When paired with the latest advances in technology, your generosity is helping scientists at the CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute provide tomorrow’s treatments today to Manitobans. Dr. Jody Haigh and his team are researching what causes cancer cells to replicate and spread. By altering cancer cells at a microscopic level, they are better able to understand the role genes play in cancer development. This understanding may lead to development of new therapies targeting these genes. Thanks to the amazing generosity of almost 700 donors who responded to last year’s annual Giving Tuesday campaign, Dr. Haigh and other scientists have a new key piece of equipment which will help further their understanding: a new ultracentrifuge.
“The ultracentrifuge is essential to the work we do,” said Dr. Haigh. “It spins at a rate of 3% the speed of light breaking down and purifying matter to the smallest of particles. It allows us to speed up our research.”
Their research, enhanced by the new ultracentrifuge, may be especially significant for leukemias, the type of cancer affecting Hargun, the spirited 8-year-old we introduced you to last fall. Before being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just seven years old, she was a healthy, energetic, playful kid who loved to dance and to play with her cousins.
“Hargun understands everything. When our doctor explained that Hargun had a form of blood cancer we were in shock. That night holding onto us, she asked if she would die. We had no answers for her,” said Hargun’s mother, Shelly.Thanks to the support of donors like you Hargun was able to join a local clinical trial to treat her leukemia. After several long months in the hospital, including a very scary five week stay in the intensive care unit, Hargun’s treatment began to make a difference and she was finally able to return home. While Hargun’s cancer journey is not over – she still takes daily chemotherapy medication, has monthly visits to the hospital for intravenous medication and regular visits for invasive spinal taps – it is thanks to your continued dedication to furthering discoveries that Hargun and her family have hope for the future. Without your generous support of local cancer research, including equipment like the ultracentrifuge, Hargun’s story could have been dramatically different. It is thanks to your dedication and vision, we may yet see a future where Hargun and other children like her no longer have to hear the words ‘you have cancer’.