Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign at One Year Mark

Cancer Care Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Radiation therapist Susan Sloan and Dr. Sunil Gulavita, Head and Coordinator of Radiation Oncology, Regional Cancer Care Northwest, with one of the world’s most advanced Linear Accelerators, installed in the past year to provide exceptional radiation therapy for patients in Northwestern Ontario.
Radiation therapist Susan Sloan and Dr. Sunil Gulavita, Head and Coordinator of Radiation Oncology, Regional Cancer Care Northwest, with one of the world’s most advanced Linear Accelerators, installed in the past year to provide exceptional radiation therapy for patients in Northwestern Ontario.

THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – One year ago, Paul Fitzpatrick, Chair of the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign Cabinet, launched the campaign by saying, “I believe that all cancer patients deserve to have access to cancer care services without having to travel a thousand miles to get it. Not just any cancer care. Exceptional Cancer Care.”

On this day, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation announced an ambitious and essential campaign to raise $5.9 million in the community to ensure exceptional cancer diagnoses, treatment and research for the people in Northwestern Ontario. The aim – to help equip our cancer care professionals with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure exceptional care for our friends, family and neighbours and give them the very best chance to survive cancer here, close to home.

At the one year mark, we are pleased to share that, thanks to the generosity of donors, the Health Sciences Foundation has raised $5.2-million of its $5.9-million Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign fundraising goal. This is just over 88% of our goal.

We’re ‘almost’ there

We’re on the home stretch but will need your continued support to secure all of the equipment needed by our Cancer Centre. While our Cancer Centre and the cancer care it provides are among the best in the province, we know that if we didn’t replace our aging equipment, we would quickly fall behind.

Imagine what you’d be missing if you had the same cell phone today that you had 10 years ago. Today’s iPhone technology allows us to do things we couldn’t even have imagined a decade ago. The same is true for the medical equipment used to diagnose and treat cancer.

"It's our belief that this could eventually cure later-staged metastasized cancer. People will not die from cancer, if our prediction is true.
New research around the world is making it easier to beat cancer.

With Great Care Comes Great Hope

If there has ever been proof that Hope exists, it’s this: for the first time in human history, more people are living with cancer than dying from it. This is a huge success for the donors, healthcare professionals and everyone who has worked towards improving cancer care.

Together, through the Exceptional Cancer Care (ECC) Campaign, we are making Hope possible for cancer patients right here in the region where we live. 100% of your ECC donation stays in Northwestern Ontario.

Hope was weaved through Tanya Gouthro’s 10-month article series on this Health page. Tanya poignantly shared the emotions and details of her cancer journey from her diagnosis of breast cancer through her treatments and her road to recovery. In her last article she wrote, “I am thankful for the Cancer Centre and all of its staff, and the wonderfully zany nurses who provide home care to me when I need it. It really does take a special kind of person to understand all of the layers of caring for a cancer patient. The wounds are deep.”

In the midst of his cancer journey, Michael Muia, a tongue cancer survivor, organized ‘Forty in Forty’, an online fundraiser to raise $40,000 in 40 days for the ECC Campaign. He and his brother Tony raised more than double their goal through donations and proceeds from their fashion and hair show, which wrapped up the campaign. Michael’s motivation came from his experience. “My care was Exceptional, just as described in the campaign. I want future patients to continue to have the best cancer diagnosis and treatment available here in their community.”

The randomness of cancer makes the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign important to all of us – even to people who haven’t been touched by it. One such person is Eric Zakrewski, an ECC Campaign Cabinet member, who became a donor and champion of the campaign without hesitation. “People need to rethink the mentality that if something doesn’t affect them, they shouldn’t bother,” he says. “I look at it this way – it’s best to invest in state-of-the-art equipment for local cancer diagnosis, treatment and research now to be prepared should cancer affect you or someone you care about in the future.”

The Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign is Making a Difference

It’s exciting to see how cancer diagnosis, treatment and research at our Cancer Centre are evolving and the significant patient benefits:

  • The new Screen for Life Mobile Coach, which now screens for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, is a reality and has been traveling to communities throughout the region.
  • The state-of-the-art Linear Accelerators are in operation, blasting out cancer cells with surgical precision.
  • Construction is well under way for the installation of the cyclotron to create our own uninterrupted supply of medical isotopes for our patients.

“We at the Health Sciences Foundation are delivering on what we said we were going to do to – make Exceptional cancer diagnosis, treatment and research a reality here in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario in 2015,” says Glenn Craig, President and CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation. “And your return on your investment will be Exceptional Cancer Care right here in Northwestern Ontario.”

We are all touched by cancer, but we are also touched by you – the donors – who are helping ensure no one has to leave the city or region to receive state-of-the-art cancer treatment.

With each donation to the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign, you ensure that nobody makes their cancer journey alone. You aren’t just giving money, you’re giving Hope.”

Cancer Care Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Please give generously.Online: www.healthsciencesfoundation.ca/ECC
By phone: (807) 345-HOPE (4673) or Toll-Free at 1-877-696-7223
In person: Donation Centre next to Robin’s Donuts at the Health Sciences Centre
By mail: Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign, 980 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6V4