Dr. Dhun Noria survived breast cancer. Twice.
“No one should have to suffer or die from this disease,” said Noria, who is set to be honoured at the gala with a Lifetime Achievement Award. “Through help and generous support both personally and corporately, we can beat this disease and eventually claim victory.”
The kick-off event, held at the Gardiner Museum, is the start of a fundraising campaign in support of TSH’s integrated cancer care program. The goal of the campaign is to raise $2 million, double the $1 million raised by last year’s gala for the hospital’s chronic kidney disease program.
“I was particularly impressed with the World Gala from last year, being able to raise $1 million that benefited the nephrology program,” TSH president and CEO Robert Biron said. “This year, the foundation is stepping up their game in increasing the target by a significant amount to $2 million.”
The Nov. 14 launch featured several special guests, including: Dr. Marla Shapiro, CTV News medical consultant and U of T associate professor of family and community medicine; Dr. Tak Mak, director of the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; and Dr. Eric Hurowitz, gastroenterologist at TSH.
“For the residents of Scarborough, the opportunity for a rapid diagnostic centre where they would be supported and cared for — not only on a medical and physiological level, but also on an emotional level — is here,” Shapiro said.
“Today, we have raised $855,000 already,” said Dr. Neville Poy, the 2014 World Gala chair and last year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to Noria, an estimated 23,800 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer across Canada in 2013. Of these, 5,000 will die.
Men aren’t spared either, she said. This year alone, 200 Canadian men will be diagnosed and 60 will die from the disease.
“As much as you’ve dug deep into your pockets, dig deeper again, because the easiest thing that we ever do is write a cheque,” Shapiro said. “The hardest thing that we ever do is to have to tell people the diagnosis and then support them through it.”
All money raised during the campaign will go toward TSH’s cancer care program. The World Gala will be held at the Sheraton Centre Grand Ball Room at 123 Queen St. W. on May 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.