Sears National Kids Cancer Ride Raises $1.1 million, the Largest-ever Donation to Canada's Research Group Dedicated to Pediatric Oncology

    TORONTO, May 19 /CNW/ - Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation
(CTCACF), organizers of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, presented a $1.1
million donation today to the Canadian Council of Pediatric
Hematology/Oncology Directors (C17) at a cheque presentation ceremony at the
Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The funds were raised during the 2008
Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. This is the single largest donation in the
history of the C17 Council, Canada's childhood cancer organization that
represents all of the pediatric hematology/oncology programs across Canada.
    Of that record-breaking $1.1 million, $770,000 was given to the C17 to
fund national programs for pediatric hematology and oncology research. A
further donation of $330,000 was made to the pediatric oncology centers across
Canada to fund research and education at the local level.
    "This donation is a significant catalyst for further investments in
fighting childhood cancer at the local and national level in Canada," said Dr.
Victor Blanchette, Chair, of C17. "The money is being directed towards
research aimed at improving cure rates and quality of life for children with
cancer, educational initiatives across Canada, and support for children with
cancer and their families. The impact of these efforts, involving hundreds of
researchers and health care professionals across Canada, will be immense and
will be appreciated both immediately and in the years ahead".
    CTCACF and Sears Canada, along with other corporate sponsors, worked
together to raise funds and awareness in the fight against childhood cancer
during the June 2008 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, a 7,600 km cycling
journey that stopped at pediatric oncology centres and hundreds of Sears
stores between Vancouver to Halifax. Fifty National Riders went the distance
over 19 days and were joined in communities along the way by countless
volunteers and fellow cyclists. National Riders each raised a minimum of
$12,500, with additional dollars coming from Sears customers and associates,
and other corporate and individual donations.
    "Helping these kids and their families is the focus of our efforts," said
Jeff Rushton, Founder of the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. "The
donations we make through C17 improve the survival rates and quality of life
for children fighting this horrible disease. At the same time, our events like
the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride promote awareness, wellness and
volunteerism among Canadians across the country."
    "The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride unleashes the passion of cyclists
and volunteers across this great country to raise money and put an end to kids
cancer," said Dene Rogers, President and CEO, Sears Canada. "It engages our
customers and associates throughout our network of 2,300 stores and agencies
where they work and live. We are very proud to be the major sponsor, and to be
helping kids, their families and friends live through and beyond the effects
of cancer."

    Riding Again in 2009

    The 2009 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will start its cross-Canada
journey on June 13 in Vancouver. National Riders will once again meet with
kids, medical professionals, and volunteers in cities and towns from Vancouver
to Halifax. The money will again be donated to C17, ensuring that
contributions are targeted at national and local-level childhood cancer
    Information on the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride and how to Ride,
Volunteer or Donate, are available at
    CTCACF was able to distribute 100% of individual donations made in 2008
because of its volunteer based organization and the support of its corporate
    The Coast to Coast against Cancer Foundation is a volunteer-based
registered Canadian charitable foundation focused on improving health outcomes
and the quality of life of children and families who are impacted by cancer.
To this end, the Foundation raises funds by conducting memorable events that
encourage an active, healthy lifestyle. Over the past five year, close to $5
million has been raised through the various cycling events which the
Foundation organizes: the annual Tour for Kids cycling adventure, "The Inside
Ride" cycling fund-raising program, the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, as
well as several 3rd party events. Part of the Foundation's mandate is to
inspire wellness, encourage volunteerism within our communities, and instill a
sense of pride and purpose in everyone who is touched by a Coast to Coast
Against Cancer Foundation event.
    Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 198 corporate
stores, 187 dealer stores, 44 home improvement showrooms, over 1,850 catalogue
merchandise pick-up locations, 106 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home
maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes
Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping
online at


    Childhood Cancer in Canada

    Funding is urgently needed to support pediatric oncology hospitals and
centres across Canada, along with vital research programs and initiatives in
the area of childhood cancer.

    -  Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in
    -  More children die of cancer each year than asthma, cystic fibrosis,
       muscular dystrophy, congenital anomalies and pediatric AIDS combined.
    -  In Canada, about 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
    -  At any given point in time in Canada there are over 10,000 children
       and adolescents living with cancer or its long-term effects.
    -  Childhood cancer is very different from adult cancer and places its
       own unique demands on our healthcare system. The treatment and cure
       for these children is a 24/7 process, often over a period of 2-3
       years, the effects of which can smother childhood.
    -  Childhood cancer affects children at the most vulnerable stages of
       their lives, with lasting impacts on their physical, mental and social
    -  Programs such as specialized oncology camps and family support
       programs that can meet the needs of children with cancer are not
       funded publicly - the cost must be borne by parents and families,
       which limits participation.
    -  The area of childhood cancer research and care is under-supported, but
       things are starting to look better. In the early 1950's less than 10%
       of childhood cancer patients could be cured; however, today more than
       80% of children diagnosed with cancer become long-term survivors, and
       the majority of them are considered cured.
    -  However, even with these amazing survival statistics, over 50% of
       childhood cancer survivors live with long-term lasting impacts from
       the disease and treatment, including neuro-cognitive impairments,
       sterility and secondary cancers.
    -  Further research is badly needed to ensure a standard quality of care
       across Canada in areas such as clinical trials. These programs improve
       the survival rate and quality of life.

    The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

    The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride raises funds to improve the lives of
children and their families living with and beyond childhood cancer across

    -  This is the second year of this annual national event in which
       National Cyclists from across Canada will cycle across Canada in
       support of childhood cancer charities in the world's longest
       charitable cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer.
    -  Starting on June 13, 2009 in Vancouver and finishing on June 24, 2009
       in Halifax, the Event will cover over 6,800km in 12 days. It will
       travel through hundreds of cities and towns across the country -
       including stops at many of the 17 pediatric oncology centres and
       sponsor locations - where community events and rides will take place
       in support of kids and families fighting this debilitating disease.
    -  The goal in is to raise $2.0 million in donations from Canadians coast
       to coast. Organized by a volunteer-based foundation, and with the
       generous support of corporate sponsors, the Event will ensure that
       100% of funds raised from individual donations go directly to the
       childhood cancer charities supported by the Sears National Kids Cancer
    -  Funds raised will go in part to national and local programs to support
       childhood cancer, including national research and education
       initiatives and programs in partnership with the doctors and nurses
       from the 17 pediatric oncology centers across Canada. Funds raised
       will also support specific childhood cancer programs in pediatric
       oncology units and hospitals across Canada.

    Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation (CTCACF)

    The Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation is a registered Canadian
charitable foundation focused on improving the quality of life of children
with cancer and their families.

    -  A registered Canadian charitable foundation (Charitable No.8282 52346
       RR0001) (
    -  The Foundation's mission is to improve health outcomes and the quality
       of life for children and their families who are impacted by cancer
       across Canada.
    -  CTCACF is a volunteer-based organization that provides financial and
       other support to Canadian cancer charities whose programs improve the
       survival rate and quality of life of children impacted by cancer.
       These include survivorship and support programs, as well as, pediatric
       oncology research and education for medical professionals.
    -  The Foundation raises funds by conducting memorable events that
       encourage an active, healthy lifestyle.
    -  Donations are directed through a strict governance process to support
       charities based on the greatest need, where we can have a real impact
       and drive measurable progress in the fight against childhood cancer.
    -  The Foundation makes no use of professional fundraising or
       telemarketing organizations who typically take a large percentage of
       donations as fees. The Foundations operating principle is to ensure
       100% of donations go directly to the charities we support by being
       heavily volunteer-driven, by having participants pay a fair share of
       registration fees, and by leveraging corporate sponsorships to cover
       the costs of the Events and the supporting Foundation expenditures.
    -  The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
       ( is one of three events the
       Foundation runs, including Tour For Kids Ontario & Alberta
       ( and the Inside Ride (

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Council of Canadian Pediatric
Hematology/Oncology Directors ("C17"): Victor Blanchette, FRCP, FRCPC, Chief,
Division of Haematology/Oncology, Professor of Paediatrics, University of
Toronto The Hospital for Sick Children, Ph: (416) 813-5852; Fax: (416)
813-5327, E-mail:; Coast to Coast Against Cancer
Foundation: Steven Sokolowski, Phone: (416) 802-4832, e-mail:,; Sears Canada: Eliana Cugini, Phone: (416)
662-2245, e-mail:,

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