOPE CANCER CENTRES NETWORK:

The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is the realization of a long-standing vision of the Terry Fox Research Institute. Inspired by Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, the network represents a powerful collaborative platform that will close the gap between research in the lab and patient care in the clinic. Just as Terry Fox united Canadians with his run and dream to end cancer, the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres will unite our cancer researchers to pursue that same goal with precision medicine. www.marathonofhopecancercentres.ca

ABOUT THE TERRY FOX RESEARCH INSTITUTE:

The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), established in 2008, invests in world-class, collaborative cancer research teams and partnerships. Together with its research and funding partners, TFRI is working to inspire the transformation of cancer research in this country by bringing together leading cancer research and treatment organizations in Canada and empowering them under the framework of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network. www.tfri.ca

ABOUT THE OAKVILLE TERRY FOX RUN:

Oakville’s 39thannual Terry Fox Run will be held on Sunday, September 15, at 10:00am at Coronation Park (Third Line and Lakeshore Road), with registration beginning at 9:00am. Walk, run, bike, board, blade, push a stroller, pull a wagon or walk the dog along a beautiful 2k, 5k or 10k route. The Oakville Terry Fox Run has raised over $2.4 million to date. Individuals and teams can register online at: www.terryfox.ca/terryfoxrun/oakville

 

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