More than 100,000 people helped make it a record year for the BC Cancer Foundation, raising $63.7 million for research and treatment.
The historic total capped off a year with many highlights, including the B.C.-led launch of the first prostate cancer clinical trial in the world to use liquid biopsy technology to detect genetic markers and match patients to treatment.
Other initiatives were the $10-million campaign to bring PET/CT scanners to Victoria and Kelowna, and the discovery of a gene that led to a new drug that targets 22 types of cancer.
Donor Patty Pitts of Victoria wanted to honour her two friends, Carol Lalonde and Marlene Palmer, who died of cancer.
“I wanted to use this money to make a real difference,” Pitts said. “I know it’s too late for Carol and Marlene, but it can impact someone else in the future.”
Her $250,000 contribution set up an fund to support immunotherapy research in Victoria.
More than 77,000 British Columbians will receive cancer care this year alone.