Cape Breton Celebrates Upcoming New Cancer Centre With Toronto Business Leaders


November 21, 2019

Media Release                                                             

Cape Breton Celebrates Upcoming New Cancer Centre With Toronto Business Leaders

Toronto, ON –With more than 100 Cape Bretoners and friends of Cape Breton in attendance, global business leader and Cape Breton native, Irwin D. Simon, hosted a reception at his Toronto Aphria Inc. office to celebrate the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation’s upcoming campaign to build Cape Breton’s new cancer centre.

Along with Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor, Cecil Clarke, Simon hosted the event to encourage Cape Bretoners and those with business and personal connections, to consider their role in the multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign. “We’re thrilled to have so many Cape Bretoners gathered here in Toronto,” said Simon. “The Cape Breton Cancer Centre impacts each and every one of us in one way or another and we all have a reason to support cancer care.”

Simon, who is the majority stakeholder in the Cape Breton Eagles franchise has a great interest in the success of Cape Breton’s healthcare and development. “It’s my hometown. If gathering like-minded people in Toronto can inspire people to give back, I’m on board to play my part in strengthening healthcare in Cape Breton.”

The reception, spearheaded by CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke, included a presentation by Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation CEO, Brad Jacobs. “This is a generational project,” Jacobs told the crowd, who applauded the success of the Foundation over the past thirty five years. “With more than 50 million dollars raised to date, this will undoubtedly be the biggest and most impactful project we’ve undertaken in the history of our Foundation.”

The campaign, which will support the building of Cape Breton’s new cancer centre, has already begun. To date, fundraising efforts have completely funded a life-saving piece of equipment for the cancer centre. “With the passion and determination of Brenda McCarthy of George’s River, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Equipment, which will cost $297,000, was funded in less than ten months. This equipment, which can reduce lung cancer radiation protocol from a typical 25-40 treatments down to five or less, will be available to lung cancer patients in 2020,” Jacobs told the crowd.

Also attending was Minister of Business, Honorable Jeff MacLellan and Foundation Board members, Brian Purchase, Simon MacDonald and Board Chair, Stan MacDonald, who told the crowd about his own experience with esophageal cancer. “Cancer can do many things to a person. It can destroy a life, it can bring family together, it can even bring a community together,” MacDonald told the crowd. “It’s a horrendous disease, but we can fight it together.”  MacDonald who fought and beat cancer in 2006 experienced his battle at home, an opportunity his father didn’t have when he lost his battle to cancer forty two years ago. “At the age of fifty four my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer,” MacDonald emotionally told the crowd. “My family’s lives changed forever that day. Cancer put a great deal of emotional and financial stress on all of us. My brothers and sisters travelled back and forth to Halifax from Sydney, a four and a half hour drive, to be with our father during his treatments.  The cancer had spread and unfortunately three months to the day after his diagnosis, cancer took my father away from my family. The cancer was rough, but the travel and care so far from home was salt in the wound.”

With stories and important health care information shared, the event was designed to invite Cape Bretoners and friends of Cape Breton to understand the need to help build the new cancer centre. On a new horizon for health care in Cape Breton, patients will have access to increased cancer care for generations to come.

Since 1992, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, in partnership with the community has raised more than $50 million to purchase equipment, and fund upgrades at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Foundation has been able to fund health care needs which provide world-class care – closer to home.  One hundred percent of donations stay in Cape Breton to support patients in Cape Breton.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Inglis

Communications Officer

Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation


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