Vancouver, B.C. – A B.C. woman has pledged $5-million to the BC Cancer Foundation to advance tailored treatment solutions and cures for breast cancer patients. The donation, made by Laurie Rix through the Rix Family Foundation, is the largest made to BC Cancer’s breast team and will catapult critical research into rare and hard to treat forms of the disease, including life-threatening subtypes that impact younger women.
Building on the legacy of her late father, Dr. Donald Rix—who made medical history as the first patient in the world to have a treatment based on the genomic makeup of his cancer—Rix says:
“In the 11 years since my father passed away, progress has been made in leaps and bounds. When my father was facing his cancer, we went for consults all over the world, and it was only right here at BC Cancer where they had the technology, progressive thinking and willingness to take the leap into precision medicine as a part of care. I am so proud to invest in the BC Cancer team as they are absolute leaders in their field.”
Cancer’s impact on Laurie’s family didn’t stop with her father. Laurie’s late-husband, well-known Vancouver broadcaster Neil Macrae, faced male breast cancer, along with two other forms of cancer, that took his life three years ago.
A key component of the donation will support BC Cancer’s flagship breast cancer study, B-PRECISE. The study invites individuals facing breast cancer in B.C. to actively take part in research, with a focus on tackling unmet medical needs and bringing precision medicine to patients, in particular those with rare and hard to treat sub-types.
“BC Cancer is a world leader in technology frontiers, such as single cell analysis and blood plasma research. With this gift, we will be able to personalize and refine treatments based on what individual patients need. We have so much gratitude for Laurie’s generosity and her desire to advance the science and patient outcomes,” says Dr. Samuel Aparicio, distinguished scientist, BC Cancer.
In the past 15 years, BC Cancer has delivered world first discoveries in breast cancer that have transformed the way the disease is treated today. They’ve been at the top in producing landmark publications and are the most widely cited research group in the world on breast cancer.
“On behalf of women around the world who fear this disease, I thank Laurie Rix for providing incredible leadership and a beacon of hope, especially to the thousands of individuals in our province who face breast cancer each year,” says Sarah Roth, President and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. “The Rix Family Foundation’s transformative donation will ensure that BC Cancer answers some of the biggest questions still plaguing oncologists and scientists around the world.”
The donation was celebrated at the 2020 Virtual Inspiration Gala, in the kick-off to BC Cancer Foundation’s campaign to Break Down Women’s Cancers, raising a total of $8.2 million for breast and gynecologic cancer research toward a $20 million goal.