fbpx PixelServer

$6.1M Fundraising Campaign Completed for New BC Cancer – Kelowna Systemic Therapy Suite

May 23, 2024

The BC Cancer Foundation is thrilled to announce the completion of a $6.1 million fundraising campaign to bring a new, state-of-the-art Systemic Therapy Suite to BC Cancer – Kelowna. Launching in fall 2022, the campaign surpassed its goal well-ahead of the anticipated two-year timeframe thanks to remarkable support from the community.

The campaign brought together the local auto industry, saw the largest gift in the Interior’s history from the Bannister family, and BC Cancer – Kelowna staff even created a Tour de Cure team to fundraise. In total, over 115 generous donors supported this transformational campaign – along with a dedicated group of local advocates and volunteers who rallied the community.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the generous community across the Interior region who share our commitment to advancing innovation in cancer care,” says Sarah Roth, BC Cancer Foundation’s President & CEO.

Expected to break ground in 2024, the new suite will increase BC Cancer – Kelowna’s capacity to deliver systemic therapy treatments – which includes chemotherapy and immunotherapy – by 40%. With cancer rates rising due to a growing and aging population, this capacity is essential to meet the region’s needs. Kelowna will also become the first centre outside Vancouver to offer early phase clinical trials, ensuring more patients have access to the most cutting-edge treatments close to home.

“On behalf of BC Cancer – Kelowna’s staff, we’re inspired by the community’s trust and generosity in investing in this initiative,” says Dr. Ross Halperin, BC Cancer – Kelowna’s Executive Medical Director. “The new systemic therapy suite will open a new chapter for cancer care and research for the Interior, and we’re deeply grateful to the community for making this possible.”

BC Cancer – Kelowna has a growing global reputation for its innovative research, largely fuelled by donor support. This includes Dr. Juanita Crook’s advances in brachytherapy, with clinicians from across Canada now travelling to Kelowna to learn under her, and Dr. Islam Mohamed’s world-first study combining two advanced treatment techniques to treat early-stage lung cancer.

The Honourable Ross Fitzpatrick, O.C., O.B.C. and Linda Fitzpatrick generously donated the final $725,000 to complete the campaign. Both Ross and Linda are cancer survivors and received care at BC Cancer – Kelowna.

“Our family has called the Okanagan home for over a century and it’s an honour to be able to support the community in this way,” say Ross and Linda Fitzpatrick.  “Cancer has personally touched us in many ways, as we know it has most. Supporting BC Cancer-Kelowna means giving hope to those facing cancer now, and in the years to come.”

The BC Cancer Foundation is continuing to raise vital funds to accelerate clinical research at BC Cancer – Kelowna. The Foundation is also fundraising in support of the new BC Cancer centre in Kamloops.

To support enhancing cancer care in the Interior, visit: bccancerfoundation.com/interior