The MUHC Foundation teams up with 100+ Women Who Care Montreal in an effort to fill the research gap in women’s health

On Tuesday October 3rd, 100+ Women Who Care Montreal, an inspiring grassroots organization that raises funds for local charities, led a fundraising event in support of the MUHC Foundation. Originating in Michigan in 2006, 100+ Women Who Care has proven the efficiency of giving circles, growing rapidly to include over 60,000 members worldwide. The Montreal chapter was established in 2021 by five inspiring women with a shared passion for creating meaningful change.

Three times a year, 100+ Women Who Care Montreal organizes a one-hour social event that requires each member to commit to a donation of $100. The goal is to make an immediate and direct impact on local communities in need, and to demonstrate that making a difference is as easy as committing one hour of your time. Importantly, collective giving means that you don’t have to donate all that much, and you’re still creating tangible change. A testament to the power of sisterhood, 100+ Women Who Care Montreal has donated over $100K to Montreal-based charities since its founding in 2021.

The 100+ Women Who Care Montreal fundraising event took place at the picturesque Atwater Club in Montreal, and an estimated 100 women showed up in a stunning show of solidarity. It was an emotional and informative evening organized by Dr. Sabrina Ahmed, Susan Hinojosa, Jo Ann Munro, Anita Salvatore, and Paola Samuel. The MUHC Foundation presented three projects led by women, championing for women’s health. They included:

  1. The DOvEEgene project led by Dr. Lucy Gilbert

    A genomic pap test that detects ovarian cancer, called the silent killer because it is undetectable until it is advanced. The DOvEEgene test is the first and only test that can detect the disease early.

  2. The Women’s Healthy Heart Initiative (WHHI) run by nurse-clinician Wendy Wray

    This heart disease prevention clinic is fully funded by donations to the MUHC Foundation and strives to increase awareness and accessibility to heart care for women in Montreal.

  3. OncoDrive, led by Dr. Patricia Tonin

    An early-stage trial for whole genomic sequencing for breast cancer patients at the MUHC. This is a critical step in detecting gene mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which identify your risk for cancer recurrence.

After the presentations, each member in attendance voted on where they wanted their money to go.

All three important initiatives made for a difficult choice, but it was WHHI that acquired the most votes on Tuesday night, winning by one over the DOvEEgene project. In total, $20,005 was raised towards the three projects, with over $16,000 directly supporting the WHHI. With the grim statistics of 1 in 3 women dying of cardiac disease, the audience only had to glance at the women around them to reckon with those numbers. It is especially frightening to grapple with the fact that more often than not, women’s cardiac symptoms are brushed off as something else entirely—usually as anxiety or stress related to the many roles women are expected to assume in their lives. However, the large turn-out at the event indicates that women will show up for each other in strength and numbers. This momentum needs to be carried over to fill the gaping hole in women’s health research, and one of the best approaches for this is by continuing the conversation on women’s health.

“Women in Montreal are changing science,” proclaimed Edith Bolduc, the MUHC Foundation’s Senior Director of Corporate Giving, who recognized women’s outstanding contributions to research in the city.

The MUHC Foundation thanks 100+ Women Who Care Montreal for their incredible support in funding women’s health research, and specifically the WHHI. Thanks to them, Montreal is one step closer to becoming a leader in heart health research for women, an important step in addressing the disparity in women’s health research. To find out more about how the MUHC Foundation is changing lives, visit our website.

Women helping women: Recognizing the generosity of the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal