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Our cancer champions
Fighting cancer is like climbing a mountain, says the newest cancer specialist at SickKids.
There's hard work, perseverance and most of all, teamwork, says Dr. Maarten Egeler, a world-renowned expert in stem cell research and the treatment of bone tumours.
Dr. Egeler was recently recruited to SickKids thanks to the generosity of the Garron Family, who in 2010 donated an unprecedented $30 million to the Hospital to revolutionize the care and treatment of children's cancer in Canada and around the world. The donation established the Garron Family Cancer Centre at SickKids and created four Garron Family Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research. Dr. Egeler, along with Dr. Eric Bouffet, received the first two appointments.
Dr. Egeler, who comes to SickKids from the Netherlands, will focus much of his team's research efforts on making bone marrow transplants more successful, for more patients. More than 100 bone marrow transplants are performed every year at SickKids alone.
Originally from France, Dr. Bouffet came to SickKids in 2000 to head the neuro-oncology program, which is now one of the world's leading programs for the treatment of brain cancer. He will use the funding to launch new clinical trials, expand programs and fund twinning programs that help young patients with brain cancer in low income countries. In Canada alone, as many as 500 children are diagnosed with brain cancer every year.
The cancer fight is personal for these champions.
"I am driven because I owe it to my patients," says Dr. Bouffet. "There are tremendous possibilities for improving the treatment of brain cancer."
Myron and Berna Garron are motivated by the memory of their son, Michael, who at 13 passed away from cancer. Dr. Egeler has a message for them: "Dr. Bouffet and I will do everything possible to make sure that Michael will never be forgotten."
SickKids' newest chairs are up to the job!
Read more about other milestones made possible by donations.