I was privileged to speak on behalf of Alberta Cancer Foundation donors today, at a news conference announcing a significant investment into glioblastoma research. The scientists involved in the project are being dubbed a “dream team,” made up of some of the country’s top minds in cancer research. They are all working together to find new treatments for the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults.
This $8.2 million investment from the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Terry Fox Research Institute, the Terry Fox Foundation, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, Genome Canada, Genome BC and the BC Cancer Foundation is one of the largest ever made in Canada to research glioblastoma. Every year about 2600 Canadians are diagnosed with this disease. With current treatment, survival is about 15 months. We want to change that.
Our donors give because they have a sense of urgency that we at the Alberta Cancer Foundation share. We recently lost one of our most committed and inspirational donors who shared that same vision. Alyson Woloshyn was diagnosed with glioblastoma three years ago, at the age of 32, and from that day, became an activist in Alberta’s cancer-free movement. Alyson was determined to push the pace of discovery, not just for her, but for generations to come. She believed it was important to put back more than you took out and it was inspiring to see her in action, speaking at events and raising money for brain cancer research in Calgary.
Before she died, she knew that we were close to choosing the recipient of the first Alyson Woloshyn Cancer Research Clinical Fellowship.Her name and legacy will live o, by educating bright minds that know something can be done and want to ease the cancer journey for other Albertans.
Alyson believed, as we do, that we are at a really tipping point with cancer research where scientists are collaborating to find the answers to the most difficult questions. The dream team announced today is one example of that focused, purposeful collaboration. It is timely we are celebrating this announcement a few days after celebrating Alyson’s life. We know that this team will accelerate discovery for generations to come.
~ Myka Osinchuk
CEO, Alberta Cancer Foundation