The United Steelworkers Local 6500 presented a cheque for $65,000 to the Sam Bruno Scanner Fund Tuesday morning.
The donation was the single largest the organization has received since it started its campaign to get Sudbury a PET scanner in 2010.
“We're just thrilled,” said Brenda Tessaro, a committee member with the Sam Bruno Scanner Fund.
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.
The donation from the United Steelworkers makes 2014 the best year yet for the fundraising campaign, with $155,000 raised.
Since 2010, the committee has collected $650,000 to pay for a PET scanner. The device costs nearly $4 million.
The province will not cover the capital costs to purchase a PET scanner, but will pay most of the operational costs once one it's up and running.
United Steelworkers Local 6500 President Rick Bertrand said ideally the province would pay for the medical device, but added the $65,000 donation was the least the Steelworkers could do to help the cause.
“We can't put a number on people's lives,” he said. “No one should be driving down south, and especially when they're ill.”
The fund was named in honour of Sam Bruno, who lost his battle with cancer in 2010, and was a strong advocate for a PET scanner in northeastern Ontario.