A B.C. woman, who lives part-time in Kelowna, is pledging $5 million to the BC Cancer Foundation to advance tailored treatment solutions and cures for breast cancer patients.
Through the Rix Family Foundation, Laurie Rix made the larges donation to the BC Cancer’s breast team, that will be used for research into rare and hard-to-treat forms of the disease, including life-threatening subtypes that impact younger women.
The foundation builds on the legacy of Rix’s late father, Dr. Donald Rix, who made medical history as the first patient in the world to have a treatment based on the genomic makeup of his cancer.
“In the 11 years since my father passed away, progress has been made in leaps and bounds. When my father was facing his cancer, we went for consults all over the world, and it was only right here at BC Cancer where they had the technology, progressive thinking and willingness to take the leap into precision medicine as a part of care,” she said.
Cancer has impacted Rix’s life in more than one way, her husband Vancouver broadcaster Neil Macrae, faced male breast cancer, along with two other forms of cancer, that took his life three years ago.
According to Dr. Samuel Aparicio, with BC Cancer, Rix’s donation will support BC Cancer’s flagship breast cancer study, B-PRECISE.
“The study invites individuals facing breast cancer in B.C. to actively take part in research, with a focus on tackling unmet medical needs and bringing precision medicine to patients, in particular those with rare and hard to treat sub-types,” said Dr. Aparicio.
Sarah Roth, President and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation explained that in the last 15 years, BC Cancer has delivered world-first discoveries in breast cancer that have transformed the way the disease is treated today.
The donation was celebrated at the 2020 Virtual Inspiration Gala, in the kick-off to BC Cancer Foundation’s campaign to Break Down Women’s Cancers, raising a total of $8.2 million for breast and gynecologic cancer research toward a $20 million goal.