DAILY NEWS Jan 21, 2013 11:42 AM - 0 comments

Slaight Family Makes Historic $50-million Gift To Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

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Canadian philanthropists Allan Slaight, Emmanuelle Gattuso and the Slaight family made history today with a $50 million gift to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. The extraordinary donation is the biggest ever private gift to cancer research in Canadian history and will advance the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's Personalized Cancer Medicine initiative.

Ms. Gattuso and Mr. Slaight's gift to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's Billion Dollar Challenge is pledged over ten years, and is an investment in human capital. It will create an unprecedented Personalized Cancer Medicine "superfund to support superstars" that will provide the necessary long-term, sustainable funding to attract, support and retain the best and brightest minds in the world whose sole focus is to eradicate cancer.

In 2012, Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan Slaight were named Philanthropists of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The couple has dedicated their lives to transforming the things that matter to them. Helping cancer patients is at the top of their list. As a 10-year cancer survivor, Ms. Gattuso has seen significant change driven by the dedicated scientists and caregivers at The Princess Margaret over the past decade. For Ms. Gattuso, Mr. Slaight and the Slaight family, The Princess Margaret's vision of Personalized Cancer Medicine resonates and is the reason for their generous gift.

Emmanuelle Gattuso commented, "I have been touched by cancer, as have so many friends and family members. Allan and I are extremely pleased to be able to support The Princess Margaret's Billion Dollar Challenge for Personalized Cancer Medicine and hope others will join us. We believe in The Princess Margaret's vision to conquer cancer in our lifetime."

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, is revolutionizing cancer care by creating and delivering its own distinct model of Personalized Cancer Medicine encompassing four key themes: detect, diagnose, target and support. Personalized Cancer Medicine will help detect cancers earlier, diagnose cancers more precisely, provide targeted treatment, and better support patients and their families through their cancer journey.

"This outstanding gift will add significant momentum to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's global leadership role in advancing Personalized Cancer Medicine," said Dr. Robert Bell, President & CEO of University Health Network (UHN).

Dr. Benjamin Neel, Research Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, said, "This unprecedented "superfund" allows us to build and support research teams focused on precision genomics, advanced tumour biology, immune therapy and molecular imaging." He added, "I truly believe that we can conquer cancer."

 In 2009, Emmanuelle Gattuso, Allan Slaight and the Slaight family donated more than $22 million to create The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre at The Princess Margaret. The centre provides one-day diagnoses and treatment plans to breast cancer patients. Rapid diagnosis is now being embraced by other cancer sites, including colorectal, lung, pancreatic and prostate cancers. To date, The Princess Margaret will have received donations totaling more than $72 million from Ms. Gattuso, Mr. Slaight and the Slaight family.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation launched a Billion Dollar Challenge in April 2012. To date, this challenge has raised $243 million in a combination of donations and grants

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