The Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women's Cancers™ announces $1.8 million raised as 8th annual weekend commences in Alberta

Largest fundraiser for women's cancers in Alberta brings together thousands of supporters to fund breakthrough research and discovery of new cancer therapies for women's cancers at The Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Cross Cancer Institute and 15 cancer centres across Alberta

CALGARY, July 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women's Cancers™ announced $1.8 million raised for the Alberta Cancer Foundation as the 8th annual Weekend commenced Saturday at Currie Barracks in Calgary. Weekend participants will walk over 60 km in two days; this includes an overnight camp and closing ceremonies on Sunday at Currie Barracks.

"We are most grateful and congratulate everyone involved with making our 8th annual Weekend such a success," said Myka Osinchuk, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

"The Alberta Cancer Foundation has set out on a mission to achieve a cancer-free future for all Albertans.  This year in Alberta, 1,950 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 270 with gynecological.  Funds raised by The Weekend are put to use immediately, and support cutting-edge research, the development of new therapies and prevention programs for breast, cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancers at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Cross Cancer Institute and 15 other cancer centres in this province," Osinchuk added.

The Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women's Cancers™ is the largest fundraiser for women's cancers in the history of Alberta and in eight years has raised $47 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.  The Weekend brings together communities of survivors, their families and friends who spend months fundraising and training for the two-day walk.

"I am 25-years-old and I have breast cancer," said Ashley Hart of Calgary.

"Because of a rare, mutated gene called BRCA1, I'm at greater risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers.  I am just so grateful for The Weekend, because the vital funds it has raised over the years have enabled researchers and doctors to significantly enhance my specific treatment and care options here at the Tom Baker Cancer Center.  These enhancements to my personal care just would not have been possible otherwise," added Hart.

Funds raised by the Weekend support a range of programs in Edmonton and Calgary, including the creation of a Chair in Breast Cancer Research, more than 80 breakthrough breast and gynecologic research and prevention programs, state-of-the-art digital technology and two mobile screening facilities offering mammograms for women in more than 100 rural communities, as well as financial assistance that support patients and families in need during treatment.

"The dollars raised by Weekend participants enable crucial funding for our 'Beta Trial,' which studies how exercise can directly impact a woman's chances of developing breast cancer," said Dr. Christine Friedenreich who was recently awarded the Weekend to End Women's Cancer Chair in Breast Cancer Research.

"Thanks to the Weekend funds, we are advancing our prevention programs, reaching more women and reducing the incidence of breast cancer in Alberta," added Friedenreich.

Weekend organizers expect hundreds of people to attend public cheering stations along the route.  For a map of The Weekend route or to get more information, visit www.endcancer.ca.

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About The Alberta Cancer Foundation - CLICK HERE

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SOURCE: WEWC/RTCC/UA events c/o CauseForce

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT:

Borjana Slipicevic, Western PR Coordinator
1.855.500.7778, bslipicevic@endcancer.ca

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WEWC/RTCC/UA events c/o CauseForce

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