Some things are constant for us each summer at the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Every weekend, hundreds, if not thousands, of Albertans take part in a variety of fundraising events across the province – Mud Hero, Joe’s Team Triathlon and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer to name a few.
In this issue you’ll read about a clinical trials nurse at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre who took her event to the high seas, racing around the world while raising critical research funds for the patients she treats.
Another constant is the work we do to prepare our annual report. Every summer, we look back at our year and the progress we have made in cancer research, treatment and care in Alberta. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished but we know there is more – much more – to do.
Yes, we are a registered charity. But we think of ourselves as much more than that. As you’ll read in our annual report (AlbertaCancerReport.ca/2014), and throughout this magazine, we act more like an investment manager, which means we must deliver the returns people expect for their money. And that’s why we invest in things that provide the most important return of all: healthy Albertans.
We also know many of you have lost loved ones and we want to push for faster progress so others don’t have to go through the same journey. We want to celebrate more family and friends returning to their lives, their families and work.
We make sure your investments are focused on improving patient outcomes. For instance, in this issue of Leap, you will read about the difference that patient navigators are making across the province. Our investment into this program has placed navigators at the 15 community cancer centres across the province, assisting more than 5,000 patients so far. These invaluable nurses provide much-needed support during key points of the cancer journey.
You’ll also read about our “research rockstar,” Dr. Ing Swie Goping, whose work could change the way we treat breast cancer. She gained worldwide attention in the field when she discovered a protein in breast tumours that could predict whether a certain kind of chemotherapy will work or not. This level of personalized medicine would allow clinicians to tailor therapies to individual patients, improving their treatment success. This type of investment closes the gap, faster, so Alberta becomes the least frightening place in Canada to get cancer. We hope you enjoy reading about these investments we make on behalf of our donors.
We also want to know what you think of Leap magazine. Your feedback is important to us and, just as we do with our donations, we want to make sure we deliver content that matters. Please take five minutes to visit albertacancer.ca/Leapsurvey
Myka Osinchuk, CEO
Alberta Cancer Foundation
Angela Boehm, Chair
Alberta Cancer Foundation