Hit­ting the slopes for pan­cre­atic cancer re­search

Montreal Gazette - - You - SU­SAN SCHWARTZ ap­plause@mon­tre­al­gazette.com

Skiers and sup­port­ers came to­gether at Mont Sut­ton to ski and raise money for the Cancer Re­search So­ci­ety on Feb. 20 in the Rob Lut­ter­man Ski for a Cure event. The 17th edi­tion of the an­nual event raised $45,000.

Lut­ter­man, who was an avid skier, died of pan­cre­atic cancer in 1999. He was 63. The event and the Rob Lut­ter­man Me­mo­rial Fund have raised more than $1.5 mil­lion to fund re­search on pan­cre­atic cancer, which af­fects 4,800 Cana­di­ans each year.

Al­though sur­vival sta­tis­tics for this kind of cancer are grim, re­search is giv­ing peo­ple hope. One team mak­ing a dif­fer­ence is led by Dr. Michel Trem­blay and Dr. Ge­orge Zo­gopou­los at McGill Univer­sity’s Ros­alind & Mor­ris Good­man Cancer Re­search Cen­tre. They are find­ing mark­ers in the blood that can pre­dict pan­cre­atic cancer early and are at work on a cancer vac­cine.

Through its fundrais­ing ini­tia­tives, the Cancer Re­search So­ci­ety has al­lo­cated more than $57 mil­lion over the past five years to 334 cancer re­search projects across Canada. Visit CancerRe­searchSo­ci­ety.ca to learn more.

Visit Sk­iFo­raCure.ca to learn more about Ski for a Cure, or to do­nate to the Rob Lut­ter­man Me­mo­rial Fund.

The 14th an­nual Gala for Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Canada, to take place April 4 at the Mon­treal Mu­seum of Fine Arts, will fea­ture a trib­ute to Ja­clyn Lea Fisher. The Mon­trealer died on March 21, 2015, at 25 af­ter battling in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease (IBD) and pri­mary peri­toneal car­ci­noma.

Pro­ceeds will go to­ward re­search, the “Make it stop. For life” cam­paign of Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Canada, and the es­tab­lish­ment of the Ja­clyn Fisher Ed­u­ca­tion Fund.

Dr. Alain Bit­ton, one of Fisher’s doc­tors and the di­rec­tor of the McGill Univer­sity Health Cen­tre’s gas­troen­terol­ogy divi­sion, was cited in a com­mu­niqué from Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Canada: “Jackie faced her ill­ness as well as in­tense treat­ments head on,” he said. “She was coura­geous, re­silient and an in­spi­ra­tion to her fam­ily and all of us who knew her.”

Fisher learned she had Crohn’s dis­ease when she was only nine, and she ac­com­plished much in her short life. At 16, she was the na­tional teen spokesper­son for an an­nual fundrais­ing walk for Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Canada; later, she started a youth com­mit­tee to de­velop aware­ness and fundrais­ing events. She rep­re­sented Que­bec on a Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Canada na­tional youth ad­vi­sory coun­cil.

She or­ga­nized sev­eral fundrais­ing events at her high school, Her­zliah, and grad­u­ated with five aca­demic awards, in­clud­ing one for rep­re­sent­ing the school’s spirit. At Mar­i­a­nop­o­lis, Fisher started an IBD So­cial Club. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a dou­ble DEC in arts and science, she went on to McGill, where she was on the dean’s list and won sev­eral awards be­fore ill­ness forced her to put her stud­ies on hold.

The univer­sity awarded her a bach­e­lor of arts in 2015.

Hon­orary gala chairs are re­tired sen­a­tor Leo Kol­ber and his wife, Roni Kol­ber, and Clau­dine and Stephen Bronf­man. Event co-chairs are Erin Bat­tat and Marian Sni­a­towsky. Tick­ets cost $195. Con­tact Ste­fanie at 514-342-0666, Lo­cal 201, or visit galas4croh­n­sand­col­i­tis.ca/mon­treal. Stu­dents at Bia­lik High School do­nated con­tain­ers of creams, sham­poo and con­di­tioner, which were wrapped in gift pack­ages, for the women of Au­berge Shalom in hon­our of Purim. Among the ob­ser­vances on the Jewish holiday, which this year was on March 24, is the giv­ing of gifts to those in need. The project was an ini­tia­tive of the Bia­lik Stu­dent Jewish Life Com­mit­tee.

CROHN’S AND COL­I­TIS CANADA

Ja­clyn Lea Fisher, who died in 2015 at 25 af­ter battling in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease (IBD) and pri­mary peri­toneal car­ci­noma, will be hon­oured at the Gala for Crohn’s and Col­i­tis Canada on April 4.

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