Discovery Luncheon raises $50,000 for BC Cancer Agency in Abbotsford

The luncheon was held Wednesday at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre

The BC Cancer Foundation’s (BCCF) 2014 Discovery Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 19 raised $50,000 for the high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy program at the BC Cancer Agency Abbotsford Centre.

The luncheon, presented by Scotiabank, was held at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre in Abbbotsford.

The Abbotsford Centre is a key participant in the progression of cancer clinical trials in B.C., which will help change the future of care through advancements in treatment options, said Gordon Stewart, BCCF associate director.

“While many families in B.C. – and here in Abbotsford – will be touched by cancer, outcomes are improving and new discoveries are expanding our knowledge of cancer biology like never before,” he said.

HDR brachytherapy has so far proven effective in treating both prostate and breast cancer.

Support from the luncheon will enable Abbotsford’s brachytherapy program to directly impact patient care in Abbotsford and across the province, Stewart said.

David Holmberg Sr., two-time cancer survivor and well-known member of the Abbotsford business community, and his wife Lee donated $100,000 two years ago to enable the Abbotsford Centre to acquire cutting-edge radiotherapy equipment.

The couple lost their son David Jr. to brain cancer four years ago.

At last year’s Discovery Luncheon, the Holmbergs made a matching gift of $17,000 in support of clinical trials, and their generosity continued this year.

“Anything we can do to help move research forward is extremely important,” Holmberg said. “I can’t stress enough how vital it is to support the BC Cancer Agency and the tremendous work that they do.”

Last year, the Discovery Luncheon raised $35,000 to support the clinical trials program at the Abbotsford Centre.

Clinical trials translate results from the lab or clinic into more effective treatment possibilities, and are integral tools for better understanding cancer and testing the effectiveness and safety of new drugs.