25th Anniversary of Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope
By Heather Vita
THUNDER BAY – It was a sight to see last Friday as over 400 women filled the ballroom at the Victoria Inn to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope. Smiles and laughter were prominent, with a few tears shed too, in memory of those who’d passed on from breast cancer.
This year’s luncheon had a local focus, with organizers choosing to profile local breast cancer survivors and healthcare professionals. While each speaker had a unique message, two themes emerged; that of hope and an ever-changing landscape in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Barb Midgley, a breast cancer survivor, and member of the luncheon’s organizing committee said, “Being here to take part in the 25th anniversary of this luncheon was special for me in so many ways. I was honoured to share my story, and show the face of breast cancer. We continue to make strides in our ability to find this disease earlier and have more women survive it. The reality is all know someone who has faced breast cancer. This luncheon is so important as it provides us the venue to bond, to share joy, to remember those who’ve passed and to leave knowing we’ve each made a difference for women in our community.”
The Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope has been raising funds specifically for breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and research in our community for 25 years; making it one of Thunder Bay’s longest-running events. This year’s event raised $32,688.45, bringing the 25-year total to $394,688.45.
Funds raised have been instrumental in delivering the advances in care that have increased survival rates since the event began. For the 1 in 9 women and 1-2% of men who will face a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s attendees at the Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope who truly make hope possible.
The ongoing success of the Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope stems from the support of a multitude of sponsors, with Tbaytel graciously continuing to lead the way. “Tbaytel is proud to once again be supporting the Luncheon of Hope, an event that is now celebrating its 25th year of helping to improve cancer care, equip cancer care specialists with tools and technology for breast cancer treatment and fund local cancer research,” said Tbaytel president and CEO Dan Topatigh. “Attendees had the honour of hearing the stories of local survivors at today’s luncheon and it’s stories like theirs that illustrate just how vital the lifesaving work of the Northern Cancer Fund really is.”