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Toronto (Feb. 21, 2011) - TELUS' Go Pink campaign has raised more than $800,000 for Princess Margaret Hospital thanks to the overwhelming support from the community and the generous match from lead donors, Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan and Gary Slaight. The campaign generated enough support to purchase a new digital mammography machine for The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre.
In May 2010, TELUS announced it would donate $25 from every pink BlackBerry sold across Canada towards new digital mammography machines in regional hospitals. At the same time, Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan and Gary Slaight, philanthropic supporters of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, generously offered to match all donations for a total contribution of $50 for every pink smartphone sold in Toronto and region. The campaign raised a total of more than $2.45 million for women's breast health across Canada, $800,000 of that right here in Toronto.
Additional digital mammography equipment will play a key role in expanding the capacity of The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre at The Princess Margaret, increasing access to one-day breast cancer diagnosis for women and men. Once at full capacity, The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre will diagnose up to 3,000 women and men from the GTA, annually. It will also partner with other breast centres of excellence to ensure not only rapid diagnosis, but state-of-the-art breast cancer treatment.
"In Canada, approximately 23,200 women and 180 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. This is a staggering number of people who have to wait the traditional 33 days from the time they notice a lump, to the time when they learn if they have breast cancer," said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. "Thanks to TELUS and the Gattuso/Slaight family, having more digital mammography machines allows the Princess Margaret Hospital to offer higher calibre screening and diagnosis to more people, reducing the anxiety that comes with waiting for that diagnosis."
Traditional mammogram X-rays do not penetrate dense breast tissue, making it more difficult to interpret results and detect tumours. Digital mammography equipment produces more accurate results with advanced capabilities to generate magnified images of breast tissue to help with the early detection of breast cancer. Access to this advanced digital equipment is limited. Through the successes of this campaign, funding will assist in bringing state of the art equipment to Princess Margaret Hospital and help increase the chance of survival from this life-threatening disease.
Jill Schnarr, vice-president of TELUS Community Affairs, said replacing existing digital mammography machines with next generation digital machines that are better able to detect smaller cancers in denser tissue will save lives, save taxpayer dollars by reducing re-testing due to inconclusive tests, and save thousands of women from having to undergo stressful waits between an initial inconclusive test and further procedures.
"TELUS is thrilled we can partner with our customers in Toronto to help fund this important technology at the Princess Margaret Hospital. I know from personal experience the wait for a new test after an inconclusive result from an older style analog machine can be agonizing," Ms. Schnarr said. "Digital technology would have allowed the radiologist to get a better look the first time."
Emmanuelle Gattuso, breast cancer survivor said, "As a breast cancer survivor, it is a passion of mine to enable Canadians to receive their diagnosis sooner and quickly, so that they can move on to a long and healthy life. I am so thankful to the Princess Margaret Hospital, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, and to TELUS, for bringing to life our vision of a one-day breast cancer diagnostic centre."
The Go Pink campaign will help buy new digital mammography machines for other innovative breast cancer technology for healthcare facilities in communities across Canada, including: BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre Foundation, Alberta Cancer Foundation, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, CancerCare Manitoba, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, Segal Cancer Center at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital, the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, and QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
TELUS has been a long-time supporter of charities that advance cancer research, awareness and detection. Since 2000, TELUS, its team members and retirees have contributed $12.4 million towards finding a cure for cancer, and continue to raise funds and awareness for early detection.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.8 billion of annual revenue and 12.3 million customer connections including 6.9 million wireless subscribers, 3.3 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 300,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $211 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 3.7 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for breakthrough research, exemplary teaching and compassionate care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute. More information about the Foundation can be found at
Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which now includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute, have achieved an international reputation as one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.
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