A Breakfast of True Champions
By Linda Eagen on May 11 / 2017
Photo: Leadership Committee members, Table Captains, Speakers and Sponsors gather together at the Cancer Champions Breakfast. Photographed by Jen Derbach.
For most people in Ottawa, the morning of Wednesday May 10th was just like any other.
But for nearly 500 business and community leaders, it was an opportunity to forever change the lives of those facing cancer in our region. They came together for the 11th Annual Cancer Champions Breakfast at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, where they raised an incredible $433,000 to support world-class cancer care in our community.
Emceed by Mayor Jim Watson, the morning included moving testimonials and stories of how cancer care is continuing to grow in our community. Guests also had the opportunity to share their breakfast tables with local doctors, researchers, and Cancer Coaching professionals to discuss exciting new discoveries and programs that are changing the lives of our friends and neighbours living with cancer.
Charlynne MacCharles, a breast cancer survivor and mother of two young girls, told how Cancer Coaching at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation helped her through her journey. “As a social worker I’m used to helping others, and I’ve seen that people who tend to reach out and get that support do so much better in difficult times,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a challenging six months, and I didn’t want to do it alone. I knew that I would do so much better being surrounded by compassionate, helpful people, and that included Cancer Coaching.”
Ramona Bietlot shared how a local clinical trial offered her newfound hope in the midst of a stage 4 melanoma diagnosis. Because of the trial being available here in Ottawa, she had access to the new treatment years ahead of patients in other cities. And remarkably, she was recently told by her doctors that she currently shows no evidence of disease. “It’s good to feel human again,” she said. “I’m me; I’m not the cancer anymore.”
Guests also heard from oncologist Dr. Xinni Song on why clinical trials are important for cancer patients in our community and the need to continue to fund them. And Dr. Hartley Stern, chair of the Cancer Champions Campaign spoke about the options for care that are available here because of the support from donors.
As the President and CEO of the Cancer Foundation, it was incredible to watch so many people in our community who have encountered cancer in so many different ways come together to truly make a difference. This year’s Breakfast even had a few twists: halfway through the morning Mark Cooke, owner of M-Roc Drilling and Blasting announced he is making a $100,000 donation and challenged others to increase their gifts—and the guests responded generously!
Gregory Sanders, the chair of the Cancer Champions Breakfast acknowledged our community’s amazing efforts best: “Year after year, I’m humbled by the way our community continues to step up and stand with those facing cancer,” he said. “Ottawa is a world-class leader in cancer care, and it’s because of the people who support groundbreaking initiatives like Cancer Coaching and innovative research and clinical trials.”
The Cancer Champions Breakfast is presented by Richcraft Group of Companies, with Associate Sponsors Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall L.L.P/s.r.l and BBG Management, and Supporting Sponsor Innovative Medicines Canada. In-Kind support is provided by Advantage Audio/Visual Rentals Ltd, Konica Minolta, Media Mall and the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre.
The Cancer Champions Breakfast is presented by Richcraft Group of Companies, with Associate Sponsors Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall L.L.P/s.r.l and BBG Management, and Supporting Sponsor Innovative Medicines Canada. In-Kind support is provided by Advantage Audio/Visual Rentals Ltd, Konica Minolta, Media Mall and the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. Thanks to the generosity of these sponsors, every single dollar raised at the Cancer Champions Breakfast will change lives through the Cancer Coaching at the Foundation’s Maplesoft Centre and through research and local clinical trials in Ottawa. The Cancer Champions Breakfast has now raised over $3 million for these initiatives since 2009!
It was incredible to see the outpouring of support from nearly 500 caring people in our community who gave an entirely new meaning to the phrase “Rise and Shine.” Their generosity will be put to work immediately to continue changing the lives of those in our community who are facing cancer. Thank you!
You can find out more about the Cancer Champions Breakfast, watch the videos we showed our guests, or make your donation by following the links below.
President and CEO
Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation
Watch Charlynne’s Story
Watch Ramona’s Story
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