Thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Greater Sudbury Police Association, the Sam Bruno PET Scanner Fund is a bit closer to reaching its goal of purchasing a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner for Health Sciences North.
With the donation, the fund has raised nearly $500,000 since 2010. A PET scanner costs nearly $4 million.
A PET scanner is a medical detection tool used in clinical oncology, to help detect brain diseases, such as various types of dementia, and heart disease. It is also an important research tool to map normal brain and heart functions.
Of the nine machines in Ontario, one is located in Thunder Bay; the rest are in southern and eastern Ontario.
“We were hoping that after three years we would have the funds to do this, but that hasn't happened,” said Brenda Tessaro, a member of the Sam Bruno PET Scanner Fund committee.
“We're troopers. We're not going away,” she said. “This is something we all feel passionate about.”
Tessaro first heard about Sam Bruno in 2009, when he wrote a number of letters to Northern Life about the need for a PET scanner in Sudbury.
A year later, he died of cancer, after a long battle with the disease.
In November 2010, the Sam Bruno PET Scanner Fund hosted its first sold-out gala.
The province will not cover the capital costs to purchase a PET scanner, but will pay most of the operational costs once one is up and running.
“We are the only region in the province that does not have a PET scanner,” Tessaro said. “And we have the highest cancer death rate in the province.”
Const. Randy Buchowski, president of the Greater Sudbury Police Association, said the organization chose the Sam Bruno PET Fund because it would benefit the whole community.
“It's something that's going to really help everyone in the community,” he said. “And it's something that could help our members as well.”