Paula Siegel with her daughter Jayden and her husband Geoff

Canada's first Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic and Program to be established at Princess Margaret Hospital, Canada's Leading Cancer Centre.

Toronto (June 1, 2004) - The dedicated efforts of 3,974 passionate walkers and the support of their 150,000 donors is having a profound and lasting impact on breast cancer care, research and psychosocial support at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), Canada's leading cancer hospital.

The Hospital announced today that the $8.5 million net proceeds raised in the inaugural Weekend to End Breast Cancer (WEBC) event held last September is being divided among three innovative programs: Survivorship care, leading edge cancer research at the newly formed Institute for Breast Cancer Research and furthering its world class breast cancer clinic. In addition to delivering these critically needed funds, the participants made the 2003 WEBC the most successful first time fundraiser in Canadian history.

Thanks to the WEBC, PMH is establishing Canada's first WEBC Survivorship Clinic and Program. This comprehensive program comprised of clinical, research and education components will meet the follow-up care needs of breast cancer survivors.

"Many of the walkers in the first Weekend to End Breast Cancer were survivors or family and friends of those surviving the disease and know first hand the need for this kind of innovative program," says Dr. David McCready, head of the Breast Cancer Site Group at PMH. "This program will provide better support to breast cancer survivors who experience physical and psychological symptoms following their diagnosis and treatment."

A substantial $5.0 million of the net proceeds from the 2003 WEBC will be invested in PMH's newest initiative towards curing breast cancer: The Institute for Breast CancerResearch. Led by Dr. Tak Mak, one of the country's most respected and prolific scientists, the Institute aims to become a world-leading program in breast cancer research. The significant contribution of the WEBC was instrumental in forming the Institute, whose goal of finding a cure for breast cancer coincides perfectly with the mission of the WEBC. "Witnessing a community of virtual strangers support each other in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, and commit to finding a cure to this devastating disease is both inspiring and encouraging. It gives me hope that one day, we will celebrate the news that a cure has been found", says Paula Seigel, a WEBC Walker and breast cancer survivor.

"Today's announcement of the Institute for Breast Cancer Research moves us closer to that goal. Every walker who took part in the weekend walk contributed to making this a reality." –tentative quote, pending approval.

Funds raised are also earmarked towards advancing the Hospital's M. Lau Breast Centre through improvements to its physical space, and enhancements to clinical programs, including the development of an innovative breast cancer clinical research program and the purchase of a second digital mammography machine for breast imaging.

"As a volunteer on the medical team at last year's WEBC event I was moved by the determination and perseverance of the walkers to raise awareness and funds to end breast cancer. I found the feeling of camaraderie and support refreshing and look forward to being part of this September's event", says Dr. David McCready. Sponsored by CIBC, CHUM FM, CP24, CityLine on Citytv, and Shoppers Drug Mart, walker and crew registrations are FULL for the 2004 Weekend to End Breast Cancer scheduled to take place September 10-12. First launched in Toronto, the Weekend to End Breast Cancer has expanded to become a national effort in the fight against breast cancer with walks scheduled in Vancouver this August and in Calgary in 2005.

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About Princess Margaret Hospital

Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as global leaders in the fight against cancer. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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