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Together, we're
creating a future
without breast cancer

We are saving lives and moving closer to a future without breast cancer
by funding breakthrough research, education and advocacy.
We’re making progress and we can’t stop now

Learn Videos Stories
Sandra Palmaro

Sandra Palmaro,
CEO, Ontario Region

Christy Teasdale

Christy Teasdale,
Chair, Ontario Region Board of Directors

Driving progress with innovative research, education and advocacy

It’s been an incredibly exciting year for Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, with even more promising breast cancer research added to our list of funding recipients and numerous health education and advocacy activities packed into our calendar over the last 12 months.

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Sandra PalmaroChristy Teasdale

Driving progress with innovative research, education and advocacy

Sandra Palmaro &
Christy Teasdale

In 2014, thanks to your generous support, we awarded $7.9 million in grants to fund 17 new breast cancer research projects and 10 new training fellowships in Ontario. The research projects range in focus from studying ways to prevent breast cancer to a two-step vaccine that would not only kill tumours but also help prevent them from coming back.

We worked hard to share the incredible learning from the research community with the public through education and advocacy programs. With the remarkable support of CIBC and Shoppers Drug Mart, the Pink Tour visited more than 360 Ontario communities and connected with over 56,500 people in the last two years, providing valuable information about breast health and breast cancer screening.

We also continued to advocate for and with the breast cancer community. The launch of ‘My Breast My Test’, a Facebook-based social site helped to raise awareness and reduce the confusion around the benefits and limitations of breast cancer screening and share valuable evidence-based information. It also provided a forum for women to share their views with other women.

We are making progress! Over the last 30 years there have been 43% fewer breast cancer deaths. Women are receiving more targeted and less invasive treatments with fewer side effects and better outcomes. Research is saving lives.

But we can’t stop now. Breast cancer is a complex disease and we need to continue to invest so that fewer women experience a breast cancer diagnosis and those diagnosed can live long and healthy lives

Thank you for your commitment and generosity. Together we can create a future without breast cancer.

Sandra Palmaro
CEO, Ontario Region

Christy Teasdale
Chair, Ontario Region Board of Directors

In Ontario over $100 million invested in more than 650 research, training and community grants since 1986
In Ontario over $100 million invested in more than 650 research, training and community grants since 1986
Almost 1/3 of research projects devoted to improving the detection and treatment of breast cancer
More than
8,000 people enrolled in CBCF-funded research studies since 2003

Driving change with
high-impact research

By funding scientific excellence which has the greatest potential to have impact, we’re making great strides towards our ultimate goal: a future without breast cancer. Thanks to scientific breakthroughs in prevention, detection, treatment and care, more women today are surviving breast cancer and the rate of new cases has stabilized in the last 15 years. Research is, truly, saving lives.
Susan Ewanick

Susan Ewanick,
Chair, National Board of Directors

An unwavering vision of a future without breast cancer

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation made a commitment more than 28 years ago to drive real change by funding high-impact breast cancer research, education, and advocacy programs. Today we are proud to be the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research, with more than $300 million invested in grants and fellowships.

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Susan Ewanick

An unwavering vision of a future without breast cancer

Susan Ewanick

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation made a commitment more than 28 years ago to drive positive change by funding high-impact breast cancer research, education, and advocacy programs. Today we are proud to be the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research, with more than $300 million invested in grants and fellowships.

In fiscal 2014, CBCF invested $27 million to fund projects and programs focused on advancing our mission. A significant portion – $17.5 million – was directed to breast cancer research and training grants; health promotion and education initiatives accounted for $5 million and the remainder was allocated to community development and other cause programs.

Thanks to our generous donors and volunteers, we have the means to support the best and brightest researchers from across the country. They are working diligently to develop improved ways to diagnose and treat breast cancer, with fewer side effects, and minimize negative impact on quality of life. Recognizing the power of many, CBCF frequently collaborates with other groups. For example, this year we partnered with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR) to fund a research program specifically focused on breast cancer in young women, involving 62 researchers and clinicians at 44 institutions and clinics across the country.


By staying true to the commitment we made almost three decades ago, CBCF is helping to advance the vision of a future without breast cancer – a vision we share with our supporters and with our partners in research, education and advocacy. We will continue to drive this vision today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes.

Susan Ewanick

Chair, National Board of Directors

1/9

women will be diagnosed
with breast cancer

14

Canadian women -
mothers, daughters,
wives and sisters

die each day of
this disease

210

Canadian men will
be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. It’s not just a woman’s disease!

We’re making progress and we
can’t stop now

To build a future without breast cancer, we must continue to support the best and brightest minds in breast cancer research so they can develop more targeted and less invasive treatments and improve quality of life for women living with breast cancer.

We’re in it for the long run
together with you

With your support, CBCF is the largest non-governmental funder of breast cancer research in Canada. Since 1986, your ongoing generosity has allowed us to continue supporting research to advance breast cancer prevention, screening, treatment and care.



Over $100 Million in Ontario Research and Health program Grants Funding more than 650 innovative projects across Canada

Our Areas of Research

See how far we’ve come

From engineering cancer-killing designer viruses and harnessing the power of the immune system, to testing a safe and existing drug for a new use in breast cancer treatment, every breakthrough in research brings us closer to our goal of a future without this disease. Take a look at how CBCF-funded researchers are advancing innovations in prevention, screening, treatment and quality of life for women with breast cancer.


Infographic
 
PREVENTION

New Discoveries in Genetic Markers

 
SCREENING

Imaging markers can save more lives by making cancer cells easy to spot

Modern screening technology has made it easier for doctors to find and treat breast cancer in its early stages and save lives, but not all tumours are caught by today’s advanced equipment. That’s why CBCF-funded researchers in British Columbia are working on imaging markers that can improve early detection of tumours during a PET scan or mammography.

Led by Dr. Francois Bénard at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver, this research group is focusing on next-generation imaging markers – also known as radiotracers – that target somatostatin receptors present in almost all breast cancers. The markers bind to the receptors, essentially labeling them so they're visible on a scan.

“We are looking into these markers not as a mass screening tool but as a second-line tool to support a mammogram or PET scan,” explains Dr. Bénard. “They can be very useful in situations where something is detected on a scan but doctors are unsure what it is. It could also potentially be used for screening women at high risk for breast cancer.”

Dr. Bénard’s research, which was awarded a $356,000 grant from CBCF in 2012, also has potential applications in breast cancer treatment because it would allow doctors to target therapy to cancer cells while leaving normal cells untouched.

“It opens up the possibility of treating women with high levels of receptors,” says Dr. Bénard. “After conventional treatment has failed, this could be an additional line of treatment.”
 
TREATMENT

Viral vaccine could halt the return of breast cancer cells

Most people think of disease when they hear the word “virus.” But a family of viruses at the centre of research at McMaster University may actually prevent breast cancer from coming back after surgery.

“We’re studying what are known as ‘oncolytic viruses’ which, for one reason or another, infect tumour cells,” explains Dr. Brian Lichty, the scientist leading the research. “And when they do that they create more viruses that can spread to other tumour cells and kill them.”

Dr. Lichty and his team began their work with the Maraba virus, which is known to be a powerful oncolytic virus. By adding a second virus to the mix, the researchers at McMaster found that they could also train the immune system to recognize the proteins specific to tumours, triggering a defensive response.

“So the viruses not only infect and kill tumour cells, they also educate the immune system to identify and attack the tumour cells to prevent a relapse,” says Dr. Lichty, whose work is supported by two CBCF grants totalling almost $631,000.

Through their research, Dr. Lichty and his team hope to develop a vaccine that can be given to women just before and after they undergo surgery. The vaccine could potentially eliminate the need for post-surgical radiation therapy, which destroys cancer cells but can also harm healthy cells.

“We believe the vaccine would be much more favourable and cost-effective than these other treatments today that are terribly toxic and not as effective,” says Dr. Lichty. “By using our viruses to work together with the patient’s immune system, we will be able to shrink tumours and make the patient immune to their tumour so they do not relapse.”
 
QUALITY OF LIFE

Mindfulness program could ease nerve-related pain for women living with breast cancer

For many women, life after breast cancer is filled with chronic pain from a damaged nervous system –also referred to as neuropathic pain this problem affects half of all breast cancer patients and often makes it hard for them to work, care for their families, and take part in social activities.

Hoping to help these women enjoy a better quality of life, Dr. Patricia Poulin, a psychologist at the University of Ottawa, has launched a study to find out if neuropathic pain can be managed by combining medical treatment with mindfulness based stress reduction – a practice that brings together mindfulness meditation, yoga and body awareness.

“We’re looking at the effect of mindfulness based stress reduction – also known as MBSR – on quality of life, mood and physical function,” says Dr. Poulin, whose research is supported by a grant of $414,080 from CBCF. “In addition, there are three sub-studies looking at the effect of MBSR on different areas of the brain, on stress levels, and on cognitive functions.”

Women with breast cancer can get neuropathic pain after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or as a result of the cancer itself. The pain manifests itself in different ways and areas. After a mastectomy, some women complain of pain in their chest wall, upper arm or right on the site of the surgery. Others report a tingling or burning sensation in their hands and feet.

In some cases, the pain is so severe and constant that it causes depression, says Dr. Poulin.

Close to 110 women who have been treated for breast cancer are taking part in Dr. Poulin’s study. Every one of these women must first see a pain specialist to make sure their medical treatment is optimal, says Dr. Poulin. Just more than half of the group will go through an eight-week MBSR program and their results will be compared against the group that did not attend the mindfulness program.
 
PREVENTION

Innovative drugs could cool hot flashes without increasing risk of breast cancer

Changes in hormone levels during menopause can cause hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy – typically a combination of estrogen and progesterone – was, for years, the go-to solution for women seeking relief from these symptoms. But in the early 2000s, researchers found that these medications were increasing the risk of developing breast cancer.

Now CBCF-funded researchers in Ottawa are developing drugs that can help women struggling with menopause symptoms without increasing their risk of breast cancer. Dr. James Wright at Carleton University and Drs. Christine Pratt and Tony Durst at the University of Ottawa have produced drug compounds that mimic natural estrogen to reduce hot flashes without activating the estrogen receptors believed to cause breast cancer.

"The problem with estrogen is it increases the risk of breast cancer as well as uterine cancer", explains Dr. Pratt. "We've designed a whole library of compounds that look like estrogen but are not estrogen."

The body’s temperature is controlled by receptors in the brain that appear to respond to estrogen. By creating drugs that mimic estrogen, Dr. Pratt and her research partners hope to find a way to target these receptors without increasing estrogen levels in the body. Laboratory studies have shown these drugs to be effective in bringing down body temperatures. The next step, says Dr. Pratt, would be to start clinical trials.

“We’re looking to partner with drug companies who can help us test and commercialize these drugs,” says Dr. Pratt. “We know there's a need for a safe and rigorously tested solution because women are taking different things to try and alleviate their hot flashes, and they either don’t work very well or they might even be quite harmful.” 
 
SCREENING

Enhancing results with early detection and screening

 
TREATMENT

What today's innovations hold for the future

QUALITY OF LIFE

Study of memory functions aims to improve life after breast cancer

Women who have been treated for breast cancer often complain about problems with their memory, yet little is known about the memory functions of breast cancer survivors. To bridge this knowledge gap and open the door to possible solutions, a team of Ottawa researchers at Carleton University, Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre undertook a CBCF-funded study comparing the memory functions of breast cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy against those of healthy women.

Focusing on prospective memory – the ability to remember to do something in the future – the study found that women with breast cancer were more than five times more likely than healthy women to have problems remembering future tasks. The study also found that fatigue was a major contributor to memory problems in breast cancer survivors.

"The more fatigued a woman felt after treatment, the more likely they were to have impaired prospective memory," notes Dr. Lise Paquet, research lead and professor of psychology at Carleton University. "So one of the questions we asked was: could you improve prospective memory by decreasing fatigue, or could the memory difficulty actually be causing the fatigue? Also, we don't know if it's the chemo that's doing this."

Dr. Paquet and her team have recently launched a follow-up study to determine a possible connection between chemotherapy, impaired prospective memory and fatigue. In this new study, the researchers are testing women immediately before and after they undergo chemotherapy. In addition to administering exercises to test memory performance, they are gathering blood samples and measuring levels of cytokines – proteins produced by the body as part of an immune response and which are typically present at higher levels in women who have had chemotherapy.

"At the end of the day, what we're really trying to do is come up with interventions where we can help women with their memory deficits," says Dr. Paquet. "This will go a long way towards improving quality of life."
TREATMENT

Engineered white blood cells could boost survival rates for women with metastatic breast cancer



More women today are surviving breast cancer, thanks to advancements in treatment and diagnostics. But for the roughly 30 per cent of women who develop breast cancer metastasis – where breast cancer cells spread and form tumours in other parts of the body – the outcome continues to be bleak.

“Metastatic breast cancer is a huge challenge,” says Dr. Jonathan Bramson, director of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “Once patients have metastatic disease they can expect to live two to three years. The cancer is so broadly spread that chemotherapy becomes too dangerous.” To address this challenge, Dr. Bramson has embarked on research into white blood cells engineered to detect and attack breast cancer cells. This innovative approach involves taking white blood cells from the patient and equipping the cells with feelers that can recognize breast cancer. These engineered cells are then injected back into the patient.

“White blood cells fight off infections and viruses, but when you have cancer the tumours learn to evade your white blood cells, which are further weakened by chemotherapy,” says Dr. Bramson, whose work is made possible by over half a million dollars in funding from CBCF. “By taking white blood cells out of that environment and giving them feelers for breast cancer, we’re basically re-educating them to find and kill those cancer cells.”

While this method has been used successfully to treat leukemia, Dr. Bramson’s work is the first to focus on breast cancer cells. If his research produces positive results, engineered white blood cells could soon be combined with chemotherapy to treat women with metastatic breast cancer and improve their chances of survival. “White blood cells would be a very powerful addition to the current regimen being used to treat metastatic breast cancer,” says Dr. Bramson. “We already know this approach works and we’re excited to apply it to breast cancer.”
SCREENING

Computer taught to identify breast cancer can improve early detection and reduce false positives

Companies such as Google and Amazon have long used data analytics to understand their customers’ habits and predict future actions based on historical information. Now scientists at Sunnybrook Research Institute are developing a computer-aided system that uses the same approach to help doctors and radiologists identify and diagnose breast cancer with greater accuracy.

Supported by several CBCF grants, this first-of-its-kind diagnostic system could help doctors detect cancer earlier and reduce “false positive” results that cause anxiety for patients and incur unnecessary health care costs.

“We are taking thousands of archived images from diagnosed breast cancer cases and putting them through algorithms that will basically allow the computer to learn the particular features of breast cancer,” explains Dr. Anne Martel, the senior scientist leading the project. “So when it sees a new sample, it can predict the probability of breast cancer based on what it learned from the previous images.”

The system is meant to support radiologists by flagging potential trouble spots, says Dr. Martel.

“Radiologists have to go through thousands of images; the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of one patient alone gives them more than 1,000 images to scroll through,” she says. “This system will help them prioritize what they’re looking at and streamline their workflow.”

Dr. Martel and her team are working on a prototype that will work with MRI technology. She expects the system to be ready for preliminary testing by January 2015 and from there hopes to advance it to a clinical trial.
 
TREATMENT

Canadian-led study looks at diabetes drug as breast cancer treatment

Canadian scientists are leading an international study into the use of a diabetes medication called metformin to treat early-stage breast cancer and reduce the risk of tumours growing back.

The $20-million study, which involves cancer centres around the world, could soon give women with breast cancer access to a low-cost drug with few side effects that can improve their chances of survival.

"Metformin costs cents a day and there aren't too many barriers to it being used in clinical practice because metformin is generally available," says Dr. Wendy Parulekar, a scientist at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and leader of the Canadian group spearheading the study. "So we're looking at a potentially very powerful agent that can be used globally and that can significantly impact the outcome for patients with breast cancer."

Diabetes is associated with abnormal glucose and insulin metabolism. Previous studies of patient databases found women with breast cancer who had abnormal fasting insulin levels were more likely to have cancer recurrence. At the same time, researchers discovered that breast cancer patients who were diabetic and taking metformin had lower rates of recurrence.

"The work that we're doing now is based on a mix of observational data as well as some pre-clinical work that suggest there may be important parts of the insulin and metabolic pathway that make tumours grow," says Dr. Parulekar, whose work is supported by two CBCF grants worth about $895,000.

In 2010, the international study group began a five-year clinical trial on close to 3,650 women with breast cancer. The five-year study will also look at the effects of metformin on other health states including heart disease, diabetes, weight and quality of life.

"We know this will be an informative study," says Dr. Parulekar. "Canadians should feel really proud – we're leaders in this effort."
 
QUALITY OF LIFE

Improving quality of life after breast cancer

PREVENTION

13Innovative drugs could cool hot flashes without increasing risk of breast cancer

CBCF-funded researchers in Ottawa are developing drugs that can help women struggling with menopause symptoms without increasing their risk of breast cancer. Dr. James Wright at Carleton University and Drs. Christine Pratt and Tony Durst at the University of Ottawa have produced drug compounds that mimic natural estrogen to reduce hot flashes without activating the estrogen receptors believed to cause breast cancer.

“The problem with estrogen is it increases the risk of breast cancer as well as uterine cancer,” explains Dr. Pratt. "We've designed a whole library of compounds that look like estrogen but are not estrogen.”

Changes in hormone levels during menopause can cause hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy – typically a combination of estrogen and progesterone – was, for years, the go-to solution for women seeking relief from these symptoms. But in the early 2000s, researchers found that these medications were increasing the risk of developing breast cancer.

The body’s temperature is controlled by receptors in the brain that appear to respond to estrogen. By creating drugs that mimic estrogen, Dr. Pratt and her research partners hope to find a way to target these receptors without increasing estrogen levels in the body. Laboratory studies have shown these drugs to be effective in bringing down body temperatures. The next step, says Dr. Pratt, would be to start clinical trials.

“We’re looking to partner with drug companies who can help us test and commercialize these drugs,” says Dr. Pratt. “We know there's a need for a safe and rigorously tested solution because women are taking different things to try and alleviate their hot flashes, and they either don’t work very well or they might even be quite harmful.”

National
Grants
Program

 

Earlier Detection of Breast Cancer

Designed by experts in biomolecular detection and diagnostic imaging technologies and reviewed by an international peer-review committee, this competition yielded more than $3.2 million in grants awarded to recipients across the country.

Learn more
 

Breast Cancer in Young Women

Launched by CBCF in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR), this competition aimed to build a team of leading scientists and clinicians to advance research on breast cancer in young women. The winning program, supported by a $5.7-million grant from CBCF and CIHR-ICR, includes four sub-projects involving 62 researchers and clinicians at 44 institutions and clinics across Canada.

Learn more
 

Next National Research Priority?

“What do you believe is the most pressing question regarding breast cancer that could be investigated through research?” – That was the central question of an online survey CBCF created as one of a number of inputs informing the selection of the next National Grants Competition priority. Through the survey, you told us that “discovering and developing new treatments” is the most pressing question. Thank you for your input! We look forward to announcing the priority of the next National Grants Competition in the Fall of 2014.

Learn more

Fellowships

Funding specialized training to build strong teams

To build strong teams focused on improving breast cancer treatment and care, we need to support specialized training for researchers and health care professionals. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation held a fellowship competition in partnership with TELUS, which provided $400,000 to fund five fellowships in 2013.

Dr. Olivia Tseng

Dr. Olivia Tseng has been awarded a TELUS-Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship to investigate how interactions with family physicians can improve care for people who have experienced breast cancer. Dr. Tseng’s supervisors are McBride and Martin Dawes, Professor and Head of the UBC Department of Family Practice. Dr. Tseng’s research project will make use of the Survivorship Research Program at the BC Cancer Agency.

Dr. Julie Arsenault

Dr. Julie Arsenault was among the five fellows who received funding for research ranging from examining the rehabilitation needs of women with breast cancer to understanding the role of microenvironments in targeted therapies. A radiation oncologist from Hamilton, Dr. Arsenault will study a robotic radiosurgery device called Cyberknife, to see if it's safe and effective for surgery to treat early-stage breast cancer.

Karen Dobbin

Karen Dobbin is a physiotherapist with over 25 years of experience who sought the TELUS fellowship to complete a Masters of Science in Rehabilitation at the University of Manitoba. Dobbin’s research from the TELUS-Canadian Breast Cancer National Fellowship has enhanced the understanding of the physical effects of breast cancer treatment and the rehabilitation needs of breast cancer survivors. The research has also identified challenges faced by breast cancer survivors including difficulty in finding clear and consistent information regarding post-treatment issues and physical problems, lack of integration and poor coordination of cancer rehabilitation within the cancer care system, and inadequate accessibility for rehabilitation services at no cost to the consumer.

Dr. Saima Hassan

With support from the TELUS-Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation National Fellowship, in July 2013, Dr. Saima Hassan started a combined venture, with post-doctoral research training at Joe Gray’s laboratory at the Oregon Health and Science University, while maintaining clinical exposure to breast surgical oncology and clinical trials, under the supervision of Dr. André Robidoux at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. Saima’s current project involves developing a model in the laboratory that can identify genomic predictors of response to breast cancer patients.

Sami Benzina

Sami Benzina is a post doc fellow who’s research activities were focused on cancer understanding and treatment. In his MsC and PhD he associated platinum drugs to high or low radiation in lymphoid and solid cancer to improve treatment efficiency. His first postdoctoral fellow have the subject to identify the molecular actors implicated on H2AX phosphorylation and DNA double strand break (DSB) recognition after an irradiation, they identified at least 44 kinases how promote a decrease of DSB recognition when one of them is knocked. Now, Dr. Benzina is pursuing an ambitious project how aimed to understand how metastasis process is regulated in breast cancer. Interestingly, they demonstrated an important role of Pax-5 gene on inhibition of EMT and probably induction of MET. Ultimately, their results were bringing major improvement in the diagnosis and treatment options for breast cancer patients. Dr. Benzina hopes his experiment as a cancer researcher will open to him a position in an academic institution to initiate his career as a resourceful and independent cancer researcher.

Living and giving
for a future without breast cancer

Image
Jackie Barr
Since 1999 the incidence of breast cancer has stabilized
Winnie Go
Denise Deacey
Olga Weatherdon
43% fewer breast cancer deaths since the 1980's
Alicia Tait
There is now an 88% breast cancer survival rate
Tell us your story, share
 

Determined spirit:

Jackie Barr

The last 17 years have been not easy for Jackie Barr. Diagnosed in 1997 with breast cancer, and again in 2006, Jackie is now living with Stage 4 cancer, which has spread to her bones. Despite the diagnosis, none of this has stopped Jackie from being Jackie: a positive and engaged person. Those who know Jackie and her determined spirit would not be surprised to learn that she decided to participate in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure the same year she received her first diagnosis, forging a nearly two decade relationship with CBCF. In the 17 years that Jackie has been living with the disease, she has raised over $60,000 for breast cancer research. Through T-shirt sales and golf tournament fundraisers, Jackie has loudly declared that, she “will not stop fundraising until the disease has been beaten.” Jackie’s infectious spirit while navigating the dramatic impact breast cancer has had on her life continues to be an inspiration to thousands of individuals. In fact, Jackie has won a number of awards from CBCF and CIBC, including three Determination Awards and an early Run fundraising contest. We cannot thank Jackie enough for her part in helping us move closer to a future without breast cancer.
 

The role model:

Winnie Go

No one expect to find a lump. But that’s exactly what Winnie Go found after a game of golf. Only 37 years old at the time, Winnie was not just surprised by what she had discovered, she was downright scared. When the doctor confirmed it was breast cancer and that it had spread to her lymph nodes, friends and family naturally expected Winnie to focus on her personal care and treatment. But Winnie decided that a diagnosis of breast cancer was not the end of her journey; it was just the beginning. With her support network – now known affectionately as “Winnie’s Warriors” Winnie decided that while she needed to take care of herself, it was equally important for her to do as much as she could for others facing a similar battle. Bolstered by this conviction, Winnie threw a party and shaved off her hair, donating it to children with cancer. She also raised over $8,000 for the Wig Salon that evening. Winnie doesn’t know where her journey will lead her, but she has dedicated herself to a life of “I wills” rather than “Will nots,” letting other women know they are not alone in facing this disease and doing what she can to creating a future without breast cancer.
 

Best friend ever:

Denise Deacey

Denise Deacey is a power fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. But Denise has not been diagnosed with the disease and does not know of relatives with breast cancer. So why is she doing so much in the name of breast cancer research? “Two of my girlfriends were diagnosed with breast cancer five weeks apart,” says Denise, who launched a Circle of Friends Golf Tournament for her friends. To celebrate her 10-year milestone as a supporter and power fundraiser for breast cancer research, Denise has set a goal of raising her fundraising total to $200,000 in 2015.
 

Providing inspiration:

Olga Weatherdon

There seems to be no stopping 71-year-old Olga Weatherdon. With help from her husband and friends, Olga is busy handmaking knitted items, baked goods and lemonade so she can sell them and raise funds for breast cancer research. What keeps Olga going? She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and has spent the last four years celebrating life in remission. She is also on a mission: to make a difference by building a community of family and friends, who can share what she has learned about breast cancer and be inspired to help in the drive to advance life-saving research. Olga has even gotten her granddaughter, Mikayla, involved. During lemonade sales at Olga’s home, Mikayla is in charge of handing out the lemonade and asking for donations. Life after breast cancer, says Olga, is more meaningful because she’s giving back to the community and inspiring others to do the same.
 

Personal insights for a big vision:

Alicia Tait

It’s hard for women to think about the possibility they could get breast cancer. When you’re a young woman in your 20s, the idea seems absolutely unthinkable. But for Alicia Tait, the unthinkable became reality when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23. “It raised the question of if I’d even be around to raise my daughter,” recalls Alicia. “Would I be able to graduate university, start a career in teaching, and grow old with my husband?” Despite all these uncertainties, Alicia was able to look beyond her own needs. At the age of 26, just three years after she learned she had cancer, Alicia shared her experience with a group of funders and researchers taking part in a Breast Cancer in Young Women workshop, hosted by CBCF and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR). The insights from the workshop led to a $5.7-million cross-pan-Canadian program that brings together researchers from different disciplines to study breast cancer in women 40 years and under. “I’m so glad that this subject is important to the medical research community with time and financial support set aside to make a difference,” says Alicia, who now has two kids, two university degrees and a teacher’s college certificate. “I’m just really pleased to have played a small part in making this happen.”
 

Share your story

Education & Advocacy

Sharing the knowledge

The more you know about breast cancer, the easier it is to make informed decisions that affect your health and well-being. As Canada’s largest funder of breast cancer research, aims to monitor and share research findings- from reducing the risks for breast cancer to early detection and treatment options. We share these important findings with Canadian women and health care providers through educational materials and programs that address key focus areas.
 

The Pink Tour

Breast cancer education hit the road in the summer of 2012 and 2013, when the 46-foot Pink Tour bus pulled up at 360 stops in communities across Ontario and connected with more than 56,000 residents. Supported by CIBC and Shoppers Drug Mart, the Pink Tour bus took to the road to talk to Ontarians about the importance of breast health and breast cancer screening. Those who came aboard the vehicle engaged with interactive touch-screen tools, quizzes, videos and materials in 13 languages. Women on the bus were also able to book a mammogram at a local screening facility. To reach diverse and underscreened populations, the bus visited cultural events, community health centres, and First Nations communities

Learn More
Connected with +56500 Ontarians in 2013 and 2014
 

Breast Health

Did you know that one-third of breast cancers are preventable? To help Canadian women reduce their risk of breast cancer, CBCF launched a comprehensive Breast Health Program in January 2013. This multi-year, multi-platform program connects with women through traditional and social media, with video stories, online tools and print material.

By its second year, the Breast Health Program had built a community of more than 15,000 social media followers, and boasted over 22,000 visits to its inspiring OneNewThing website, which now features an online personalized breast health planning tool. The program has also distributed more than 80,000 copies of its Living Well brochure to about 11,000 health care providers and organizations across Ontario. 

Create your personalized breast health plan today.

 Visit #OneNewThing
Image - Breast Health
 

My Breast My Test

To screen or not to screen? A 2014 CBCF poll found 75 per cent of Canadian women are confused by conflicting information about mammography screening, and almost half question whether they should get screened at all. With these findings in mind, CBCF launched My Breast My Test, a Facebook-based advocacy program that gives women access to accurate, evidence-based information about the benefits and limitations of breast screening so they can make an informed decisions.

This social media forum also lets them share their questions, concerns and experiences with other women. In the month after it went live in April 2014, My Breast My Test received more than 2,200 likes and hundreds of testimonials from women about their experiences surrounding screening.

Share your story. We want to hear your thoughts or experience with breast cancer screening.

Visit My Breast My Test today share your story 
Image - My Breast My Test
 

Share your story

Taking steps toward a future without breast cancer

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

It was a day of accomplishments, commitment and courage. On October, 6, 2013, more than 57,000 Ontarians from 30 communities across the province came together to walk or run for a hopeful future - a future without breast cancer. As CBCF's biggest single-day fundraising event, CIBC Run for the Cure drew determined participants who ran or walked for their mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, friends and, in some cases, for themselves. The result: $12.1 million raised in Ontario and $27 million nationwide for breast cancer research. With every step, stride and sprint, we're moving closer to creating a future without breast cancer.

CIBC

A message from CIBC

Through their unwavering support over the past 20 years, CIBC and its employees have helped us grow the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure into largest single day event dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer in Canada and a gold standard for cause partnerships.
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Message from CIBC

CIBC
Through their unwavering support over the past 20 years, CIBC and its employees have helped us grow the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure into largest single day event dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer in Canada and a gold standard for cause partnerships.

CIBC’s involvement started at a grassroots level in support of a colleague with breast cancer. Recognizing the passion its employees had for this cause, CIBC became title sponsor in 1997. Since then, CIBC employees, their families, clients and friends have raised more than $36 million through pledges fundraising efforts and events and CIBC Pink Collection contributions

“Let’s not stop now,” says Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, CIBC and the bank’s Executive Run Sponsor. “While progress has been made, breast cancer continues to be the most common diagnosis for Canadian women.”

As part of their long term commitment to providing hope and support to those living with breast cancer and their families, CIBC is inviting/invited Canadians to write messages of love and inspiration to family and friends who have been touched by breast cancer on a dedicated “Wall of Hope” in CIBC branches across Canada, online, and at every Run site.CIBC

Fundraising

Funding a future without breast cancer

In Ontario, more than 400 community-led fundraising events took place in Fiscal 2014.

On May 25, 2013, the ninth annual Yard Sale for the Cure raised over $200,000 through more than 190 sales in communities across Canada. Founded by breast cancer survivor Rachael Smith, Yard for the Cure raises money by selling previously loved items.

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Yard Sale for the Cure

On October 5, approximately 100 trucks rolled into TA Truck Stop in Woodstock, Ontario to raise funds for CBCF. Since it launched in 2010, this annual event has raised more than $200,000 for breast cancer research.

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Trucking for the Cure

We scored big with this new fundraising program, which lets hockey players – and the adults in their lives – raise funds for breast cancer research by growing their hair, styling their locks pink, or dedicating a hockey game to CBCF. This year’s initiative raised $30,000 in just two months through 68 players in 13 teams.

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Hockey Hair for
Breast Cancer

CBCF Signature Programs

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown

Image KitchenAid

We’re always cooking up new ways to raise funds at CBCF. On December 7, 2013, we hosted the first annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown. Held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, the culinary competition – where participants cook in teams led by celebrity chefs – raised more than $600,000 and drew more than 300 guests.

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Erin McBride Fund

Erin McBride Fund (raised $162,491 in 2014)

In memory of a beloved CBCF team member who died of breast cancer at age 50, a generous donor created the Erin McBride Fund to support volunteerism and leadership at the foundation. In 2013, the fund raised close to $163,000. For a third year, CBCF will present the Erin McBride Awards – each worth $1,000 – to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for Cure Directors who show outstanding leadership and dedication.

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Leaders for Cure

Leaders for the Cure

Launched in 2009, Leaders for the Cure gives Ontario’s corporate community meaningful opportunities to help build a future without breast cancer. Last year, Leaders for the Cure set a goal to raise $650,000 – and succeeded! Through personal pledges, employee giving campaigns and fundraising events, Ontario’s corporate leaders have raised over $1.7 million dollars for CBCF.

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Donor Recognition

To our generous donors: Thank you. You make it all possible – the leading-edge research, education and advocacy work that we support and deliver. With your help, researchers are finding new ways to save lives and build a future without breast cancer. But we can’t stop now. We need your ongoing support.

Individual and Corporate Partners

Pink Ribbon
$250,000+
Gold Ribbon
$100,000 - 249,999
Silver Ribbon
$50,000 - 99,999
Bronze Ribbon
$25,000 - 49,999
Leadership Circle
$10,000 - 24,999
Impact Supporters
$5,000 - 9,999
Community Builders
$2,500 - 4,999
Friends
$1,000 - 2,499

CIBC Run for the Cure Teams

Pink Ribbon
$250,000+
Gold Ribbon
$100,000 - 249,999
Silver Ribbon
$50,000 - 99,999
Bronze Ribbon
$25,000 - 49,999
Leadership Circle
$10,000 - 24,999
Impact Supporter
$5,000 - 9,999
Community Builder
$2,500 - 4,999
Founding Friends
$1,000 - 2,499

Community Events Donors

Silver Ribbon
$50,000 - 99,999
Bronze Ribbon
$25,000 - 49,999
Leadership Circle
$10,000 - 24,999
Impact Supporter
$5,000 - 9,999
Community Builder
$2,500 - 4,999
Friends
$1,000 - 2,499

Financial Summary

Year ended March 31, 2014


Sources of funding

Cause related spending

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CBCF adheres to Imagine Canada’s Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code, which sets standards for charities in the areas of fundraising and financial reporting.

 

Financial Summary *

Year Ended March 31, 2014

Revenues

2014 ($)

2013 ($)

Individual Programs 686,214 562,550
Corporate Prgrams 2,384,595 2,658,040
Third Party Events 1,391,907 1,513,722
Direct Mail 731,412 1,239,958
CIBC Run for the Cure 12,762,472 14,530,418
Special Events 238,159  
Government Partnerships 307,345  
Others 33,273 25,688
Investment Income 695,597 772,766
     
Total Revenue 19,230,974 21,303,142

Expenses

 

 

Cost of raising funds 5,930,663 6,704,684
Operations 2,259,850 2,310,406
     
Total Expenses 8,190,513 9,015,090

Net Revenue available for the Cause

11,040,461

12,288,051


Cause Related Work

 

 

Program Activities 4,027,700 4,400,712
Grants ** 9,018,589 8,590,574
     
Total Cause Related Work 13,046,290 12,991,286

Cost of Fundraising 32.5% 32.7%
Cost of Administration 11.8% 10.8%
Good Works Index *** 61.4% 59.0%
     

* These statements reflect an unaudited financial summary of Ontario Region only. The Canadian Breast Cancer
Foundation (CBCF) is audited on a national basis. For audited national financial statements please visit www.cbcf.org

** Net of returned funds from previous years' grants

*** Good Works Index is Total Cause Related Work divided by the sum of Total Expenses plus Total Cause Related Work.

Get Involved

Be part of the drive to create a future without breast cancer

Getting involved with CBCF means being part of an amazing network of more than 9,000 volunteers, all working towards our vision of creating a future without breast cancer. As a community-driven charity, we rely on our thousands of supporters to keep making real change happen. We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do and fund all these great research projects without our dedicated supporters.

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Community

Want to join our community?

There are many ways to get involved. Take part in events such as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure.

Run for the Cure

Volunteer your time and skills. Or make a financial donation.

Get in touch and get involved
Volunteers

A round of applause for our volunteers

Community Awards

They're incredibly generous, hardworking and determined. So we couldn’t let the year go by without honouring the extraordinary efforts of our 9,000-plus volunteers in communities all across the province. At our 2013 Community Awards Celebration, we said our thanks to these great individuals who dedicated more than 100,000 hours of their time to help at fundraisers, provide administrative support in the office, and act as CBCF representatives. The Toronto event, held at the Fairmont Royal York just in time for National Volunteer Week, also included a first-of-its-kind research panel which gave CBCF volunteers a chance to engage with CBCF-funded researchers such as Dr. Gurmit Singh, Dr. Alison Allan, Dr. Christopher Mueller and Dr. Karen Fergus.

Honorary Chair and co-host of CTV's Canada AM Beverly Thomson announced 13 award winners during the Community Awards Celebration:

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Corporate Commitment Award - New Corporate Group
Shoppers Drug Mart

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Corporate Commitment Award - Returning Corporate Group
TELUS

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Community Event Commitment Award - New Community Event
IIHF World Female Hockey Day Marathon and Fundraiser

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Community Event Commitment Award - Returning Community Event
Trucking for a Cure

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CIBC Run for the Cure Commitment Award - New Run Team or Individual Run Fundraiser
K-Lo’s Krew

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CIBC Run for the Cure Commitment Award - Returning Run Team or Individual Run Fundraiser
Denise Deacey

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Erin McBride Leadership Award - New Run Director
Terri Millar

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Erin McBride Leadership Award - Returning Run Director
Paul Lansbergen

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Cause Leadership Award
Dr.Karen Fergus

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Outstanding Volunteer Award
Jenny Mackay, Madrona Viray, Veni Iozzo

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Jeannette Hawke Volunteer Recognition Award
Gail Catherwood

rundirectors

Way to go, Run Directors

Thank you for being there from the starting point to the finish line at the 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

Barrie/Orillia
Kate Walton
Karinna Hebbard-Langille

Brampton
Sean Lal
Steve Foster

Burlington/Hamilton/Oakville
Maiken Griffin
Jacqui Salmon
Jennifer Faubert (assistant)

Collingwood
Patrick Arkeveld
Hannah McEdwards
Elizabeth Jaffray (assistant)

Durham
Gerrie Wonnacott
Jan Richmond

Guelph
Terri Millar
Patty Quackenbush

Kingston
Diane Sabourin
Victoria Henry

Kitchener - Waterloo
Debbie Schmidt
Nancy Hawes

London
Gillian Gallant
Colin McIlveen

Mississauga
Sarah Champoux
Sima Kothari

Muskoka
Debbie Allison
Kelly Millson

Niagara
Ashley Williams
Emily Allan

North Bay
Melanie Gainforth
Anne-Marie Desjardins

Ottawa
Susan A. Enns
Linda Cruz

Peterborough
Tina Thornton

Sault Ste. Marie
Karey Stewart
Ashleigh Abbott

Scarborough
Joanne Burton
Sirous Afshar

Simcoe
Cail Catherwood
Dana Booth

Sudbury
Sarah Grenier
Stephanie Koetts

Thunder Bay
Bonnie Tittaferrante
Vicky Woodbeck

Timmins
Mary Lou
Kirsten Elvestad

A round of applause for our volunteers

They're incredibly generous, hardworking and determined. So we couldn’t let the year go by without honouring the extraordinary efforts of our 9,000-plus volunteers in communities all across the province.
Read More

Way to go, Run Directors

Thank you for being there from the starting point to the finish line at the 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure.
Read More

Board of Directors

Ontario Region
Board of Directors for 2014

Christy Teasdale
Chair
Member, National Board

 

Jose Ribau
Vice-Chair
Member, Research and Healthcare Advisory Committee

 

Kelly Battle
Vice-Chair, Finance and Risk Management Committee

 

Dr. Ralph George, MD, FRCSC
Chair, Research and Healthcare Advisory Committee

 

Kerry Danyluk
Member, Finance and Risk Management Committee

 

Ralph Goldsilver
Chair, Finance and Risk Management Committee Member, Audit, Finance and Investment Committee (National)

 

Dr. Kathleen Pritchard
Vice-Chair, Research and Healthcare Advisory Committee

 

Camille Quenneville
Member, Research and Healthcare Advisory Committee

 

Jordan Solway
Chair, Governance Committee Member, Governance and Nominating Committee (National)

 

Ava G. Yaskiel
Vice-Chair, Governance Committee

 

Suzanne Bays
Member, Governance Committee Vice Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee (National)

 

Fiona Legere
Member, Finance and Risk Management Committee

 

Amar Tamber
Member

 

Christine Pigeon
Member

 

Catharine Farrow
Member

 

Don Pagnutti
Member

 

Dedicated to the Cause
We’re so grateful to the generous volunteers whose terms as Ontario Region Board Members ended in June 2014. Special thanks to:

Dr. Gurmit Singh
Dr. Craig Earle
Sarah Simpson
Bernadette Dietrich
Barbara Budarick

Report to the community

Report to the community 2014
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