The MUHC Foundation and Pink in the City raise $203,000 for breast cancer research and care

The MUHC Foundation and Pink in the City partnered for the 7th annual Raise Craze head shaving event and a casino-themed fundraiser.

Montreal, December 7, 2022 — The 7th annual Raise Craze head shaving event took place on October 17th, raising $203,000 during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in support of breast cancer research and care at the MUHC.

Brave individuals cut and shaved their hair in honour of their loved ones. Dimitra Maria Rassias was one of the youngest participants —the seven-year-old cut her long brown locks in support of her mother and grandmother. Joe Santek parted with his hair to honour his uncle and father, who both passed away from cancer at the age of 57. Joe is turning 57 in just a few months, and Raise Craze is his way of ensuring fewer families lose loved ones.

“It is so inspiring to see people of all ages give up their hair to support women with breast cancer. I am honoured to continue this movement that began when my son Lawrence shaved his head over a decade ago.”

Denise Vourtzoumis, President, Pink in the City

All funds raised through Raise Craze are supporting new breakthroughs in metastatic breast cancer research at the MUHC. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread through the bloodstream to another part of the body, usually the bones, lungs, brain, or liver. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide, and many women don’t survive more than 2–3 years after their cancer spreads.

“I am grateful to Pink in the City for their continued partnership in support of breast cancer research and care. We are proud to support cancer researcher Dr. Julia Burnier, who is studying ways to personalize cancer medicine to ensure fewer lives are lost.”

Julie Quenneville, President and CEO, MUHC Foundation

Cancer researcher Dr. Julia Burnier will benefit directly from Raise Craze: the funds will support her research into liquid biopsy, a minimally invasive technique that uses blood or other bodily fluids to detect and monitor cancer, and personalize treatment.

“It’s an exciting time for cancer research. We’ve come to a point where we can treat patients based on their individual cancer. We’re not just trying to kill cells, we’re targeting specific cancer cells. Liquid biopsy is really exciting because it gives us the opportunity to make the best possible treatment choices for the patient.”

—Dr. Julia Burnier, cancer researcher, Research Institute of the MUHC

Pink in the City Casino Fundraiser

On October 21st, Pink in the City held its casino fundraiser at the Embassy Plaza in Laval. The glitzy event featured cocktails, dinner and dancing to soul and R&B band Pocketful of Soul. The event honoured breast cancer surgeon Dr. Sarkis Meterissian, who dyed his hair pink and shaved his head for Raise Craze last year. His shave raised a record-breaking $307,000.

All proceeds from the casino fundraiser will support the MUHC’s Breast Clinic Wellness Program, which provides whole-person care to patients with breast cancer. Patients have access to seminars to familiarize them with the clinic and treatments, consultations with nutritionists, kinesiologists and sex therapists, and more. The goal of the program is to ensure that women not only survive, but thrive after breast cancer.

“I created the MUHC’s Breast Clinic Wellness Program because I believe firmly in treating the whole patient, not just the cancer. Ten years later, it is still entirely supported by amazing groups like Pink in the City. I am so grateful for their support, and to be honoured by them”

Dr. Sarkis Meterissian, surgical oncologist and Director, Breast Clinic Wellness Program, MUHC

With the help of our generous supporters and brave Raise Craze volunteers, we are one step closer to ensuring no more women lose their lives to breast cancer.

MUHC Foundation receives Imagine Canada accreditation