A $110,000 contribution from the Janis Foligno Foundation is a step in the direction toward finding a cure for cancer, said Mike Foligno.
The funds were split among six organizations, with $40,000 going to the Canadian Cancer Society and $25,000 to the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada. Funds also went to the House of Kin, Maison Vale Hospice, Meals on Wheels and NEO Kids.
“We have a lot of friends in this community who have opened their hearts and souls to help the causes we are involved in,” Foligno said Oct. 2 at the Canadian Cancer Society.
“(Cancer) is a terrible disease, and we will do whatever we can to help eradicate it. I believe, with what I've witnessed over the years, that research is the vitally important part to getting rid of this disease. That's why a lot of our funding is geared toward research.”
He said he's seen great strides in cancer research just in the past five or six years.
“I think we're on the cusp of some incredible technology and innovation,” he said. “We're right there, and we want to keep moving forward. The people who support our foundation want to know their dollars aren't being wasted, and we believe that money is being channeled into the right avenues to find a cure.”
Tim Whalen, chair of the Community Advisory Committee of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the $40,000 donation from the Janis Foligno Foundation actually translates into $80,000.
Through a partnership with Brain Canada, all non-federal donations are matched dollar for dollar to support neuroscience research and advance knowledge and treatment of brain disease and mental disorders.
The Canadian Cancer Society is funneling the $40,000 toward brain tumour research by Dr. David Stojdl, a senior scientist at Children's Hospital of Easter Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa.
Fundraising dollars are scarce, Whalen said. Whenever an organization sees a donation like the one from the Janis Foligno Foundation, and the fact it leverages a further contribution from Brain Canada, it is big news.
“The more that happens, the further advances we will make, and we will get to a point where cancer is eradicated,” he said.
AMRIC CEO and chief scientist Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma said the $25,000 donation allows him to hire young scientists to contribute to the impact AMRIC wants to make in this community, and to discover new treatments for cancer and to help patients directly.
“This donation will probably allow us to hire an additional two people,” he said. “Right now, we have 100 people at AMRIC. We're very grateful to the Foligno family, and we want to thank them for their commitment to research and the effort we are trying to make in this community.”
Whalen said it's his hope this donation from the Janis Foligno Foundation is the first of many for years to come.
“Janis was deeply connected to the Canadian Cancer Society,” he said. “She had a big heart, and we fondly remember her using her time to help others. She was an amazing volunteer, and we miss her greatly.”