For the first time in Leap’s four-year history, we don’t have a person on our cover. A few months into our Campaign 43, we are reminded of how important that number is in Alberta – a number we are focused on changing. Forty-three people heard today that they have cancer, 43 Albertans will hear that tomorrow and 43 more the day after that.
We remain committed to those 43 Albertans and in this issue of Leap, you will read more about our “transformative programs” – the first milestone in our new investment model. We know these motivated researchers will speed the pace of discovery, translating results to better screening and prevention tools, improved treatment and care.
You will also read about Mary Agnes Radostits, one of those 43 Albertans who faced a cancer diagnosis several years ago and as a result of the care she received at the Cross Cancer Institute, she and her husband Ivan Radostits wanted to give back. It was important that their donation generated more answers about this disease. As Ivan says, “without research, we make no progress. It is absolutely essential for developing new treatments.” The generosity of the Radostitses means a researcher like Dr. Luc Berthiaume can evaluate what may be a potential new class of anti-drugs for lymphomas. If successful, it will improve patient care and outcomes and spare patients with unresponsive tumours the toxic side effects of current therapies.
Thanks to investments in research, we know more about cancer than we ever did before and that means more people are living longer with cancer. It also means we have a greater role to play in easing the cancer journey for those Albertans.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation financially supports the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and the 15 other centres across the province. We know patients receive excellent care in all of them. We also know if treatment is to be successful, it’s important to allow people to focus on all aspects of wellbeing and healing – not just the physical side of things. That’s why we have entered into a partnership with Wellspring Calgary, a facility that will allow patients and families to receive the unconditional support they need during a difficult time. As you will read in this issue, one visitor says, “Wellspring programs can improve our outcomes. Healing from the emotional and spiritual aspects of cancer just increases our odds.”
While we push for more answers, that’s what we like to hear.
Myka Osinchuk, CEO
Alberta Cancer Foundation
Angela Boehm, Chair
Alberta Cancer Foundation