Brenda Jagdis, who had to travel to Vancouver for a PET/CT scan. (Submitted photo)

BMO Financial doubles donations for Island cancer equipment

BMO Financial Group matches donations to PET/CT scanner for BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Island Centre

With an urgent need to bring a PET/CT scanner to Vancouver Island, BMO Financial Group has partnered with the BC Cancer Foundation to help make it a reality.

Now through Oct. 31, BMO Financial Group will match donations made to support the BC Cancer Foundation’s acquisition of a PET/CT scanner for the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Island Centre up to $500,000.

“At BMO we believe in giving back to the communities where our customers and employees live,” says Paul Seipp, Regional Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We are proud to partner with the BC Cancer Foundation to bring this important care tool closer to home for those in need.”

The scanner is the most advanced diagnostic and treatment planning tool available today and will dramatically improve outcomes for the 6,000 people across Vancouver Island expected to be diagnosed with cancer every year.

“A PET/CT scanner houses some of the most sophisticated imaging technology currently available, enabling oncologists to develop the most appropriate treatment plan for patients with cancer,” says Dr. Pete Tonseth, radiologist and nuclear medicine physician at the BC Cancer Agency. “It often changes management, which means some patients can be spared procedures and treatments such as biopsies, surgery or radiation therapy that are deemed unnecessary.”

This year, more than 1,400 patients across Vancouver Island will require a PET/CT scan – a 147 per cent increase in demand since 2012. Currently, patients and their families have to travel to Vancouver where the province’s two publicly-funded scanners are located.

It’s an experience that Brenda Jagdis knows all too well.

Brenda was only 49 and a mother of three when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. While still reeling from her new cancer diagnosis, Brenda had to travel from the Island to the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre for a PET/CT scan.

Her kids – aged 12, 16 and 18, at the time – were frightened by the news of their mom’s cancer so she made the long journey to Vancouver and back in a single day.

“The whole trip, I tried keep the negative thoughts at bay,” she says. “Will I be there to see them graduate, establish careers, get married? Will I miss out on meeting my grandchildren?”

With the rate of cancer expected to increase due to population growth and ageing, now is the time to bring this essential diagnostic tool to the region.

“Thanks to the generous support from BMO Financial Group, we are one step closer to acquiring this revolutionary scanner for the benefit of Vancouver island families,” says Alyssa Grace, senior director of development at the BC Cancer Foundation. “We ask members of our community to consider taking part in this campaign and help change the course of cancer care on Vancouver Island.”

The matching gift opportunity runs until Oct. 31, 2017 and is part of a broader campaign to double PET/CT capacity across the province. Make a gift online today at bccancerfoundation.com/PET.


 

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