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On October 15, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation celebrated the halfway point in its five-year Billion Dollar Challenge with an event called
A Golden Day. The Foundation embarked on the challenge to revolutionize cancer care by creating a new gold standard: Personalized Cancer Medicine. The funds raised are already facilitating the cancer centre’s largest physical research expansion in its history (an additional 113,000 square feet) and the most ambitious recruitment drive.
The day began early with a breakfast held in appreciation of the staff of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
In the afternoon, it was standing room only in the 7th floor atrium of the cancer centre where Paul Alofs, President & CEO of the Foundation proudly announced the transformational investments being made that will enable the cancer centre to lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine. Hundreds of donors and supporters were on hand to hear about the progress being made.
Many of the new recruits to the research team were on hand to speak to donors and the media about their areas of expertise, including genetic sequencing, immune therapy, molecular imaging, epigenetics and nanotechnology.
One of the communities supporting the challenge in a significant way is the gold mining industry. The launch of the challenge in April 2012 featured the presentation of a single gold bar, while this halfway celebration featured six gold bars. Ian Telfer, Chairman of the Board of Goldcorp Inc. spoke at the event representing
both the gold mining industry and the thousands of patients treated at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre each year. As a patient benefitting from research into more precise and personalized cancer care, he was pleased to make his own generous donation to the challenge.
The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre campus now includes ten of the 14 floors of the Toronto Medical Discovery Tower at the corner of College and Elizabeth Streets, and it will be renamed the Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower. An architectural firm has been retained to assist with the expansion and transformation of clinical space at 610 University Avenue.
The Billion Dollar Challenge is a partnership between the Foundation and the researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Each group is challenged to raise $500 million over five years, and at the halfway point, $576 million in total has been raised.