RIM Co-CEO, Jim Balsillie and Dr. David Malkin of SickKids Hospital Honoured at Israel Cancer Research Fund's First Annual 'Men of Distinction' Award

    - Photo/Video Op -

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - When former corporate executive Andy Faas was
diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in 2005, he felt he had
received "a death sentence". But with the help of the Israel Cancer Research
Fund (ICRF) and the development of Gleevec(R), Andy was given another chance.
A breakthrough cancer treatment, Gleevec(R) works by targeting, and turning
off, specific proteins in cancer cells that cause the cancer cells to grow and
multiply. On Wednesday, September 24th Mr. Faas will welcome Jim Balsillie,
Co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM) and Dr. David Malkin, Co-Director of the
Cancer Genetics Program at The Hospital for Sick Children as they are awarded
the prestigious ICRF Men of Distinction Award.
    Even though Mr. Faas' cancer is now in remission, he is apprehensive when
he is deemed a 'cancer survivor'. "That phrase suggests a level of suffering I
honestly have never experienced - I haven't had one day of downtime because of
my leukemia" says Faas. Heralded by the science community as a miracle drug,
basic research that led to the development of Gleevec(R) was funded by the
ICRF. Gleevec(R) is manufactured by Novartis for treatment of CML and
gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), a rare form of stomach cancer.
    Created to bring awareness and much-needed funding to cancer research,
ICRF hopes that this distinguished event raises crucial funds that are
directed toward the development of further life-saving drugs and treatments
for cancer patients like Mr. Faas. Awarded to leaders from a variety of
sectors, the Men of Distinction Award is given to individuals who have made an
outstanding contribution to humanitarian causes. To find out more about the
ICRF and for additional event information, visit:
http://www.menofdistinctiontoronto.org. To purchase tickets, contact Naomi
Shawn at Naomi.shawn@icrftoronto.org or phone 416-487-5246 x 6506.

    What:    Inaugural ICRF Men of Distinction Luncheon

    Who:     Honorees: Mr. Jim Balsillie and Dr. David Malkin,
             MC: Paul Waldie

    When:    Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:30 am - 2:00 pm

    Where:   The Toronto Sheraton Hotel, Osgoode Ballroom
             123 Queen Street West
             Toronto, Ontario

    Editor's Note: Today, Mr. Faas is helping Israeli researchers find the
key to the next cancer-fighting miracle drug. He is funding 2 ICRF
professorships, for a commitment of US $700,000 over seven-years, "Gratitude
sparked my impulse to donate to ICRF, but as with all charities I support, the
instinct was backed up by business sense.
    The ICRF has a cost-effective research structure and superior
intellectual assets. It is gratifying to know your personal donation will
truly have an impact on the future of cancer research, because of the
high-quality of ICRF projects" says Mr. Faas.

    About Israel Cancer Research Fund:

    ICRF is a charitable organization with the objective of eradicating
cancer. Funds are raised through events and private donations; they are
allocated to Israeli scientists selected by a scientific review panel and
scientific advisory board. ICRF scientists have many accolades but none
greater than ICRF scientists Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover winning the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004. Scientific research in Israel costs 30% less
than it does in North America and is a known world leader in science and
technology. The ICRF has contributed nearly $35 million US for over 1,600
research grants involving all major hospitals, universities and cancer
research projects throughout Israel. The results of the research have a
significant impact in Toronto, across Canada and throughout the world.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Anna Ng, The Idea Workshop
Limited, (416) 504-3977x29 or (416) 895-5536, anna@theideaworkshop.com

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