Pfizer Canada supports VOBOC’s 2014 Holiday Basket Program

MEDIA RELEASE AND INVITATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pfizer Canada supports Venturing Out Beyond Cancer’s 2014 Holiday Basket Program

65 volunteers to assemble baskets on Saturday, December 6

Pointe-Claire, QC – December 5, 2014 – It is with great pride and honour that Venturing Out Beyond Cancer (VOBOC) recognizes the generosity of Pfizer Canada, the platinum sponsor of VOBOC’s annual Holiday Basket Program. A loyal supporter of VOBOC since 2006, Pfizer Canada donated, once again this year, $15,000 towards the 2014 Holiday Basket Program.

These funds support the creation of 160 holiday baskets, which will be delivered to adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients hospitalized on December 24 at six McGill University affiliated hospitals (Montreal Children’s Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal General Hospital, Montreal Neurological Hospital, Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Centre) and to all patients at the West Island Palliative Care Residence and all hospitalized cancer patients at the Lakeshore General Hospital.

“Cancer touches Canadians of all ages across the country,” said Rhonda O’Gallagher, Head of Corporate Affairs, Pfizer Canada Inc. “The donation to VOBOC’s Holiday Basket Program is one small way we can support individuals and families in the local community who are dealing with cancer at this time of the year.”

MEDIA INVITATION
On Saturday December 6, 65 volunteer elves will assemble the baskets. There will be ribbons and bows and plenty of holiday cheer. Come meet the volunteers as well as the founder of VOBOC Doreen Edward; Deborah Bridgman, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and continues to battle the disease; and Donna Coleman-Richardson, whose daughter Danielle succumbed to cancer in 2010. Danielle was the recipient of a basket when she was hospitalized during the holidays.

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 6, 2014
WHERE: Pointe Claire Plaza
269 Boul. St-Jean, bureau 215 (upstairs, near Ballet West)
Pointe-Claire, QC, H9R 3J1

Many patients with cancer won’t be home for the holidays
VOBOC and its supporters understand how difficult it is to be hospitalized during Christmas and the holidays. This is why VOBOC has delivered more than 1,100 holiday baskets to oncology and palliative care units over the last 14 years. The cheerful baskets arrive without fanfare, but with the purpose of letting a cancer patient know others are thinking of them.

About Pfizer Canada
As a major corporate charitable donor in Canada, Pfizer Canada is a proud member of Imagine Canada and its Caring Company program. Pfizer Canada’s Community Investment Program supports many non-profit organizations and projects across the country with a total investment of approximately $16 million annually. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit pfizer.ca or you can follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/PfizerCA) or Facebook (facebook.com/Pfizer.Canada).

About VOBOC
VOBOC is a non-profit charitable organization that supports adolescents and young adults with cancer. Since 2001, VOBOC has touched the lives of over 8,000 patients by knowing what to say and by providing tools and resources free of charge to adolescent and young adult oncology patients who are treated at the following McGill University affiliated hospitals: Jewish General, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, Montreal Neurological Institute, Lakeshore General, St Mary’s Hospital and the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

VOBOC – Additional information and Canadian Cancer Statistics

The VOBOC Foundation is the ONLY charitable organization dedicated to offering the following three free programs:

Vo-Pak program: VOBOC delivers backpacks to oncology units for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients on their first day of treatment. Each Vo-Pak (venturing out pack) contains tools and resources to help patients navigate through the cancer treatment experience.

The granting of Last and Special Requests: At the request of medical teams, VOBOC considers and grants Last and Special Requests to patients in crisis or in palliative care.

Education and Awareness: VOBOC supports and leads initiatives that raise awareness and public sensitivity regarding the needs of AYAs with cancer.

VOBOC statistics for 2014 and the number of lives touched since its founding in 2001:

• VOBOC delivered 140 Vo-Paks to newly diagnosed AYA patients, aged 15 to 29 in 2014
• VOBOC expects to grant 50 Last and Special Requests by the end of the year
• VOBOC through sponsorships and donations will deliver 160 holiday baskets to hospitalized patients
• Each year with its partners, VOBOC co-sponsors three retreats and workshop conferences for over 150 AYA cancer survivors and co-hosts numerous social activities for patients and their families
• Last year 2,144 individuals directly benefited from or participated in delivering a VOBOC service
• Since VOBOC began in 2001, it has touched the lives of over 8,300 cancer patients

Cancer Statistics – sources: Canadian Cancer Statistics (2013), Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Cancer Statistics -Focus on AYA, 127 pages, Cancer Incidence in Canada 2007 & 2008, Statistics Canada Catalogue no.82-231-X

• Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada
• 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 4 will die of the disease
• 187,600 new cases of cancer will occur in Canada in 2013
• Each hour, an estimated 21 people in Canada will be diagnosed with cancer
• Currently more than 150,000 Canadians are survivors of a young adult cancer diagnoses
• More than 7,000 Canadian adolescents and young adults will learn that they have cancer this year
• This year in Quebec 1,445 persons aged 15 to 39 will be diagnosed with cancer, 750 in Montreal
• Every 12 hours an adolescent or young adult is diagnosed with cancer in Montreal
• Top five cancer types in the AYA population are: Lymphoma 20%, Invasive Skin Melanoma 15%, Male Genital System 11%, Endocrine System, Thyroid 11% and the Female Genital System 9%.

VOBOC’s vision is that every adolescent and young adult cancer patient will be accompanied throughout their cancer journey – from beginning to end – with the appropriate tools and resources to help them navigate and ease their cancer experience. VOBOC is committed to offering resources and supportive care that is patient-centred and targeted to help improve the cancer experiences of adolescents and young adults.

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VOBOC CONTACT:
Doreen Edward, Founder
The VOBOC Foundation
T. 514.695-9292
c. 514.715-6200
doreen.edward@voboc.org

PFIZER CANADA CONTACT:
Heather Bisset
Corporate Affairs
1-866-973-4937
heather.bisset@pfizer.com