2022 Impact Report

BC Cancer Foundation

Opening Remarks

Sarah Roth


Your dedication towards supporting cancer research and care drives us, and inspires us — and this year, you made history. More than 250,000 donations from across B.C. raised a record-breaking $77.1 million.

You stepped up, in an unprecedented way, to show every person facing cancer in our province that we’re in this together — and also that you believe in the life-saving work of every BC Cancer expert.

Your ongoing support enabled us to immediately jump in and provide emergency funds to families hit hard by the flooding in the Fraser Valley, to ensure they weren’t cut off from essential cancer care.

Fuelled by you, BC Cancer made remarkable research gains that will impact cancer care worldwide, including a long-term study that proves a made-in-B.C. procedure to reduce ovarian cancer risk does save lives.

Together, we marked a momentous milestone in naming the L.J. Blackmore Cancer Research Centre in honour of Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation’s incredible $18.9-million gift.

Despite obstacles to in-person gatherings, you came together as a community to make our annual Tour de Cure a success, raising over $5.5 million. And with your help, we surpassed our goal and raised over $6 million to bring prostate cancer care closer to home for all British Columbians through the expansion of Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-PET.

Thanks to you, B.C. continues to have some of the best cancer outcomes in the world. But we’re not done yet. With demand for cancer services increasing by 60% over the next 10 years, we need your help now more than ever. The future of cancer care in B.C. is in our hands — and with you standing strong beside us, we can’t wait to see what we can accomplish next.

Sarah Roth,
President & CEO,
BC Cancer Foundation


After yet another year of being forced to adapt and innovate in the face of unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, our Foundation has emerged even stronger — raising a staggering $77.1 million.

The significance of this achievement cannot be overstated and is a testament to our relentlessly passionate and dedicated donor community.

Our Board of Directors is honoured to steward your unfailing generosity and to work with our incredible Foundation in empowering the transformative, life-saving work at BC Cancer.

It has been a privilege to serve in my first year as Board Chair, and represent donors from across B.C. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the province and witness cancer care being delivered close to home, and experience first-hand the pride that comes with supporting the critical work at BC Cancer.

I’m also constantly inspired by the commitment of my fellow Directors towards BC Cancer’s vision and their philanthropic leadership, as demonstrated by this year’s matching campaign which, together with the Foundation and the support of our networks, provided $500,000 in matching funds in support of Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-PET — helping bring this life-saving technology to more British Columbians.

I am so proud to be a part of this community, in what has truly been a milestone year for BC Cancer Foundation. But the burden of cancer is relentless and the need for philanthropy to continue fuelling innovation in B.C. has never been more urgent. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of what philanthropy can accomplish. We won’t stop, and we know you won’t either.

John Signature

John McCarthy,
Board Chair,
BC Cancer Foundation

John McCarthy


April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022

BC Cancer Foundation is the fundraising partner of BC Cancer. Together, with donors like you, we are driving world-leading cancer research and care innovation, and saving lives in British Columbia. This year we raised $77.1 million to change outcomes for patients across the province. We share this achievement with you and we won’t stop, until cancer does.

In addition to the total support provided to BC Cancer in fiscal 2022 of $25.6 million, the Board approved new research and capital project funding of $61.5 million which will be provided to BC Cancer as these projects are completed over the course of the next one to five years.

Support to BC Cancer
Total Revenue Raised

Fundraising: $55.1 million – represents all donations received as a result of annual fundraising programs, major gifts and bequests.
Investment and Other Income: $11.6 million – includes interest, dividends and realized gains on investments.
Charitable Events: $6.2 million – represents revenues generated primarily from mass participation events.
Government Grants: $4.2 million

*The financial highlights on this page are based on BC Cancer Foundation’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022


BC Cancer experts are at the helm of cancer research and care innovation. With community support, BC Cancer researchers are developing breakthroughs that are elevating the global understanding of cancer, transforming care and saving more lives. You fuel this progress.

  • Immunotherapy


A multi-site Phase I clinical trial, launched in 2019 by BC Cancer and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, of made-in-Canada Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR-T) cells has now entered Phase II, thanks to the generosity of donors.

CAR-T cells are powerful new tools for treating cancer that are created by genetically modifying a person’s existing T-cells (white blood cells that are an essential part of the immune system). These are being used to target CD19 (a protein marker found on all B-cells) in patients with leukemia and lymphoma.

Phase II will allow BC Cancer to produce the CAR-T cell product and run the trial for 20 patients in B.C. over the next two years.

“Foundation funding has allowed us to design and build a custom lab for manufacturing life-saving CAR-T therapy,” says Dr. Brad Nelson, Director, Deeley Research Centre. “Donor support also helped us undertake the first academic-led CD19 CAR-T trial in Canada for patients with relapsed leukemia and lymphoma who have no other available treatment options.”

Over the next several years, BC Cancer’s CAR-T cell program will expand beyond leukemia and lymphoma to create new and improved treatments for a wide spectrum of cancers.

BC Cancer’s Deeley Research Centre in Victoria is a world pioneer in immunotherapy —  harnessing the body’s own immune system to prevent, control and eliminate cancer — and has revolutionized cancer care.


  • BC Cancer-6584-min


Generous donor support allowed the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) program, BC Cancer’s flagship genomics study, to grow in 2021, enrolling 95 new participants, and offering patients more opportunities to participate in genome-based trials.

One of which is CAPTIV-8, a new Phase II trial now underway to test the effectiveness of predictive biomarkers in determining a patient’s eligibility for immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy.

ICIs, one of the most significant therapeutic developments of the last decade, activate the immune system to identify and fight cancer. Dr. Marco Marra, Distinguished Scientist and Director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) and Dr. Janessa Laskin, BC Cancer Medical Oncologist, are co-leading the study that is helping to predict which patients will benefit from ICI therapy.

“The outcome of this study could have a profound impact on how to choose cancer treatments,” says Dr. Laskin.

POG continues to advance learnings into individual genomic alterations that drive cancer growth, providing insights into more personalized treatments, and its achievements are being recognized — and fuelled — by donors from across the country.

Thea Caplan and Tony Zwig, of Toronto, donated $750,000 to the GSC in October 2021, after they saw a CBC special featuring Dr. Laskin and the POG program. They have tremendous faith that POG will change the way the world treats this disease.

“My hope is that our donation will help in the search for reaching objectives of more targeted and effective treatments for cancer,” says Tony. “One day, I’d like to see everyone diagnosed across Canada receiving a whole genome analysis via POG — not just when the cancer has metastasized,” adds Thea.


  • Dr.Jiang1-min


Inspired by Distinguished Scientist Dr. Xiaoyan Jiang’s groundbreaking research in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Hilary Stevens and Allan Collings (who was diagnosed with CML in 2017), generously donated $1 million to support this critical work at BC Cancer.

Allan, who is currently on a drug that has him in remission, believes Dr. Jiang and her team’s work has enormous potential to help others with CML who aren’t as lucky.   

The current treatment for CML — ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) monotherapy — is prone to early resistance and relapse. Life-long treatment is required and it comes with the potential for adverse side effects such as gastrointestinal issues, fatigue and liver damage. 

Dr. Jiang is changing this by developing new, more effective, less toxic personalized therapies for CML patients within the Preclinical Therapeutics Unit (PTU) she established at BC Cancer. 

“We are interested in developing combination therapies that can directly target drug-resistant stem cells, ultimately resulting in curative therapies,” Dr. Jiang says.

Her recent discovery, that PAK6, a novel drug target, displays abnormal activity in CML stem cells, particularly in drug-resistant patients, and that combining a new PAK6 inhibitor with TKIs inhibits CML stem cell growth more effectively than single treatments, shows huge promise.  

In recognition of their gift, Dr. Jiang’s lab within the Terry Fox Laboratory at BC Cancer’s L. J. Blackmore Cancer Research Centre, was renamed the Collings Stevens Chronic Leukemia Research Laboratory.

Hilary says, “It’s an honour to have our names associated with this new research undertaking and the incredible people that work in this lab.” Allan agrees, saying it wasn’t that long ago that his medication was in the trial stage, and he hopes their donation fuels the next big breakthrough for people with blood cancers.


  • Dr. Miller


Ongoing donor support helped fuel a long-term study that published conclusive results in February proving opportunistic salpingectomy (OS) — the removal of the fallopian tubes during a hysterectomy or instead of tubal ligation — significantly reduces ovarian cancer risk, and saves lives.  

The trailblazing research, led by Dr. Gillian Hanley, to affirm this life-saving protocol involved a 10-year retrospective cohort study of just under 58,000 individuals. Not a single serous ovarian cancer diagnosis was found in the group who underwent OS — significantly fewer than the slightly more than five cases that were expected. 

OS, which leaves the ovaries intact, was developed by Dr. Dianne Miller, the co-founder of BC Cancer’s ovarian cancer research program (OVCARE), after she discovered that the most common and lethal types of ovarian cancers — high-grade serous carcinomas — often originate in the fallopian tubes, and not, as formerly believed, on the ovaries. The B.C.-led novel change in gynecological practice has since become international standard.

“Though it’s great to cure cancer or improve outcomes, it’s even better to never get cancer in the first place and that’s what this ovarian cancer prevention strategy is all about,” says Dr. Miller.

The study confirming this is heartening for women with a family history of this disease. It provides a tremendous amount of hope for Tara Sawatsky, whose mom Millie was a patient of Dr. Miller’s in the ’90s, and unfortunately died from ovarian cancer when Tara was just a young teen. Now a mom of two herself, Tara recently underwent OS to reduce her risk.

It’s also incredible news for doctors who, sadly, too often see mothers, daughters and then granddaughters receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis, says Dr. Sarah Finlayson, gynecologic oncologist at BC Cancer. “To see proof that this cancer can be prevented by OS is thrilling.”



In a year of challenge, our community stepped forward in support of cancer patients across the province. With you, we connected patients to vital care, we launched transformative initiatives and kept the momentum in our mission to break down cancer. All, thanks to you.

  • Michelle Morris


In 2021, donors gave legacy gifts totalling an incredible $11.6 million.

Michele Morris is one of the growing number of B.C. residents who are choosing to leave legacy gifts in their wills to the BC Cancer Foundation. She credits being alive today, following two cancer diagnoses 12 years ago, to the exceptional care and support she received at BC Cancer.

“The professionalism and compassion of each member of the team was a privilege for me to witness firsthand as I ventured through my cancer journey,” Michele says.

“It is this invaluable gift of life that I received from BC Cancer that compelled my husband and I to give back a gift of our own. This was an easy decision for us to make.”

Michele invites anyone in B.C. who has been touched by cancer to consider leaving a legacy gift to the Foundation. “Your gift will help provide leading research and exceptional care in the fight against cancer, here in B.C. and beyond.”


  • Alex Blodgett


In their passionate pursuit of better cancer outcomes, our donor community often goes above and beyond. BC Cancer Foundation Board member Alex Blodgett took this commitment to a whole other level: an epic 10-day, 375 km biking, hiking and paddling journey that raised over $1.14 million in support of BC Cancer Distinguished Scientist Dr. Poul Sorensen’s world-leading pediatric cancer research.

Alex, his friend Paul Player and dog Loki, in partnership with Anthem Properties, went to great lengths to help fuel the work in the Sorensen Lab. Their round-trip expedition included a hike to Squamish, a bike up the Elaho Valley, another hike over Mt. John Clarke to Chatterbox Falls, before paddling a kayak back to Vancouver.

Alex was inspired by the 130 young people a year in B.C. who put their childhood on pause to face a cancer diagnosis.

The chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments these children undergo can have profound and significant side effects on their developing bodies. Dr. Sorensen is dedicated to developing immunotherapy for children that is precise, less toxic and highly effective. He and his team have set an ambitious goal of delivering 5–10 new immune-based treatments each year.

“I hope we can continue to find new and better therapies for pediatric patients,” says Dr. Sorensen, who adds that generous donors like Alex are vital in his lab’s mission to do so.

By driving groundbreaking research, treatment and innovation at BC Cancer, philanthropy has the potential to change the game for childhood cancers.


  • Tour de Cure


Always inspiring, our Tour de Cure community proved itself unstoppable in 2021. Though physically apart due to COVID-19, riders still came together — crossing finish lines across the province — raising over $5.5 million.

In-person restrictions to our annual Tour de Cure, presented by Wheaton Precious Metals, didn’t slow our riders down. Thousands of participants pivoted by riding virtually, close to home or on suggested routes, near all six BC Cancer centres — in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Kelowna and Prince George — to improve outcomes for those currently facing cancer, or in honour of those they’ve lost to this disease. 

Dedicated BC Cancer internal teams raised $300,000 towards fulfilling Foundation commitments to their own research or programs. The largest being Prince George’s Wheelin’ Warriors of the North, in which almost 100 riders captained by Dr. Stacy Miller, Dr. Robert Olson and Karin Piche, raised $102,110 for the Northern Precision Radiation Therapy Fund.

From the Tour de Cure’s revenue, the Foundation board designated approximately $300,000 each to the ovarian cancer research program (OVCARE), Innovation Support Fund, Rising Stars Award Program, and health services survivorship research and lymphoid cancer research recruits. While also directing another $500,000–$600,000 each to fuel Capital Expansion of BC Cancer – Vancouver Supportive Care, a Research Sustaining Grant and the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN).

“The ongoing pandemic created many challenges to B.C.’s beloved, and biggest, cycling fundraiser,” says Foundation President & CEO Sarah Roth. “But thanks to the unwavering commitment of riders, donors, volunteers, crew and sponsors, not only did we persevere — we succeeded well beyond anyone’s expectations. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.”


  • L.J. Blackmore


In September, we honoured one of our most loyal donors, Leon Judah Blackmore, and his decades-long commitment to BC Cancer through his foundation’s incredible $18.9-million gift, by unveiling the L.J. Blackmore Cancer Research Centre.

While some donors are inspired by the quality of care they, or a loved one, receive, the late Leon Judah Blackmore gave out of a confidence and conviction in the world-renowned work by BC Cancer scientists.

His relationship with BC Cancer dates back to 1996 when he first participated in a pilot study led by Dr. Stephen Lam, for the early detection of lung cancer in high-risk individuals. Despite never receiving a diagnosis, Leon believed so ardently in Dr. Lam’s team that his foundation was inspired to donate Canada’s largest known philanthropic investment of $15.3 million to specifically support lung cancer research and care.

Leon’s generosity has bolstered the development of innovative early detection methods through breath and microbiome research, artificial intelligence, new therapeutics to prevent and cure lung cancers, and methods to stop tumour resistance and recurrence.

His foundation’s other significant contributions have supported immunotherapy research and the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) program at BC Cancer — and the Vancouver building now stands as a symbol to the power of philanthropy.

Cancer survivor Jackie Ellis spoke at the unveiling, saying, “Leon’s name will hold so much hope for people like me who will look out the windows of the Vancouver centre, see the L.J. Blackmore Cancer Research Centre and hope for miracles.”




Generous donors from across the province raised over $6.3 million (surpassing our goal of $5 million) to bring Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-PET imaging technology to even more British Columbians this year.

PSMA-PET imaging is much more accurate at detecting the spread of prostate cancer — 85% compared to the 38% of conventional scans. It’s also more likely to catch recurrence early, pinpointing the exact location, allowing oncologists to target their treatments and avoid harmful side effects.  

Before this campaign, B.C. was being served by only one machine in Vancouver. Because of your support, many more individuals on Vancouver Island and in the Interior will have expedited access to life-saving PSMA-PET technology, without the cost and burden of travelling.

“For patients with advanced disease, tomorrow is too late,” says Dr. Kim Chi, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, BC Cancer. “PSMA-PET imaging scans can find smaller metastases and increase survival. Philanthropic funding is helping us bring these solutions to men across B.C.”

Our deep gratitude to ambassadors who helped engage their communities to exceed our goal — the Vancouver Island grocers’ Future Cures Coalition, who put competition aside to unite, in partnership with the Foundation, and raise $300,000 — and our dedicated PSMA-PET campaign cabinet: Doug Chambers, Chad Bannister, AJ Gill, Lauren Senft, Dean Clarke and Dustin Sargent.


  • Abbotsford Dental Suite


Cancer patients in the Fraser Valley now have something new to smile about — they’ll soon be able to access oral and dental treatment closer to home at a newly built dental suite in BC Cancer – Abbotsford.

Donors raised $311,000 (which the Public Health Services Administration matched) to fund the $622,000 state-of-the-art two-chair suite.

Cancer treatment frequently results in dental problems that require specialized treatment from an oral oncology expert. Cancers including head and neck, oral cancer and leukemia often require treatments such as bone marrow transplants, systemic therapies and radiation therapy, all of which can have a significant impact on oral health.

With head and neck cancers increasing at a much higher rate than the background rate of cancer growth (due largely to human papillomavirus), dental care is becoming a priority area.

The new dental suite will reduce the need for patients to undergo exhausting travel to access these essential services at other centres, like BC Cancer – Surrey, which would reach capacity without this new clinic.

“Patients with cancer benefit from oral and dental services throughout their patient journey, but currently, many patients in this region have to travel significant distances to receive it,” says Ruby Gidda, Executive Director, BC Cancer – Abbotsford. “This support from the Foundation’s donor community means that patients will now receive high-quality dental care closer to home and will alleviate the psychological effects of travel, while improving their overall wellbeing.”

This essential new service expansion is just one of many ways that the donor community is improving cancer treatment and care for all British Columbians.



Your dedication towards supporting cancer research and care drives us, and inspires us — and this year, you made history with record-breaking donations.

The highlights shared here reflect what you helped make possible this past year. It is emblematic of our combined strength and shared determination.

On behalf of our Foundation, thank you for being an integral part of our community.