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BC Cancer Foundation wraps $6.1M campaign for Kelowna therapy suite

Construction for the new suite is expected to begin in 2024
BC Cancer – Kelowna. (Photo BC Cancer Foundation)

Construction will soon begin on a new Cancer Systemic Therapy Suite in Kelowna.

Launched in fall 2022, a fundraising campaign for the project surpassed its $6.1 million goal ahead of schedule, thanks to support from generous donors.

The local auto industry rallied behind the cause with the Bannister family making the largest single donation to BC Cancer in the Interior’s history at $1.5 million.

READ MORE: Okanagan dealership family drives $1.5M into cancer care

BC Cancer-Kelowna staff also took the initiative, forming a Tour de Cure team to raise funds.

More than 115 donors joined the campaign, along with dedicated volunteers.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the generous community across the Interior region who share our commitment to advancing innovation in cancer care,” said Sarah Roth, president and CEO of BC Cancer Foundation.

Former Canadian Senator, Ross Fitzpatrick, and his spouse Linda Fitzpatrick generously donated the final $725,000 to complete the campaign.

Both Ross and Linda are cancer survivors and received care at BC Cancer-Kelowna.

“Our family has called the Okanagan home for over a century and it’s an honour to be able to support the community in this way,” the Fitzpatricks said. “Cancer has personally touched us in many ways, as we know it has most.”

Construction for the new suite is expected to begin later this year.

The facility will significantly increase BC Cancer-Kelowna’s capacity to deliver systemic therapies, including chemotherapy and immunotherapy by 40 per cent.

Kelowna will also become the first center outside Vancouver to offer early-phase clinical trials, providing more patients access to cutting-edge treatments closer to home.

“The trust and generosity invested in this project by the community is truly motivating for our staff,” said Dr. Ross Halperin, executive medical director of BC Cancer-Kelowna.

A media release noted that BC Cancer-Kelowna has garnered a global reputation for its research in fields such as brachytherapy, and techniques for treating early-stage lung cancer.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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