Cedars Cancer Institute raises over $ 2 million for Cancer Care at the MUHC


The Cedars Cancer Institute announced today gross revenues raised in excess of $2 million through the second annual Cedars Tour de Lance cycling event, its inaugural Cedars Cancer Heroes Night with Lance Armstrong and Friends and the 4th Annual Cedars Fuller Landau "Rain or Shine" Dragon Boat Race and Festival. Net Proceeds will benefit the Cedars Cancer Institute and the Cancer Care Mission of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in the purchase of a da Vinci Surgical Robotic System, a Digital Mammography unit for the Cedars Breast Clinic,  an intra-operative MRI for the Montreal Children’s Hospital and continued patient care through Cedars CanSupport.

“The money raised by the Cedars last weekend will allow the McGill University Health Centre to acquire three state-of-the-art pieces of equipment that will enhance our institution’s capabilities to diagnose and treat patients whilst contributing to the world-class care, research and teaching that will be perpetuated through our Comprehensive Cancer Centre on the Glen Campus,” stated the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, Director General and CEO of the MUHC.

On Friday, September 11, Cedars Tour de Lance brought together 42 men and women who were dedicated to the quest against cancer. These cyclists climbed onto their bicycles and hit the road with Lance Armstrong for a 100-km ride of a lifetime after having raised a minimum of $25,000 each for Cedars. Many raised well over the minimum amount.  In fact, for the second year in a row, Dr. David Fleiszer, a surgical oncologist at the McGill University Health Centre, claimed the yellow jersey as the top fundraiser, bringing in just under $80,000. The sun was shining on all that day, as Lance “twittered” his 2 million followers and the world that he was in Quebec riding for Cedars.

Later that evening, 300 guests attended—the Cedars Cancer Heroes night with Lance Armstrong and Friends —which took place in the stunning mountainside setting at the new Casino de Mont Tremblant.  The evening featured the singing talent of Star Académie’s Marie-Élaine Thibert, Naturally Seven, the new a cappella sensation from New York; and Rufus and Martha Wainwright along with their mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle, who was also one of the heroes being honoured that night for her goodwill and generosity towards Cedars and the cancer patients of the MUHC.

Heroes Saku Koivu, Jean Béliveau, Alexia and Anthony Calvillo and Sarah Cook of the Sarah Cook Fund were honoured along with Kate McGarrigle.  Lance Armstrong himself, who also delivered an awe-inspiring speech that brought attendees to their feet for a rousing standing ovation, handed out awards. Roger Beauchemin, Louise Courey Nadeau , and Leonard Schlemm, co-chaired the event, hosted by Mutsumi Takahashi,  Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Caroline Rhea, Phil Liggett and Louis Bertrand who kept the mood lively from start to finish. Cedars gratefully acknowledges sponsors: Casino de Mont Tremblant, Évasion and the Mansfield Athletic Club, with strong support from Tremblant, Intrawest, Hotel Quintessence and the over 3,600 donors and sponsors who brought the community together to support the cause.  An exciting live auction helped top off the fundraising effort, with gifts donated by the Club de hockey Canadien, Cirque du Soleil, Gillett Entertainment Group, artist Romero Britto, and the Livestrong Foundation.

“Whether you are a patient, a survivor, or a person who has suffered alongside a family member or close friend battling this devastating disease, you know that cancer can be beaten as long as the spirit to fight is alive.  The spirit to fight was surely alive at this year’s Cedars Tour de Lance! The support we received was incredible!” said Louise Courey Nadeau, event co-chair.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the money raised and the countless people involved in these events provided a major boost to The Best Care for Life Campaign, particularly in light of the fact that we are heading towards our groundbreaking ceremony on the Glen Campus before the end of the year,” said John A. Rae, Chairman of the MUHC’s The Best Care for Life Campaign.

Cedars’ fundraising efforts didn’t stop there. On Saturday, September 12, the annual Cedars Fuller Landau "Rain or Shine" Dragon Boat Race and Festival on the Lachine Canal provided a beautiful finish to an exciting weekend.  Over 800 people paddled their heart out, united in spirit and in the cause.  Olympic diver Alexandre Despatie as well as cancer survivor and wife of Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo, Alexia Calvillo, spoke to the crowd of participants and spectators.

“It was a spectacular sight, and also very emotional.  Events such as these, which bring everyone together—especially patients, healthcare professionals and survivors—for a common cause are so important in the fight against this terrible disease,” said Gwen Nacos, Chair of the event and founder of Cedars CanSupport, whose mission is to provide psychosocial support to both adult oncology inpatients and outpatients as well as their families through all stages of treatment.

Cedars is grateful to the entire Quebec community who came together to make a
difference in the lives of cancer patients. This is testimony to Lance Armstrong’s motto that “unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything.”

For more information, please contact:
Megan Ainscow
T: 514-750-0887 ext. 100