Your Dollars at Work

The Bigger and Bolder Weekend

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is becoming even bigger and bolder after listening to our dedicated Walkers.  Some of you have been asking why just breast cancer?  The answer has been simple.  Breast cancer impacts 1 in 9 women in their lifetime and that number is just too high. But new research is starting to find links between breast and gynecological cancers.  In Canada, in 2007 there were over 8,000 new cases of women’s cancers including cervical, endometrial, and ovarian.  Funding for these cancers is now also critical to our fight.  So why not expand the power of The Weekend to include all women’s cancers?  With the dollars you raise during The Weekend, these numbers can be lowered, and one day eliminated. 

It’s important to be clear on this point, though.  Your donor dollars will continue to exclusively fund breast cancer research, treatment, and care and your Weekend will be the same amazing event it has always been.  Only now, new registrants will be able to choose the destination of their donor funds: breast cancer or other women’s cancers.

Your Dollars at Work in Alberta

Message from Linda Mickelson, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation


Alberta’s cancer professionals are distinguished by their commitment to research. They want to know why some women get breast cancer and others don’t. They need to understand why a treatment works on one woman and not on another.

Each answer brings them closer to unlocking the key to stopping breast cancer before it starts. Each answer brings more effective treatments to stop breast cancer in its tracks.

Each answer is a tribute to the more than 360 Alberta women who lost their fights with breast cancer last year. Each answer is a gift to the more than 1,700 Alberta women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this coming year. Each answer is a promise to our daughters and granddaughters worldwide.

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, the single largest breast cancer fundraiser ever held in Alberta, fuels the research that builds those answers.

“It costs roughly $100,000 to ask a single research question,” says Dr. Tony Magliocco of Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre. And in just four years, The Weekend to End Breast Cancer has invested in more than 50 new breast cancer projects that will provide answers answers we need to put an end to this disease.

Before the Alberta Cancer Foundation launched The Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Alberta, it was able to invest just $300,000 annually in breast cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. It was unable to provide any funding to support breast screening. The story is very different today with an investment of more than $20 million in just four years, thanks to Weekend walkers, volunteers and donors.

I, like so many of you, have suffered a personal loss. My sister Kym died of breast cancer just last year. Although she lived in Ontario, she had access to a clinical research trial that began here in Alberta, funded through The Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

I’ll be walking again this year for my sixth time in memory of Kym, and for everyone touched by breast cancer. I’m proud to be part of this amazing event and to share the experience with you. I’m also proud to share the work we’re doing to end breast cancer. It is all possible because of you, participants in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer and those who so generously support you.

Investments in a Cancer-Free Future

The Alberta Breast Cancer Research Initiative
A collaborative Edmonton/Calgary research initiative with grants awarded through an annual competition overseen by an international expert advisory council. This ensures only the best research is funded and that breast cancer research projects build on worldwide efforts rather than duplicating them.

In 2006, when The Weekend to End Breast Cancer was launched in Alberta, $3 million was invested in the first 12 research projects. Today, more than 50 Alberta breast cancer research projects are being funded.

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer Research Chair
This chair was established with a $5 million endowment in 2007. A world-wide recruitment effort is now underway to bring a top research expert to Edmonton or Calgary.

Digital Mammography Screening
Later this year, two state-of-the-art digital mammography mobile screening facilities will be on the road visiting more than 100 rural sites to ensure as many women as possible have access to this life-saving screening. The $11 million funding commitment made possible by The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is also supplying full-field digital mammography equipment for the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and fixed screening sites in Edmonton and Calgary.

And More...

  • Bridge funding made possible by The Weekend to End Breast Cancer enabled more than 280 Alberta women to access Herceptin while this exiting new drug was under review for government funding
  • A dedicated ultrasound was purchased for the breast surgery suite at the Cross Cancer Institute
  • Weekend to End Breast Cancer dollars supported Positively Pink Breast Health Education Conferences in Calgary and Edmonton
  • Short-term funding is provided to patients and families in need through the Patient Financial Assistance Program.

Working on Your Behalf
The following are just some of the Alberta researchers whose work is supported by funds from The Weekend to End Breast Cancer:

Dr. Bassam Abdulkarim
Dr. Oliver Bathe
Dr. Nigel Brockton
Dr. Robert Campbell
Dr. Gordon Chan
Dr. Sambu Damaraju
Dr. Doug Demetrick
Dr. Christine Friedenreich
Dr. Don Fujita
Dr. Mark Glover
Dr. Neil Hagen
Dr. Michael Hendzel
Dr. Frank Jirik
Dr. Olga Kavalchuk
Dr. Susan Lees Miller
Dr. Roger Leng
Dr. John Mackey
Dr. Tony Magliocco
Dr. Don Morris
Dr. Derrick Rancourt
Dr. Wilson Roa
Dr. Michael Sawyer
Dr. Sanjay Sharma
Dr. Andrew Shaw
Dr. Carrie Shemanko
Dr. David Stuart
Dr. Sung-Woo Kim
Dr. Katia Tonkin
Dr. Joan Turner
Dr. Jack Tuszynski
Dr. Michael Wienfeld