Thrifty Foods commits $1 million to Island cancer campaign

Jingle Mingle raises $1.74 million to launch bid for PET/CT scanner

Thrifty Foods general manager Lorne MacLean announces the company’s $1 million commitment over three years to the BC Cancer Foundation’s campaign to buy a PET/CT scanner for Vancouver Island.

Jennifer Blyth

Oak Bay News

Local residents are $1 million closer to a specialized scanner to better detect cancer and determine the best treatment thanks to Thrifty Foods’ funding commitment last week.

During the BC Cancer Foundation’s 10th annual Jingle Mingle at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Thrifty Foods pledged $1 million over three years toward the $5 million campaign to bring a PET/CT scanner to the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre.

One of the most useful tools for obtaining a complete picture of a patient’s cancer, a PET/CT scanner has become standard practice at every stage of cancer care – from diagnosis to treatment planning, to evaluating the effectiveness of treatment.

The technology also allows doctors to determine a defined treatment plan and rule out unnecessary therapies, such as surgery, radiation, additional biopsies and tests.

The scanner will be the first on Vancouver Island and only the third in the province as patients must currently travel to Vancouver for these essential diagnostic scans.

“At Thrifty Foods, we believe in community and (are) passionate about the role we play in the neighbourhoods we proudly serve,” Thrifty Foods general manager Lorne MacLean said in announcing the grant before the packed room of about 300.

“It’s hard to believe that in 2017, Thrifty Foods will reach its 40th anniversary in the community. That’s incredible, and these milestones give us the opportunity to reflect and celebrate and recognize all the great partnerships that we have developed over that time. And one of the key community partnerships is obviously the BC Cancer Foundation,” MacLean said, recalling the first campaign 18 years earlier, Daring to Believe, which helped create the BC Cancer Agency’s current space next to the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“I hope that this creates a new chapter for the BC Cancer Foundation. Together with our customers and our employees, I am thrilled on behalf of all of us to commit to $1 million,” MacLean said.

“This is a significant commitment to the PET scan (that) will make a tremendous difference to Vancouver Island … to support all levels of care, from diagnosis to treatment. So I think there’s an opportunity, if we all come together that we can make this $5 million goal possible.”

Overall, Jingle Mingle raised $1.74 million to bring the state-of-the-art imaging closer to home.

“This year marks a decade of Jingle Mingle and a decade of generous support that has led to groundbreaking cancer research and care on Vancouver Island, and beyond,” said Lorne Campbell, Jingle Mingle committee chair. “On behalf of the committee, we sincerely thank guests, donors and generous businesses for their ongoing support over the last 10 years that have truly made a mark on advancing cancer research and care in our community.”

The BC Cancer Foundation’s Jingle Mingle has raised more than $6.4 million in the last decade. The cost of the event is fully borne by sponsors, meaning 100 per cent of donations go to the campaign.

“Jingle Mingle is always a memorable and extraordinary evening, and this year’s 10th annual event was special because it allowed us to reflect on a decade of transformative research and care made possible by the Vancouver Island donor community,” said Sarah Roth, BC Cancer Foundation president and CEO.