BC Cancer Foundation’s 9th annual Discovery Luncheon raised a record-setting $370,000 to help bring genomically-based solutions to the clinic and hope to families facing cancer across the Interior.

“I am always truly inspired by the generosity of the passionate people of the Interior,” says Sarah Roth, president & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. “Once again this community has come together to help change outcomes for families facing a cancer diagnosis and prove that BC CAN break down cancer.”

Patient Shannon Gall spoke at the event and shared about the life-changing impact genomics – analyzing an individual’s DNA to better understand their cancer– had on her after she was diagnosed with advanced stage IV lung cancer last September.

Originally taking 40 pills a day to manage the pain she was feeling, Shannon’s biopsy was sent to BC Cancer’s Genome Sciences Centre for testing to see if she would be a fit for targeted drug therapy. The results showed her tumour had a well-known mutation and there was a drug that could treat it.

She now takes only one pill a day and is grateful for the extra time she gets to spend with family and friends.

Shannon and her husband Clayton generously donated $10,000 to the cause, knowing the tremendous impact genomics has had on her life.  

“I am living proof that genomics makes a difference,” says Shannon. “Donor support can continue to help BC Cancer experts map out thousands of gene mutations so that, for people like me, cancer is treated like a chronic disease rather than a death sentence.”

The O’Sullivan family from Vancouver, close friends of the Gall’s, made an incredible $100,000 donation at the event to help other patients facing a similar situation as Shannon.

Over the past nine years the Discovery Luncheon has raised $1.2 million to help propel the latest innovative research and enhancements to patient care taking place at BC Cancer. This year’s record-setting event once again showcased how the community can make an impact on those touched by cancer in Kelowna, the Interior, and across the entire province.

“Over these past nine years I’ve seen so many old and new faces joining us in our coalition against cancer,” says Dr. Ross Halperin, regional medical director for BC Cancer - Kelowna. “We all have a role in changing cancer outcomes and our work is not done yet. Together, we can make a difference.”

No stranger to philanthropy, Tom Budd of The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation again showed generous support by matching donations up to $30,000 made at the event.

Special thanks to BMO Bank of Montreal, Sentes Automotive Group and the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club, and to all of our event sponsors and partners.  

To learn more about genomics, visit www.bccancerfoundation.com