THE SHOPPERS DRUG MART WEEKEND TO END WOMEN'S CANCERS ANNOUNCES $8 MILLION RAISED AS 11TH ANNUAL WALK COMMENCES IN TORONTO

North America's largest multi-day walk for women's cancers draws 3,639 walkers and funds Personalized Cancer Medicine, including research, clinical enhancements and survivorship programs for all women's cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

September 7, 2013 (Toronto): The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers announced 3,639 walkers helped raise over $8 million for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre as the 11th annual walk commenced Saturday morning in Toronto.  Funds raised support Personalized Cancer Medicine, including research, clinical enhancements and survivorship programs for all women’s cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

 

“This community of walkers, sponsors, volunteers and donors who helped us to make our 11th annual Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers a tremendous success is incredible, and we are extremely grateful to each of you for your generous and selfless support over the last 12 months,” said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

 

“This year in Canada, over 35,000 women will be diagnosed with a form of breast or gynecologic cancer, and over 9,000 will die from the disease. The $8 million raised is being put to use as we design and build a world-class Personalized Cancer Medicine program at The Princess Margaret and helps to end cancer for more women across Canada,” Alofs added.

 

In 11 years, The Weekend has raised over $141 million for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and currently is the largest multi-day walk for women’s cancers in North America. This year, Rogers Centre is the host venue for the event’s opening and closing ceremonies and the over-night camp, which features an unprecedented line-up of festive activities including performances by Canadian superstar Burton Cummings and country music entertainer Johnny Reid.  The annual event brings together communities of survivors and their supporters who spend months fundraising and training for the two-day walk through downtown, various neighborhoods surrounding Toronto and along the waterfront of Lake Ontario. 

 

“I was diagnosed with stage two invasive breast cancer in 2012 and I am so grateful for the comprehensive treatment and care I received at The Princess Margaret,” said Karen Kingsley, a second-year participant from Toronto.

 

“If it wasn't for the Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Clinic, I don’t know what my outcome would have been today. The Weekend continues to make improvements in cancer care for all women and I am so proud to be a part of this community.  I will continue to walk until we find a cure.”

 

Funds raised by The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers enable The Princess Margaret to support world-leading scientists like Dr. Tak Mak and his team of 125 researchers and staff. Weekend funds also support the decade-long development of “sharpshooter” cancer drugs which can inhibit the growth of human breast and ovarian cancers as well as colorectal, glioblastoma, lung, melanoma, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Health Canada recently cleared the new drug, CFI-40095, for Phase 1 clinical trial to begin later this fall.

 

“We continue to make discoveries and progress for women’s cancers, including gene mutations that specifically predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers,” said Dr. Mona Gauthier, a scientist at The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute at The Princess Margaret.

 

“The Princess Margaret is a leader in cancer research and discovery, and we rely on the crucial funding from The Weekend to enable to research to advance.  11 years ago, a woman would have to wait months for results, but today, a woman can now have a physical, a mammogram, an ultrasound and even a tissue biopsy and then receive the results all within one day at our Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Clinic, thanks to seed funding from The Weekend,” Dr. Gauthier added.

 

Event organizers announced the 12th annual Toronto Weekend will take place September 6th and 7th of next year and registration is open.

 

“Next year, we’ll once again be hosted at Rogers Centre, and we are so grateful for the generous support of Paul Beeston and the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as all the great staff at Rogers Centre,” said Paul Alofs.

 

“We at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation encourage this entire community to join us again in 2014, as we celebrate 12 years of The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Registration is officially open, so visit www.endcancer.ca or call (416) 815-WALK (9255) to register today,” Alofs concluded.

 

Event organizers expect hundreds of people to attend public cheering stations along the route. For full event details, please visit www.endcancer.ca or call (416) 815-WALK (9255).

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