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16Photo: (L-R): Elizabeth Smith, Senior Director, Development Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic Chapter; Dr. Stephen Lewis, Assistant Scientific Director, Atlantic Cancer Research Institute; Jim Stewart, Co-founder The Reason For Hope Society; Janet Ervin, a Director with The Reason for Hope Society

The Reason for Hope Society Supports Breast Cancer Research at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute was pleased to accept a cheque in the amount of $10,000 from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic Chapter. The funds, which were raised through The Reason for Hope Society, are in support of breast cancer research being conducted by Dr. Stephen Lewis, Assistant Scientific Director, and his team at ACRI.

Using cutting-edge approaches and technologies, Dr. Lewis and his team are working to understand how breast cancer cells become mobile and move to other parts of the body (metastasis) so that we may develop better tools for the early detection of metastatic breast cancer, as well as better treatments.

"The funds generously provided by The Reason for Hope Society will allow my research team to continue their important efforts, which each day are giving us a better understanding of the mechanisms behind metastatic breast cancer," said Dr. Lewis. "Our ultimate goal is to use this knowledge to develop better diagnostic and treatment approaches for metastatic breast cancer."

The Reason for Hope Society, which was founded in 2007, holds annual music-based fundraisers in memory of Nova Scotia Music Award Nominee, Emma Lee Stewart, who battled breast cancer. An accomplished musician, Ms. Stewart was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after the release of her first music CD. As a result of her diagnosis, her focus quickly changed from "I want to do music" to "I want to be well," says her husband and co-founder of The Reason for Hope Society, Jim Stewart. The first fundraising event was organized by Ms. Stewart herself, who was so impressed with the facility where she received her radiation treatments that she wanted to do something to give back. With the first event so strongly supported by sponsors and well-received by those in attendance, a decision was made to make The Reason for Hope an annual event. The funds raised have supported several different cancer-related organizations.

Honouring Ms. Stewart's wishes to have the money raised through The Reason for Hope Society put toward metastatic breast cancer research, this year the Society contacted the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic Chapter, which provided the names of several Atlantic Canadian researchers who were focused on this field. After a review process, ACRI's Dr. Stephen Lewis was chosen as the recipient.

"It was Emma's wish that the funds we raise would go directly to metastatic breast cancer research," says Janet Ervin, one of the Directors for The Reason for Hope Society. "We feel so good about making this cheque presentation to Dr. Lewis because we know that we have indeed carried out her wishes," said Ms. Ervin. "Hopefully with additional fundraisers we will be able to make even more donations in the coming years."




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