Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division - Impact Report 2009-10


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Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division - Impact Report 2009-10

  1. 1. fightiNg BACK... O n t A r i O D i v i s i O n i m pA C t r e p O r t 2009 | 2010
  2. 2. mAKinG tHe mOst impACt... The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, FiGHtinG BACK... “Fighting back.” Whether describing a mom and her infant son battling a rare form OUR MiSSiON community-based organization of volunteers of deadly leukemia; a new father advocating for tougher laws against cheap, illegal whose mission is the eradication of cancer cigarettes; or groups of women getting together to raise money for women’s cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of every three minutes, research, these two words embody the new spirit that infused the Canadian Cancer people living with cancer. Society in 2009-10. another Canadian is faced Inspired by research involving volunteers, staff and the general public – and with fighting cancer. exemplifying two of our values of being ‘progressive’ and ‘courageous’ – the Society’s edgy new ‘Join the Fight’ branding is re-introducing us to Canadians. that’s why – empowered It boldly declares that we are the number one enemy of cancer. It invites Canadians to engage in frank conversations about cancer, and to join with us in making the by its volunteers and donors most impact in the fight against all cancers. Most of all, it reminds us all that this is a fight for life. – the Canadian Cancer society In the pages of this 2009-10 Impact Report, you’ll discover the facts – and the is working tirelessly to do human stories – behind our fight against cancer here in Ontario. You’ll read about how the Society continues to do everything we can to prevent cancer from everything we can to prevent happening in the first place; how we fund research to outsmart all types of cancer; how we empower, inform, support and improve the lives of those across cancer, save lives and support the province living with cancer; and how we rally Ontarians to take action, in their own personal ways, to make cancer history. people living with cancer. 2 A Message from the Chair It’s thanks to the continuing generosity of our donors that we are able to make CONtENtS and Acting Chief Executive Officer progress in the cancer fight. Through their support, Ontario Division was able to With your support, we are raise $85 million last year. In addition to the support from our donors, one of the 4 Research greatest things about our organization is the partnership between our staff and Prevention and Advocacy making more impact, in more 6-11 our diverse team of 65,000 volunteers located in every corner of the province. 12-17 Support and Information communities, than any other Their shared passion for our mission is truly inspiring. Thanks to all of you for sharing your time, talents and funds with us; we hope that, in return, you felt a Fundraising 18 cancer charity in Canada. sense of pride and accomplishment for your contribution to the cancer fight. 20 Gift Planning But we cannot stop now. There are still many battles to be won before we can declare victory against this formidable foe. 22 Corporate Development thank you for joining the 24 Bequest Gifts Received Last year’s economic downturn was a challenging time for all charities. But thanks fight against cancer. to our judicious financial planning and ‘fight back’ spirit, the Society is emerging 26 Corporate Recognition from the recession in solid shape. We remained true to our mission, improved our 28 Report from the Chair, engagement with volunteers, strengthened our connection with corporate Audit & Finance Committee supporters, and diversified the way supporters could donate. The result? Our donors stayed with us, enabling us to commit $24.7 million to research, and to 29 Financials continue to offer valued services and programs to cancer patients and their families. 30 Provincial Board and Committees
  3. 3. tHe FiGHt FOr liFe Transitions on the leadership front also demonstrated the Society’s resilience. We thank Saluting Our Outgoing Volunteer Chair former Ontario Division CEO Peter Goodhand, who moved from Ontario Division to We pay tribute to Marion Kirsh as she concludes her two-year term as Chair of become the Society’s National President and CEO on May 1, 2009, for establishing Ontario Division’s Board of Directors. Over her tenure, Marion’s goal was to fully such a solid foundation for success here in Ontario. To all our volunteers and staff, your embrace two key Society values – “courage” and “progressive” – and this goal unfaltering commitment in this time of uncertainty was – and is – greatly appreciated. was exceeded. The Society achieved key advocacy wins against tobacco, cosmetic pesticides and toxic emissions; a stronger emphasis was placed on Amid 2009-10’s challenges and successes, the Society never strayed from our singular vision of a world where no one fears cancer. We know that 2010-11 will prevention screening for breast and colorectal cancer; PhotoSensitive’s poignant include an economy emerging from recession, the increasingly costly and focused Cancer Connection’s photo exhibition and the new ‘Join the Fight’ branding nature of cancer research, and a continued vigilance on fiscal restraint and financial connected Canadians in new and exciting ways; and despite the economic strength. We look forward to your continued support as we fight back… for life. recession continued financial strength was realized. introducing Our incoming Volunteer Chair As Marion’s term comes to an end, we welcome the familiar face of Stephen Baron to this role on April 23. Here’s a bit of background on Stephen: Society roles: Currently sits on the Society’s Ontario Division Board of Directors, in addition to the Nominating & Governance Committee; past Treasurer and Chair Finance Committee, Ontario Division; active volunteer with the Society at both the provincial and local level. full-time position: Head of Finance, Canadian Wealth stephen Baron, incoming Chair Management, RBC. “This is a truly exciting time to help Other volunteer activities: Recently served in lead Ontario Division in its fight several leadership capacities with his synagogue; served against cancer. I’m inspired marion Kirsh, Chair rick perciante, Acting Chief executive Officer on Board of Directors for children’s summer camps. by the passion and enthusiasm I see throughout our organization, Stephen lives in Thornhill with his wife Karen and and I know we will continue to their three children. make vital progress in defeating cancer and supporting those who battle the disease.” FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 3
  4. 4. investing in breakthroughs • There are more than 200 different types thE NEED of cancer and research is key in the fight to eradicate cancer and enhance the lives of those living with cancer. • Every three minutes, another Canadian is faced with fighting cancer. • Childhood cancer, although rare, is the leading cause of death from disease in Canadian children over one month of age, second only to accidents. • The Society’s annual research grant t h E i M PA C t h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k competition brought together scientific experts from around the world to help outsmart cancer by selecting the ‘best of the best’ projects and pointed out gaps in cancer research and opportunities in the cancer fight. • The Ontario Division of the Society invested $24.7 million in 2009-10 in research in Canada that spanned cancer prevention, early detection, new treatment options and support. • In Ontario, 133 research projects received funding and over 1,000 cancer patients were enrolled into Society-funded clinical trials. • The Society’s investment in research is producing significant victories. For instance, incidence and death rates for most types of cancer have stabilized or declined during the past decade. • Research has also led to considerable progress in cancers that affect the youngest Canadians: • Childhood cancer death rates have OUR fight declined by about 50 per cent since 1985. Lori Taraba (left): Age 46, married with twin boys born in 1997 and one daughter born in 2000, living in Niagara Falls. My son Brock was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was just 10 months old. • The five-year survival rate for childhood Having completed 26 months of treatment, Brock is now a happy, healthy 12-year-old. cancer is now 82 per cent, an 11 per cent Dr. Lillian Sung (right): Society-funded cancer researcher studying the role of infection in children with leukemia. increase over the last 15 years.
  5. 5. tHAnKs tO reseArCH, mOre CHilDren Are BeAtinG CAnCer “For the first 10 months of his life, my son assistance. He loves bicycling, elephants, In addition, Dr. Sung chairs a committee Brock – unlike his twin brother Conner – just reading mystery books and playing video with the Children’s Oncology Group – a seemed to keep on getting sick with things games with Conner. When Conner wins, renowned group that includes international like bronchitis or throat infections,” explains “I just challenge him again,” Brock says. hospitals and institutions that lead clinical Lori Taraba. “By August of 1998 however, trials to improve cure rates for childhood Brock was fortunate with regards to the really serious symptoms began to cancers. Their collective goal is to find infection during his treatment; infections appear.” After several days of investigation, better cancer treatments so that more among children during cancer treatment Lori received the diagnosis: high-risk acute children like Brock can survive. are common and can be more deadly than lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). For children the cancer itself. Although he did contract “It feels incredible to work on the leading under a year with ALL, the survival rate is two serious bacterial infections in the early edge of cancer research,” says Dr. Sung. low and the prognosis is poor. After a good phases of his treatment, both were “Having seen the devastating impact cry, Lori remembers thinking: “Now that we successfully treated with intravenous this disease has on children, their family “my son is here because know what it is, we’re ready to fight it with antibiotics and caused no long-lasting members and friends, I feel very everything we’ve got.” ill-effects. Other children with leukemia privileged to be able to make a difference of the researchers who fight Besides Brock’s bouts of chemotherapy are not so lucky. in the fight against cancer.” in the spine every 16 weeks, he also required cancer every day.” Dr. Lillian Sung is an award-winning And that difference means the world to 10 days of double-dose radiation to his researcher at The Hospital for Sick children like Brock and their parents. lori taraba head. “We were advised that Brock could Children in Toronto who, through Canadian “My son is here because of the researchers experience some limitations in terms of Cancer Society research funding, is who fight cancer every day,” says a fine-motor, math and language skills, studying the role of infection in children grateful Lori. “Thanks to research, cancer speech and physical growth due to the with leukemia. “In my research, we’re is no longer a death sentence.” head radiation,” Lori says. “But the doctors looking for genetic markers that will identify also told us that there were things we children who have the highest risk of could do as parents to minimize these developing infections, a serious side-effect consequences.” Once the limitations that can lead to death in some of these began to appear at around age two, Lori’s young patients,” says Dr. Sung. “We’re also remarkable plan to support Brock kicked in. testing different treatments to try and Today, Brock is a healthy, self-sustaining reduce the infection risk – ultimately, we pre-teen who is fully functional with some want to improve cancer survival.” #1 HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: the Canadian Cancer society much progress has been made in the fight against cancer, but more needs to be done. is the largest charitable visit to learn how you can join the fight to help us end cancer. funder of childhood cancer research in Canada. FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 5
  6. 6. working for safer workplaces • At present, we simply don’t know enough thE NEED about our exposure to cancer-causing substances in the workplace. There is no reliable data on the number of occupation- related cancers in Ontario, and the connection between cancer and ongoing low-level exposure to many carcinogens is unclear. • We do know that industrial workers are more likely than others to be at risk of exposure to workplace carcinogens, and that 20 to 30 per cent of their cancers might be related to such exposure. • In March 2009, the Society helped launch the h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) – a world-class facility dedicated to improving knowledge and evidence to identify, prevent and ultimately eliminate exposure to cancer-causing substances in the workplace. The Centre is a joint undertaking funded by the Ontario Division of the Society, Cancer Care Ontario and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and was developed in collaboration with the United Steelworkers. • The Society’s advocacy efforts, in partnership with other health, environmental and labour organizations, led to the introduction of the Toxics Reduction Act in April 2009. After its introduction, the Society continued to advocate for tougher measures to reduce toxic exposures. t h E i M PAC t • With the support of the Society, the OCRC has begun making progress in raising awareness and building a research program that will ultimately lead to safer, healthier My fight workplaces. Fred LeBlanc: Age 43, married, living and working as a firefighter in Kingston. I serve as the elected president of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association. I’m actively involved in the fight to protect the health and safety of Ontario firefighters, including the issue of workplace toxins.
  7. 7. FireFiGHters BAttlinG FOr eArlier CAnCer sCreeninG “People have a great fear of fire,” says Fred is getting worse. “Some of today’s new “My profession has me fighting fires while tackling a challenging LeBlanc, a 25-year veteran firefighter and composite materials burn hotter and faster. our Association fights for firefighter safety,” connection with cancer president of the Ontario Professional Fire Although firefighters have better protective Fred concludes. “The OCRC goes a step Although there’s convincing evidence Fighters Association. “They’re afraid of gear, they are still absorbing these toxins further, fighting not only for firefighters but showing a relationship between exposure to harmful substances in the workplace and what it can do, how it damages people and through their skin.” all workers, so that one day, Canadian certain cancers, actually proving a definite, property, how it traumatizes them, and how workplaces will be free of cancer-causing causal relationship is very difficult. That’s The Association is fighting hard to inform it doesn’t stop until we force it to stop or substances.” because cancers can take a long time its membership – and especially the to form, and because it’s hard to isolate until it runs out of fuel. I believe that’s quite medical community – about the need suspected carcinogens from other factors similar to how people feel about cancer,” for earlier cancer screening for high-risk in the workplace. he observes. individuals. It’s also actively promoting the To tackle this challenge and drive progress In 2007, Ontario enacted ‘presumptive benefits of fitness and other healthy lifestyle in the cancer fight, last March the Occupational Cancer Research Centre legislation’ covering full-time firefighters practices to help offset the higher (OCRC) was launched. This joint meaning that eight types of cancer – occupational cancer risk. undertaking was funded by Cancer Care bladder, brain, colorectal, esophageal, “the OCrC goes a step Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Fred is very excited about the new Insurance Board, the Canadian Cancer kidney, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and ureter – can be presumed to be caused Occupational Cancer Research Centre further, fighting not only for Society, Ontario Division and developed in (OCRC). The founding partners, Cancer collaboration with the United Steelworkers. by workplace exposure unless proven otherwise. “For instance,” Fred explains, Care Ontario, the Canadian Cancer firefighters but all workers, This innovative centre – the first of its kind in Canada – will use its dedicated funding Society, Workers Safety Insurance Board “firefighters who contract brain cancer after so that one day, Canadian to build new knowledge about work-related and the United Steel Workers, are sharing risk factors for cancer by working closely 10 years on the job, or those who contract their expertise to reach a common goal: bladder cancer after 15 years, now qualify workplaces will be free of with stakeholders, and will apply the results to better understand and protect workers in the areas of community action, public for benefits under the Workplace Safety and education, prevention, legislation and Insurance Act.” from occupational cancers. cancer-causing substances.” policy development. “I’m hoping the OCRC will foster greater Fred leBlanc Ultimately, the OCRC’s research findings “Despite being in better physical shape than acceptance of the fact that some cancers should translate into vital breakthroughs most Ontarians, firefighters have an that will lead to tangible actions to help are occupationally caused,” Fred says. increased risk of getting cancer,” Fred eradicate the threat of workplace-induced “Its focus on occupation-related research cancer and enhance the lives of Ontario notes, adding that cancers are now should lead to better prevention and workers and their families. striking firefighters earlier. A major cause, education programs aimed at workers in he says, is that the ‘toxic soup’ of higher-risk occupations, such as firefighters chemicals found in products all around us #2 and other industrial workers.” HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: in north America, Ontario is Help persuade the Ontario government to strengthen the Toxics Reduction Act through second only to texas in the tonnes of toxic chemicals being regulations. visit released into the air and water and going to landfill sites. FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 7
  8. 8. Speaking out for change • Although considerable progress has been thE NEED made in provincial legislation supporting cancer prevention, there’s still more work to do. Speaking out is vital in fighting back against cancer throughout the year, so that new policies are implemented to help prevent cancer from ever happening in the first place, and thus build a healthier tomorrow for all Ontarians. • All year long, Society volunteers and staff h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k actively advocated for healthier public policies at the municipal, provincial and federal level. • On November 24, the Society organized its third MPP Education Day at Queen’s Park in Toronto, where over 65 Society volunteers, staff and Ontario Division board members from across Ontario connected over breakfast with 42 MPPs, including the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, plus legislative staffers. Public Issues Team members also held a dozen individual meetings with MPPs discussing such key issues as access to cancer drugs; contraband tobacco; toxic use reduction; and taking action to restrict youth under 18 from accessing indoor tanning beds and requiring health-risk signage be prominently displayed in tanning salons. • The Society’s influence in the corridors t h E i M PA C t of power is more respected and our ability to achieve legislative change heightened, thanks to the relationships built and nurtured through our advocacy activities at both the community and provincial level. My fight • In just one year, the Society was mentioned Shelley Bresett: Age 42, mother of three children, living in Chatham. 50 times in the Ontario Legislature, Lost my husband Chris in 2006 after his melanoma skin cancer – quite possibly caused by frequent indoor tanning – metastasized into a brain demonstrating the importance and value of tumour. Now I’m a Society volunteer, tirelessly advocating for healthier public policies. this event and our ongoing advocacy efforts with government officials.
  9. 9. FiGHtinG FOr inDOOr tAnninG reGulAtiOns Shelley Bresett’s husband Chris did all the and painful battle. “Why did he have to North America’s toughest right things to lead a healthy life: he didn’t suffer this way? Why do we have laws cosmetic pesticide ban smoke, he ate properly and he exercised to protect us from so many other everyday After seven years of grassroots advocacy regularly. Beyond working hard as the dangers, but there aren’t any laws requiring by passionate Canadian Cancer Society director of a call centre and being a loving tanning salons to properly explain all the volunteers and staff – together with other partner and terrific dad to his three kids, risks?” health and environment organizations he pursued his longstanding passion for and thousands of Ontarians – a province- Once she came to terms with Chris’s bodybuilding. “Chris did everything he could wide ban on the sale and use of cosmetic passing, Shelley decided to fight back pesticides took effect on Earth Day, April to copy the well-tanned musclemen he read by volunteering with the Society. She 22, 2009, thus helping reduce the public’s about in the magazines, including, tragically, provides peer support to other caregivers, risk of developing cancer. visiting a tanning salon three or four times a gives talks about cancer prevention, and week,” Shelley recounts. serves on the Society’s Public Issues Team, The Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act – Though it’s hard to believe, nobody ever speaking with MPPs about the dangers of “i have no doubt that the strongest cosmetic pesticide legislation in North America – especially helps told Chris about the dangers of indoor indoor tanning beds. At last November’s tanning. In 1999, Chris was diagnosed with MPP Education Day at Queen’s Park, she indoor tanning led to children, whose rapidly growing and developing bodies make them more metastatic melanoma – the deadliest form met with London-Fanshawe MPP Khalil Chris getting cancer.” vulnerable than adults. of skin cancer – that had spread to Ramal, the proponent of a private members his brain. Despite years of agonizing bill restricting tanning. shelley Bresett Exposure to cosmetic pesticides may surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to increase an individual’s risk of developing Reflecting on her advocacy work, Shelley cancer. The World Health Organization’s fight the cancer that had also spread to says: “By listening to others and speaking International Agency for Research on his lungs, right hip, pancreas, spleen and up to help change the laws, I’m doing Cancer has concluded that some lymph nodes, Chris finally lost his fight on everything I possibly can to prevent substances used in pesticides are known, November 7, 2006. others from needlessly dying from this probable or possible carcinogens, while “I have no doubt that indoor tanning led horrible disease.” the U.S. National Toxicology Program has to Chris getting cancer,” Shelley says. classified a number of active pesticide “Cancer made me a widow at age 38 and ingredients as ‘reasonably anticipated “He was very strong and fought hard for stole my children’s father, but we are all to be a human carcinogen’. almost seven-and-a-half years, but cancer stronger because of our experience,” finally beat him.” says Shelley. “We will never back down.” Naturally, Shelley and her kids were 2,360 devastated to watch Chris’s prolonged HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: total number of letters, e-mails, Help the society advocate for restrictions on the use of indoor tanning beds for youth meetings with government officials under 18. visit and phone calls linked to society advocacy campaigns in 2009-10. FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 9
  10. 10. tackling the threat of tobacco • Tobacco is Ontario’s biggest cancer threat, thE NEED accounting for 30 per cent of all cancer deaths. Exposure to second-hand smoke causes lung cancer and other diseases. • After years of decline, smoking rates in Ontario are flattening out. A key reason is the easy availability of cheap and illegal cigarettes (contraband tobacco). • Since the majority of smokers begin before the age of 18, it’s essential to adopt policies that prevent youth from starting. • Due in large part to Society advocacy efforts, h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k the Ontario Legislature led the way with a law banning candy-flavoured cigarillos in 2008. In October 2009, the federal government passed legislation addressing cigarillos as well as tobacco advertising in magazines and newspapers. • The Canadian Cancer Society’s free and confidential Smokers’ Helpline phone, online and text service provided personalized support, advice and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. • The Society’s Driven to Quit Challenge motivated Ontarians – with the support of a ‘buddy’ and exciting prizes – to quit smoking for one month. The Challenge receives funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and generous prize support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. • Cessation programs that help smokers quit, t h E i M PA C t like Smokers’ Helpline, continued to play a role in the fight against tobacco. • Thanks to the 2009 Driven to Quit Challenge, 22,365 Ontario tobacco users were inspired My fight Andrew Noble: Lives in Toronto with his wife and two-year-old son Thomas. to make a quit attempt for the month of March. My father died of lung cancer. As a Society employee, I advocate for changes to laws and policies that enhance tobacco control.
  11. 11. ButtinG Out tHe BiGGest CAnCer Killer As a youngster, Andrew Noble loved Society, where he advocates for changes in government sues tobacco playing ball and reading with his father, government policy and legislation to industry to recover health care costs Arnold. Now, Andrew carries on the enhance tobacco control. His hard work tradition by reading and playing ball on has led to restrictions on the use of Society advocacy efforts paid off in March the floor with his own two-year-old flavouring in tobacco products (cigarillos), 2009, when the Ontario government son, Thomas. and he’s currently battling cheap, illegal introduced legislation that allowed the cigarettes, also known as contraband province to sue tobacco companies to Sadly, Thomas never got the chance to recover tobacco-related health care tobacco. meet his grandfather. Arnold was diagnosed costs incurred in Ontario, totaling with an advanced case of lung cancer “It’s frightening to think that 30 per cent $1.6 billion per year. following an emergency hospital visit in of all cancer deaths are due to tobacco. September 2004. The radiation treatment On the other hand, if we succeed in In late September, Queen’s Park filed a $50-billion lawsuit. This legal process will left him very weak, and after being bringing in measures that lower tobacco hold the tobacco industry accountable readmitted to hospital, Arnold Noble, use, we can have a huge impact on “Cancer patients are not for the harm it’s done to the health of age 78, passed away in January 2005. cancer,” Andrew says. statistics; they’re real people Ontarians, and may further restrict the To help understand his father’s cancer Andrew says the battle against cancer industry’s marketing and sales practices. diagnosis and treatment, Andrew touches him on many levels. “As a Society with family and friends.” Through the court process, the public will finally understand that the tobacco industry consulted the Society’s Cancer employee, I’m proud to fight for policies Andrew noble has operated outside the rules of normal Information Service. “My father was a and laws that directly affect the lives of my business. If successful, the cost-recovery non-smoker and we will never know the fellow Ontarians. As a son, I’ve experienced lawsuit could provide funds for other root cause of his lung cancer,” Andrew the devastating impact that cancer has on essential health care services in Ontario says, noting that in the 1970s and 80s, a family. And as a new dad, I’m especially and force the tobacco industry to end its his father’s workplace was filled with motivated to make a difference so that predatory marketing. second-hand smoke. “The company CEO when Thomas is my age, thanks to finally banned smoking in the office, long education and advocacy, preventable British Columbia and New Brunswick have already begun the process of suing tobacco before it was required by law.” cancers will no longer be a threat.” firms, while four other provinces have Today, Andrew is actively involved in the “Cancer patients are not statistics; they’re enacted similar legislation. fight against cancer through his work as a real people with family and friends,” Andrew Senior Coordinator of Public Issues at the says. “If we fight back, we will defeat cancer.” HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: 82,097 total number of unique visitors to Help us influence the Ontario government to eliminate the production and sale of in 2009-10. contraband tobacco. visit FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 11
  12. 12. Empowering others through personal stories • People fighting cancer often have concerns thE NEED and questions, and talking with others who have had a similar experience can be a great help. • Those who care for cancer patients also need someone with whom they can share their concerns and who can provide practical suggestions to help them in their fight. • Many patients and caregivers are unaware of the Society’s Peer Support program, or wish they had known about it sooner. More Ontarians need to hear about the program, so other cancer fighters can benefit from it. • Through its free, confidential, accessible h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k and personalized Peer Support program, the Society continued to connect cancer patients and caregivers with specially trained volunteers who have had a similar cancer experience. • In 2009-10, the Society served over 3,000 patients and caregivers and supported 2,500 one-to-one matches, while its 78 active support group facilitators held more than 230 group Peer Support sessions across the province. • The Society continued to promote its Peer Support program, as well as caregiver recruitment and training, to ensure we’re doing everything we can to help Ontarians fighting cancer. • The program has made a real difference: t h E i M PA C t over 90 per cent of Peer Support users felt more hopeful, less anxious and more informed about what to expect throughout their cancer fight, while 98 per cent would My fight recommend it to a friend. Eva Salib: Age 57, married with one daughter, living in Mississauga. I successfully fought breast cancer for the first time in 2004 (two surgeries plus radiation) and received peer support during my treatment. I’ve provided peer support to 14 patients since 2006, I also volunteer weekly at my local cancer treatment centre.
  13. 13. FiGHters suppOrtinG FiGHters “I don’t know why,” says Eva Salib, “but explains. “We discussed practical things like Recalling her own battle with cancer, about 25 years ago, I remember feeling in exercise, diet and treatment procedures, Eva says, “Of course it was difficult and my heart that one day I would get breast plus how I was feeling. I appreciated physically painful at times, but cancer did cancer.” As a young girl in Cairo, she had talking with someone who’d been through not destroy me or scar me. As a result of watched her grandmother undergo very the same thing. She knew the feelings, the my cancer fight, something happened that aggressive radiation treatment for breast fears and the side effects. She was a maybe made me a better person.” cancer. comforting person and a good listener.” Now married and living in Mississauga, Eva attributes much of her recovery to her Eva’s prediction sadly came true in 2004. Christian faith. “God arranged for me to find She underwent a lumpectomy, lymph-node the Canadian Cancer Society and their surgery and then radiation to successfully Peer Support program. From this point, fight the cancer. Early in her treatment, I decided I needed to give back. It was a she happened to visit her local Canadian joy, not an obligation.” “i appreciated talking with Cancer Society office, where she was someone who’d been through She waited the required year after given the Society’s free information kit for completing her own treatment (to heal the same thing. she knew the lumpectomy patients; learned about the physically and emotionally), then began transportation service (that provided three weeks of rides to radiation treatments in peer support training in the summer of feelings, the fears and the side 2005. Her first one-on-one match was in downtown Toronto); and picked up some March 2006. “The first time I was on the effects. she was a comforting brochures. “When I called the Cancer other end of the phone, I was so happy I Information Service number on the back of person and a good listener.” had the chance to help somebody else in a pamphlet, they told me about their Peer their fight against cancer.” eva salib Support program,” Eva remembers. Except during a recurrence of her breast Within a week, Eva was matched with a cancer in 2007-08, Eva has continued woman who provided peer support for the providing individual peer support to two or rest of Eva’s treatment period. “She called even three patients at a time. She is now me once a week, and we would talk for cancer-free, she says proudly. about 15 or 20 minutes at a time,” Eva HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: 635 number of one-to-one Help the society expand its Peer Support program by getting involved as Peer Support volunteers a volunteer. learn more at across Ontario. FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 13
  14. 14. helping people one ride at a time • Fighting cancer involves more than battling thE NEED the physical aspects and tackling the raw emotions of a life-threatening illness. Fighters also need to work out practical challenges, like travelling to and from their cancer treatments. • Through its province-wide network of h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k community offices, the Society’s team of 2,800 dedicated volunteer drivers drove approximately 13 million kilometres, transporting patients from their homes to hospitals or treatment centres and back, which was of particular assistance to those who may not have had family or friends available to drive them. • The Society regularly engages in evaluation of its programs and services to ensure the needs of those living with cancer are being met. The Society’s last user survey for its transportation service showed that 93 per cent of riders reported that the service made them feel supported, indicating that the service meets an emotional as well as practical need. • The cancer fight of more than 16,000 t h E i M PA C t patients was made easier by the Society’s transportation service in 2009-10. • About one in five clients surveyed reported that they would have missed their appointment were it not for the volunteer driver program. My fight Herbert Francis: Age 74, married, grandfather of three girls, now living in Brampton. I’ve been a volunteer driver with the Society for seven years. One day per week, I have the satisfaction of driving patients to and from their cancer treatments.
  15. 15. mAKinG tHe CAnCer FiGHt A little less Bumpy Having a strong support system makes a One of the drivers who is dedicated to huge difference when fighting cancer. For fighting cancer from behind the steering Francis Loh, 78, who was diagnosed with wheel is Herbert Francis, 74. Although no pancreatic cancer in the fall of 2008, his one in his family has personally battled greatest support has been Paula, his wife cancer, Herbert – who retired six years ago of more than 50 years who has been at his from a career as a clerk with Canada Post side every step of the way. – chose the Society after exploring different opportunities at the volunteer office in Peel. Following surgery in November, Francis “The chance to transport people fighting began chemotherapy treatments in January cancer to their treatments felt like a that lasted until early last summer. He is meaningful way for me to give back,” presently awaiting word from his doctors on he says. “the volunteer drivers are the next steps in his cancer fight. A major challenge facing Francis and Paula Herbert adds that he’s driven patients very nice and are never late. to nine different hospitals, and that unless was how to get from their home in Thornhill they’re having a long treatment and the it’s truly wonderful how they to the hospital in downtown Toronto for his hospital is close to his home, he waits for weekly chemo treatment. “The Canadian them while they’re inside. “When we’re give so much of their time.” Cancer Society’s transportation service has driving in the car, I can lend a sympathetic Francis loh been invaluable support,” he explains. “I’m ear if patients wish to talk about their retired and on a fixed pension. If I wasn’t able experience,” Herbert says. to rely on the service, I’d be spending about $100 per treatment on taxis, which would “I have the time, and I want to contribute,” bankrupt me. It’s been a life-saver.” says Herbert. “I’m happy to be helping people by making their cancer fight a Francis says that on some trips to the bit easier.” hospital, he and Paula are joined by one or two other patients. “The volunteer drivers are very nice and are never late. It’s truly wonderful how they give so much of their time.” HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: 96,696 total number of roundtrip Help make the cancer fight easier for someone in your community by becoming a rides provided by transportation service volunteer. to learn how, visit society volunteers across Ontario in 2009-10. FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 15
  16. 16. the right answers, the right way • Although there’s an abundance of information thE NEED about cancer on the internet and through other sources, its accuracy is often questionable. • Cancer patients, their families and caregivers, as well as healthcare professionals have specific questions about cancer and local support services and are looking for a fast, easy way to obtain reliable answers. • Last year, the Society empowered h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k Ontarians by providing them with timely and customized information through its Cancer Information Service – a national, toll-free and confidential telephone (1 888 939-3333) and online service. Specially trained information specialists, all with a background in healthcare, handled inquiries about all types of cancers in English, French and 100 other languages through an interpreter. • The online Canadian Cancer EncyclopediaTM was updated with the latest evidence-based information on cancer. • An online community services locator provided instant access to contact information for over 4,000 cancer-related community services and programs across Ontario. • The Society offered a variety of brochures in English, French and a number of other languages. • By providing the very latest and most t h E i M PA C t reliable information about cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support, we helped Ontarians make the best decisions in their fight against cancer. My fight Catherine Le Borgne: Age 48, one of five children, raised in Copper Cliff, just outside of Sudbury. Lost my father André on January 1, 2010, after he couldn’t defeat the lung cancer that had spread throughout his body. Spoke with Cancer Information Service three times; found the materials they e-mailed me extremely helpful in keeping my siblings informed about Dad’s condition.
  17. 17. KnOWleDGe is pOWer, espeCiAlly WHen FiGHtinG CAnCer Being the only daughter living in the same better understanding of what the family Spreading the word about town as her aging parents, it was no could be facing over the coming months.” cancer risks in the Lgbt community surprise that Catherine Le Borgne would André had enough strength to enjoy a play a key role in keeping her four siblings Research shows that smoking rates are Christmas dinner at home with his informed about her father André’s cancer higher in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans family including his only great-grandchild, fight late last year. (LGBT) communities, which may lead to but his condition worsened soon after. higher rates of cancer. In response, the “My dad had been experiencing pain “That’s when his spirit started failing,” Society published a new information and in his ribs and back for some time,” Catherine says. André passed away on awareness resource in May 2009 entitled Catherine says. “In September, the pain New Year’s Day. “It was very painful to ‘Facts about Tobacco for Lesbian, Gay and was so bad he went to emergency. watch my dad slowly lose his cancer battle, Bisexual People: Reasons and Resources Dad was diagnosed with terminal lung but at least we were given a short window for Quitting Smoking’. cancer, which had spread throughout his of time to celebrate his life and say our body. He was given six to 12 months goodbyes.” “the society made it easy for “This brochure plays an important role in raising awareness across the province,” to live. Shortly after that, he began radiation Catherine is grateful to the cancer me to be the ‘information hub’ says Loralee Gillis, the research and policy treatments, solely for pain management, information specialists who helped her coordinator of Rainbow Health Ontario, not to fight the cancer.” that kept everyone in the loop.” a province-wide program working to during her father’s cancer fight. She says improve the health and well-being of “I was very frightened since I knew very little they took the time to find and e-mail her Catherine le Borgne lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people about cancer. I picked up all the different various easy-to-understand materials in Ontario through education, research, Canadian Cancer Society pamphlets I could concerning cancer diagnosis and outreach and policy advocacy. find at the cancer centre to try and make treatments. “It took a big load off my mom, “It is important that we have health sense of it all,” Catherine explains. “Then, too. Rather than having six or seven people promotion materials specifically I saw the toll-free number of the Cancer phoning her all the time to find out how dad targeted to LGBT people, and we are Information Service on the back, called was doing, I could use the information I’d thrilled that the Society has produced them up, and talked for about an hour with received from the service and include it in this groundbreaking resource.” a wonderfully caring information specialist my regular e-mails to all my siblings, clearly The brochure is available in English named Tara. I trusted what she was telling telling them what dad was going through. and French in printed form or online me, and she really helped me get over my The Society made it easy for me to be the at fear and anxiety about what was ahead of ‘information hub’ that kept everyone in us. After that first conversation, I had a the loop.” HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: 23,410 total number of telephone and Know someone who’s currently battling cancer? e-mail inquiries handled by visit to learn more about the society’s Cancer Information Service. information specialists at the Cancer Information Service in FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 17 2009-10 (1 888 939-3333 or
  18. 18. the ultimate fight night • The Society relies on the generosity of thE NEED donors to fulfill its mission. Those wishing to join the fight look for meaningful and easy opportunities to contribute to the Society. • Many people touched by cancer lack the opportunity to come together in a welcoming environment where they can celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back to end this disease. • 2009-10 was the 11th year for the Society’s h Ow w E f O U g h t b A C k signature fundraising event, Relay For Life (, in Ontario. The 12-hour overnight event took place in 20 countries around the world, with 474 events being held across Canada. In Ontario, 105 community Relays and 95 youth Relays were held, touching 82,500 participants (25,000 of them students) plus 11,300 volunteers. • Through the Relay For Life website and Facebook application, participants were able to collect pledges online and, using words, pictures and videos, share why they Relay and how they’re fighting back year-round. • Relay empowered participants to learn more about how to prevent cancer, join the Society’s advocacy efforts or become a volunteer. • More than 11,000 cancer survivors proudly walked the Survivors’ Victory Lap while over 130,000 luminaries lit up the night sky. Photo courtesy of Kathy Traynor Photography • The $17.8 million raised through Relay in t h E i M PA C t 2009-10 added punch to the Society’s cancer fight. • The Facebook presence – which raised an additional $200,000 – was just one more My fight way people could fight cancer year-round. Tracy Groombridge: Age 41, widow, mother of 15-year-old son John, living in Peterborough. Through a breast self-exam in October 2008, I discovered a lump. I underwent a radical modified mastectomy followed by chemotherapy • Relay enabled participants and volunteers to and radiation. I did my first Relay For Life in 2009 and am working on other fundraising projects. celebrate, remember and fight back, and make the biggest difference in the fight against cancer.
  19. 19. ReLAy empOWers CAnCer FiGHters tO FiGHt BACK Nine days after the first anniversary of her Last spring, three weeks into her Girls Night In: a party husband Jack’s death from Lou Gehrig’s five-week radiation treatment program, with a purpose disease, Tracy Groombridge discovered a Tracy launched her spirited fight back Last July, the Society launched a fun and lump in her right breast. She was soon against cancer by taking part in her local flexible community fundraising program advised she had an aggressive type of Relay For Life. This community-based called Girls Night In to support leading-edge breast cancer, and needed an immediate fundraising program exists to celebrate research into breast, uterine, ovarian and radical modified mastectomy, followed by cancer survivors, remember loved ones cervical cancers. chemotherapy and possibly radiation. lost to cancer, and fight back to find a The host of a Girls Night In event invites a cure for this terrible disease. group of her girlfriends to come over for a “Shortly before my surgery, I hosted a big get-together that might feature dinner and party at my house: the ‘Boob Voyage Party Her team, the Bosom Buddies, raised chick-flicks, a home fashion show, a night of to the Right Sister’,” Tracy recounts. “On over $12,000 and won an award for their “if every single person joins karaoke or a home spa event. Everyone who the day of my surgery, I was brave and fundraising success. Tracy herself proudly attends the event donates money – either the never cried, but it was torture not being walked in the Survivors’ Victory Lap. the fight against cancer, we amount they would’ve spent on a ‘night out on the town’ or a set amount – to the able to be at the rink as team manager for A regular speaker at public Relay events, can help save more lives. to Canadian Cancer Society. my son John’s hockey team. We both cried Tracy delivered a very powerful speech at a not take action… to not fight Last fall, Gillian Seguin of London invited happy tears when he showed me the pink Relay leadership summit last fall. She was about 20 girlfriends to a Girls Night In party ribbon sticker on his helmet that the coach had given to him and all his teammates.” involved in planning ‘Pink in the Rink’ – a back and just let cancer win is at her home where everyone wore their bridal special event this past February in which gowns or favourite bridesmaid dresses. Tracy remembers her mother, when picking players from the Peterborough Petes OHL simply not an option.” “Our Girls Night In was a blast and a great way for our group of friends to get together, share her up for her first treatment, asking why team wore pink hockey jerseys that were tracy Groombridge some laughs and party with a purpose.” she was all dressed-up. “I told her that auctioned off after the game, raising just ‘just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I over $53,000. The website includes everything needed to plan and run have to look sick!’” “If every single person joins the fight against a successful event, including links to Facebook When talking with others who were also cancer, we can help save more lives. To not and Twitter. Hosts can even create their fighting cancer, Tracy continually stressed take action… to not fight back and just let own web page that accepts online donations and can display photos for everyone to the importance of staying positive. “Accept cancer win is simply not an option.” enjoy afterwards! the help and hugs of friends and family, cry when you feel like crying, and talk openly to anyone who will listen. Bottling up your 1,036 emotions will only make things worse.” HOW yOu CAn jOiN thE fight: total number of Girls Night In fans Create your own team, pledge a participant or volunteer at a who currently stay connected and Relay For Life event in your local community. visit exchange fun event ideas through FiGHtinG BACK... Canadian Cancer society Ontario Division impact report | 2009 - 2010 19