With demand for PET/CT technology across British Columbia at an all-time high, BMO Financial Group has partnered with the BC Cancer Foundation to help make it a reality. From now until Oct. 31, BMO Financial Group will match donations made to support the BC Cancer Foundation’s campaign to double PET/CT technology in British Columbia up to $500,000. The campaign will fund two new PET/CT scanners at BC Cancer’s Vancouver Island Centre in Victoria and BC Cancer’s Sindi Ahluwalia Centre for the Southern Interior in Kelowna. PET/CT scanners are the most advanced diagnostic tool available today and will dramatically improve outcomes for the 38,000 people across B.C. who will be diagnosed with cancer every year come 2030. “We are proud to partner with the BC Cancer Foundation to bring this critical care tool closer to home for those in need.” says Paul Seipp, Regional Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. “At BMO we believe in giving back to the communities where our customers and employees live. The resources provided by this donation will help to change the outcomes for families facing cancer across British Columbia.” With its precise imaging technology, PET/CT enables doctors to make the most accurate diagnosis and provide the best treatment, says Dr. Ross Halperin, regional medical director at the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Centre for the Southern Interior. Often, it can save patients from unnecessary radiation treatment, surgery and biopsies, he adds. In 2014, 1,270 PET/CT scans were performed for patients in the Island Health region. This represents a 147% increase in the number of scans performed just five years previous. The Southern Interior saw a nearly 200% increase in demand over the same five year period. Currently, patients and their families have to travel to Vancouver where the province’s two publicly-funded scanners are located. It’s an experience that BMO branch manager Kerry Patterson and her family know all too well. Kerry’s brother Jordan was diagnosed with cancer last year at the age of 40. An initial CT scan was inconclusive, so he travelled to Vancouver for a PET/CT scan. This provided crucial information to help his doctors confirm his diagnosis, see where the cancer had spread, and decide what kind of treatment he needed. “My brother has two young twin boys that he had to bring with him and thankfully his wife was able to travel as well,” she says. “But most families may not have that same opportunity or may find it extremely difficult.” With the rate of cancer expected to increase due to population growth and ageing, now is the time to bring this essential diagnostic tool to Vancouver Island and the Southern Interior. “We are incredibly grateful to BMO Financial Group for their generosity in matching gifts to support the acquisition of two new PET/CT scanners in Victoria and Kelowna,” says Sarah Roth, President and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. "We encourage our fellow British Columbians to take advantage of this opportunity and help change the course of cancer care in our province.” The matching gift opportunity will run until October 31, 2017. Make a gift online today. -30- Media enquiries please contact: Vincent Matak Communications Coordinator BC CANCER FOUNDATION firstname.lastname@example.org T: 604.707.5946 C: 778.233.3740 The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. About BMO Donations For 200 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2016, BMO contributed more than $57 million in community donations to charitable, not-for-profit and community based institutions and organizations that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.