June 18th marks the start of Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week in Canada. This Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada initiative seeks to raise awareness of sarcoma cancer and to invite the wider community to understand the unique challenges, successes and losses experienced by Canadian families living with sarcoma cancer.
This year, we want your help to face sarcoma cancer by helping us share the Faces of Sarcoma Cancer.
Beginning June 18th and throughout the week, we want you to take a picture of someone you know who is connected to sarcoma cancer - people undergoing treatment, people lost to sarcoma cancer, people recovering from the disease, family members, caregivers, researchers, volunteers, donors - anyone you know who is helping tell the sarcoma cancer story.
Once you take that picture, post it to social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) with the hashtag #knowsarcoma. When we see your photos with that hashtag, we will share them with our community through SCFC's channels.
Spread the word to your family and friends. If you see other people's shares, please repost them so we can spread the word about the Faces of Sarcoma.
SCFC was pleased to be a selected charity for the now nation-wide Hudson’s Bay Giving Day on April 2nd. This one-day shopping event was designed to raise awareness and funds through the sale of tickets and provided exclusive savings throughout the store. Through the support of amazing volunteers who fundraised as well as manned our booth in-store, over $3,000 was raised for sarcoma awareness! SCFC would like to especially thank Carmela Ricco for her dedication and passion, both which helped ensure such a great success.
After losing their father to sarcoma, 3 sons are doing whatever they can to raise funds for sarcoma research and awareness. For this Fergus community, this meant seeing close to 500 spectators and competitors on snow mobiles rip through wheat fields in the middle of September. What started in 2010 as 10 friends racing 500 feet, has grown into a community event to celebrate Larry Woods. What would he think of the event? As his sons note, "He'd probably be sitting here with us having a Coors light talking about how awesome this all is!"
Kelly Woods, Fergus native and SCFC Board Member, discusses how family and friends came together to honour her uncle and raise donations:
"On Sept 17, 2016, my family held a dance at the Belwood Hall in Fergus, Ontario. The goal was to raise money for the SCFC in memory of my uncle, Larry Woods. My uncle was always a fan of a good party, especially when there was good music and dancing involved; so we could think of no better way to honour is memory than to have a party. The "Bad Weather Band" had friends and neighbours dancing well into the night. We raised over $2000 thanks to the generosity of our friends, neighbours and people in the community. Special thanks to Maple lodge farms who provided our cold cut trays and to the Elora Brewery who donated the equipment to operate our kegs."
July 16th was Kitchener's 6th annual Spike 4 Sarcoma event, which raises money for sarcoma research. Held every year in memory of Tim Yeates, this co-ed volleyball tournament is always an enormous success, with a whopping $23,000 raised over the last five years. To be part of this great cause and to enjoy a day of sports, fun, food and prizes, contact Twoods007@hotmail.com or visit Spike's facebook page for updates and information.
The Sarcoma Program at the University of Toronto was pleased to host the 2nd Toronto International Sarcoma Symposium on June 10th at Park Hyatt Toronto. This multidisciplinary symposium welcomed world-renowned sarcoma experts, as well as faculty, trainees, allied health professionals, and sarcoma patients and families for a day featuring research highlights and a tumor board discussion.
As part of the launching of the first Awareness Week three years ago, the Minister of Health announced funding of $1.2M from CIHR to support a five-year research project being led by scientists at OHRI on aveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. This project is still ongoing today, and is an example of the outstanding work being carried out by health researchers across the country, with the support of the Government of Canada.
SCFC has been proud to support ongoing synovial sarcoma research in British Columbia for the last 2 years, and Dr. Torsten Nielsen is pleased to report back on the work of his team so far:
"We now know that synovial sarcoma is caused by an oncoprotein known as SS18- SSX through its interactions with other proteins that regulate important functions within the cell, making the cells grow relentlessly instead of maturing into normal tissues. Our lab at the University of British Columbia is currently focused on devising new treatments for this cancer by targeting these recently established mechanisms.
One strategy we are employing is to use new technology to efficiently screen many hundreds of anticancer drugs, many of which have never been tested specifically in rare sarcomas, to identify those which can target the biology of synovial sarcoma and bring about selective cancer cell death. We are working on studying drug combination platforms in a recently developed mouse model of synovial sarcoma, to prove that it targets the SS18-SSX mutant protein, and to generate enough evidence to start a clinical trial.
We are also studying new immuno-oncology treatment options for synovial sarcoma which harness the power of a patient's immune system to destroy tumors. New break-through drugs have recently become available for melanoma and lung cancer, generating a huge amount of excitement for scientists, oncologists and people affected by cancer. We have recently established an international collaborative group of scientists focused on developing this treatment option in sarcomas, hosting a symposium on the topic at the Connective Tissue Oncology Society meeting in Utah.
Special thanks to Beth England, her family and her supporters in the Windsor, Ontario region who raised a great deal of our funding for synovial sarcoma research."
“On October 1st , 2013, I lost my amazing sister Michele Jurisic to leiomyosarcoma. Although we were told she was terminal and that chemo probably wasn't going to help she always remained positive and never gave up! I decided to hold an annual event called No One Fights alone in her honour with the proceeds going to The Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada.
This year marked our 3rd annual event and hosted 50 people. It was held at a local Port Moody B.C brewery named Moody Ales, we had Porky's food truck come out and serve up some delicious food and a raffle draw with over 15 items from local business. The proceeds from ticket and our raffle sales helped us raise over $1,000! Each year we raise our glass and remember my beautiful sister while helping other people who were in our position just 2 short years ago.”
On September 27th, Trenton took to the streets for the annual Sarcoma Step & Fetch, a sarcoma cancer awareness afternoon for the whole family. Participants toured local businesses to collect Sarcoma Fact Cards throughout downtown Trenton then attended the free BBQ where pets are always welcome!
Spike 4 Sarcoma is an annual co-ed volleyball tournament that is held in memory of Tim Yeates. In her own words, event organizer Tina Woods explains how the event came to be, and her motivation behind it:
"Tim was 27 years old when he passed away in April of 2010 after he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in September 2009. He was a young man that loved the Toronto Maple Leafs, playing baseball, and spending time with his friends and family. Knowing that Tim enjoyed spending time with the people close to him, and that he was always up for spending an afternoon on a patio, his family and friends thought the perfect way to honour his memory would be to have an afternoon where people could come out to a patio, and enjoy some sun and some fun.
That is how Spike 4 Sarcoma began! If we are getting together to remember Tim and enjoy our time together, we also thought that raising money for others that are either fighting the same battle now or in the future would be a great way to remember Tim, spread awareness and show others that they are not alone. Each year we have approximately 120 people come together on the 3rd weekend in July to play volleyball, have some food and drinks, win some prizes, and remember the great person that Tim was.
It is amazing to see the love and support each year and to hopefully give support to others that are facing the challenges of sarcoma cancers."
To be a part of this great event, or to learn more, please contact Tina Woods at email@example.com
This year was off to a strong start, with the Electric Starlight Gala in Barrie, Ontario. This benefit concert, held in honour of Julie Avery, who has been courageously fighting sarcoma, raised an incredible $17,000 for SCFC and for sarcoma research. A huge thank you to all sponsors, donors and others who helped make this incredible night possible.
Survive! Picture an End to Sarcoma Cancer is our fifth annual signature fundraising event supporting sarcoma cancer research in Canada. This year's cocktail party and auction will once again take place in Toronto's historic Burroughes Building. Join us for an evening with sarcoma survivors, families and physicians in support of an important cause. The event will have something for everyone with a specialty martini bar, our fabulous annual silent auction, hors d'oeuvres, and of course, the opportunity to mingle with sarcoma's sarcoma community and supporters.
Join us in scratching out Sarcoma Cancer and take part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k walk/run. As part of our thanks to you in joining us October 19th and helping to raise funds and awareness for Sarcoma Cancer, we are pleased to offer a discount to your registration fee for either the 5K, half, or full marathon. Below we will walk you through the registration process, and help you with your fundraising goals. When you register please join Team SCFC as we work towards our goal of $15,000.
This annual event is held in memory of Tim Yeates, who was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of 27. The disease claimed his life just a short 7 months later. Spike 4 Sarcoma raises funds and awareness for Sarcoma Research, all while having fun in memory of Tim. All proceeds from the event went to support the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada.