Hope Couture raises more than $700,000 to bring future of pancreatic cancer research and care to B.C.

September 20, 2019

Found in News

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC Cancer Foundation’s sixth annual Hope Couture presented by Legacy Senior Living – The Leo Wertman Residence announces more than $700,000 raised to launch a cutting-edge pancreatic rapid access clinic at BC Cancer – Vancouver.

Thanks to a sold-out room of 415 guests, the crowd was moved when an extraordinary $150,000 gift was announced from generous donor Carol Lai, who passed away from pancreatic cancer on August 2nd. Carol was passionate about advancing cancer care and research and felt compelled to help bring a rapid access clinic to patients, like herself, to B.C.

“Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada, and unless more effective treatment strategies are found, it’s projected to become the second leading cause by 2030,” says Dr. Daniel Renouf, medical oncologist, BC Cancer and co-founder of Pancreas Centre BC. “Our team is immensely grateful to Hope Couture guests and Foundation donors for helping us kick-start this crucial clinic.”

For British Columbians facing pancreatic cancer, swift diagnosis and care allows patients the best chance at survival and more time with loved ones. Vancouver’s Arthur Owtram knows first-hand how crucial immediate care and research is.

In 2016 Arthur was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer and told he had only weeks to live. Searching for a life-saving option, BC Cancer was able to enroll him in a clinical trial, and today he is doing well.

“Thanks to the trial and research at BC Cancer, three years later, I’m alive, feeling fantastic and enjoying walks in the park,” says Arthur.

Philanthropic funds raised at Hope Couture will help to change outcomes and bring hope to the more than 800 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in our province each year. The pancreatic rapid access clinic at BC Cancer – Vancouver will be the first of its kind in Western Canada, providing expedited access to consults with multiple specialists, rapid diagnostic testing, cutting-edge genetic profiling and innovative research within one clinic.

“Our generous Hope Couture community has sparked the future of pancreatic cancer research and care in B.C., directly impacting patients and families in need today,” says Sarah Roth, president & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.

Held at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, guests of the fashion show and luncheon were taken to “Sunset on the Serengeti” with lively décor and an energetic live auction. Vancouver boutique retailers Bacci’s and Boboli impressed the audience with stunning fashions from their fall and winter collections, including pieces from Chloé, Valentino, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney, Giambattista Valli and more.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Hayley Judge

Communications Specialist

BC Cancer Foundation