Largest multi-day walk for women's cancers in North America draws 4,590
participants and funds Personalized Cancer Medicine, including
research, treatment advances and survivorship programs for all women's
cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End
Women's Cancers announced 4,590 participants raised $10 million for The
Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at Princess Margaret Cancer
Centre as the 10th annual Weekend commenced Saturday morning at the Direct Energy Centre
in Toronto. Weekend participants will walk over 60 km through Toronto
neighbourhoods with an overnight camp at Downsview Park and a closing
ceremony at Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday.
"We are grateful and humbled by this community of walkers, sponsors,
volunteers, donors and all their supporters who have come together for
a common goal to end woman's cancers; and in doing so have made the 10th annual Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend To End Women's Cancers an amazing
success," said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret
"This year in Canada, over 31,000 women will be diagnosed with either
breast or gynecological cancer, and over 8,000 will die from the
disease. As one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, we
at The Princess Margaret are on a mission to end cancer in our
lifetime. The $10 million raised this year will help fund Personalized
Cancer Medicine for all women's cancers, including breast, cervical,
endometrial and ovarian cancers. Personalized Cancer Medicine will
allow us to detect cancer earlier, diagnose cancer more precisely,
target cancer without damaging healthy tissue and support patients and
families throughout their journey," added Alofs.
In 10 years, The Weekend has raised over $133 million for The Princess
Margaret, and today it is the largest multi-day walk for women's
cancers in North America. The annual Weekend brings together
communities of survivors and their supporters who spend months
fundraising and training for the two-day walk.
"I walked in the first Weekend back in 2003 and have walked ever since,"
said Mary Gyemi from Toronto.
"This year is particularly important to me, because last November I was
diagnosed with breast cancer. For the past ten years I've raised funds
and walked to help those I love get the treatment and care they need.
I now know first-hand how vital these funds are, because the dollars
raised this year, and years past, are helping save lives," added Gyemi.
Funds raised by The Weekend enable The Princess Margaret to support
world-leading scientists like Dr. Tak Mak and his team of more than 125
researchers and scientists at The Campbell Family Cancer Research
Institute. Weekend funds also helped The Princess Margaret pilot The
Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre, a groundbreaking centre where patients
can receive their assessment, breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
plan in one day.
"We are now seeing over 750 patients a year and providing breast cancer
diagnoses in one day, instead of weeks or months," said Dr. David
McCready, Breast Cancer Cite Leader at The Princess Margaret whose
vision led to the development of the centre.
"Women who are referred to the centre by their family physician can have
a physical, a mammogram, an ultrasound, even a tissue biopsy; and then
get the results from a surgeon, all within one day," Dr. McCready
To commemorate the 10th annual Weekend in Toronto, this year's event features an unprecedented
line-up of activities.
Juno Award-winning Canadian artist, Divine Brown performed Friday
evening at The Weekend's first-ever pre-party. Five-time Juno Award
winners and Grammy nominees Glass Tiger and Canada's premiere live
disco tribute show-band DiscoNation will perform at the Saturday
evening camp, where participants will enjoy premium cuisine prepared
and sponsored by Rose Reisman Catering and The Pickle Barrel.
"For ten years, our Weekend walkers have worked tirelessly to raise
money, secure donations, plan fundraising events, recruit participants
all in support of our mission to end women's cancers in this lifetime.
We've put significant thought, care and detail into this year's
activities with the sole intent of creating an unforgettable Weekend
experience for each one of our walkers," Alofs said.
On Sunday, acclaimed tenor and musical theatre legend, Michael Burgess,
will perform at the event's closing ceremony. The ceremony is open to
the public and involves a procession of participants, crewmembers and
volunteers who unite with survivors and supporters for a celebration
and emotional reflection on their collective achievements.
Registration for the 2013 Weekend opened on Saturday with an
extraordinary announcement by Alofs, citing The Rogers Centre, home of
the Toronto Blue Jays, will be the host venue for the 11th annual Weekend on September 7th and 8th of next year. Participants cheered with enthusiasm as Alofs explained
The Weekend's opening ceremonies, overnight camp and closing ceremonies
will take place on the playing field, underneath The Rogers Centre's
iconic retractable dome.
"This fantastic opportunity is thanks to the generous support of Paul
Beeston, President of the Toronto Blue Jays and we thank Mr. Beeston,
the Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays and the entire Rogers family,"
"This incredible location also allows us to prepare an exciting new
waterfront route for The Weekend in 2013. We encourage everyone to
join us next year as we begin a new decade of The Weekend.
Registration is now open, so be sure to visit www.endcancer.ca or call 416-815-9255 and register today," Alofs added as thousands of participants cheered
and the walk commenced.
Weekend organizers expect hundreds of people to attend public cheering
stations along the route. For full event details, visit www.endcancer.ca or call 416-815-9255.
About Princess Margaret Cancer Centre - CLICK HERE
About The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at Princess Margaret
Cancer Centre - CLICK HERE
About The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation - CLICK HERE
SOURCE: WEWC/RTCC/UA events c/o CauseForce
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