VANCOUVER, B.C. – Inspired by the opportunity to revolutionize cancer treatment in B.C. through personalized medicine, guests at the BC Cancer Foundation’s 2011 Inspiration Gala united to raise $1.5 million for the BC Cancer Agency’s Personalized Medicine Project.

The aspiration of a world free from cancer motivated gala chair and BC Cancer Foundation board member Monika Deol, who created an electric evening for the sold out crowd of 400.

“The 2011 Inspiration Gala was sold out in three weeks and this evening was magical. There was an awareness of the BC Cancer Foundation and a renewed awareness of the absolutely life-changing work the BC Cancer Agency does. The gala was a success on many different levels and we are so grateful to each donor,” said Deol.

The room was transformed into a majestic far-away destination, rich with the vibrant colours of saris and spices and lit with a glow from Moroccan lanterns, yet the goal stayed close to home—personalizing cancer treatment right here in our own backyard.

Each year the BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala raises funds for a specific research project, and this year’s beneficiary, personalized medicine, is a research initiative that is poised to transform cancer care by personalizing treatment based on genetic profiles.

“Using comprehensive DNA sequencing we will diagnose patients and develop individualized treatment plans for each person’s cancer,” said Dr. Marco Marra, director of the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre, during an on-stage interview with Peter Mansbridge. “Right here, right now, we are in a position, with a leading-edge cancer care organization and world-renowned genome sciences centre, to embark on a new way to treat cancer—a personal approach.”

BC Cancer Foundation President and CEO Douglas Nelson thanked Gala sponsors for their generosity, which allows every donor dollar raised at the event to be invested into ground-breaking research at the BC Cancer Agency.

“When the doctors and scientists of the BC Cancer Agency came to us and said, ‘personalized medicine initiative is where we need to invest’ because it promises to improve patient outcomes in B.C. in the future, we were thrilled to dedicate this year’s gala funds to such a momentous project,” said Douglas Nelson. “Starting today, those doctors and scientists can begin their visionary research thanks to the generosity of our Inspiration Gala donors!”

Guests’ generosity shone in the magical environment of the BC Cancer Foundation’s 2011 Inspiration Gala. A highlight for all—Canadian media icon, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge swooped in to Vancouver on a rare evening away from his Toronto news desk to host the event, entertain guests with his witty humor, and most importantly, help change the face of cancer treatment for British Columbians.

The Foundation’s seven Inspiration Galas have raised over $9 million to-date for cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency and directly funded major breakthroughs in cancer knowledge.

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For more information, event photos or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Allison Colina
Communications Specialist
e. allison.colina@bccancer.bc.ca
t. 604-707-5934