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I am very pleased to be this month’s guest blogger. I joined the BC Cancer Foundation as its new President and CEO in mid-April and since then I have been so inspired by the many incredible donors who support the BC Cancer Agency’s brilliant and compassionate team of physicians and scientists.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a bit about me. I grew up in New Jersey – yes, I am American (and now also Canadian) – and moved to Vancouver from Boston in 2008 with my husband and two children. Our decision to move west and emigrate was a very purposeful decision for both professional and personal reasons. We had fallen in love with Vancouver when visiting for the first time on a vacation, and then I was lucky enough to be recruited to UBC as the Faculty of Medicine’s Assistant Dean, Development and Alumni Engagement, where I spent a terrific eight years leading the medical school’s campaign.

Sarah Roth and her family
Sarah and her family enjoying one of their many cycling adventures.

How I became a professional fundraiser is like many of us – I just “fell” into it. As a child, I was a very eager student and went on to earn two graduate degrees (MA and MBA), not necessarily required for my profession, but merely to satisfy my hunger to continue to learn. During my time as a graduate student, I earned extra money by working in the Development Office of the university I was attending, and soon realized that the hours I was spending in the library working on a PhD in History was less of a fit for me than the joy I was getting speaking to donors and watching my development colleagues in action. Having spent most of my career in healthcare philanthropy, I love that I can still learn each day as if I’m a student of science and medicine, without needing to write a dissertation or take any exams!

I have always been a people-person. There are those around us who get energy from people and those who prefer more solitude. My most creative moments and successes have resulted through deep relationships with colleagues who are making the world a healthier place, and donors who believe in the important role of philanthropy towards that goal.

I look forward to sharing more in subsequent posts about what the BC Cancer Foundation is doing to create a world free from cancer. In the meantime, you may see me out on the road on my bike training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.