Belinda Stronach wants Toronto to be a leader in breast cancer reconstructive surgery, and she’s putting a lot of money behind making just that happen.
The former Liberal MP and breast cancer survivor has donated $1 million toward creating an academic chair in the field at the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation in the hopes it will allow Canadian women access to all the latest advances in reconstruction.
Stronach, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery in the U.S. this year, also vowed to raise another $1 million toward the initiative.
“It’s an important part of the healing process, breast reconstructive surgery, for those women that wish to have that option,” she said at a press conference Tuesday.
Stronach noted it’s crucial that both the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital have funding and adequate resources in the area, so that more Canadian surgeons can be trained in breast cancer reconstructive surgery.
“I generally try not to talk about my private life, but I felt this was important,” she said. “Only 10 per cent of women in Toronto and even less throughout the rest of the country have access to reconstructive surgery.”
The chair will reportedly be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Dr. Marla Shapiro, a breast cancer survivor herself, was instrumental in getting Stronach behind the project, even before her cancer made national headlines.
“Dr. Shapiro approached me back in the summer not even knowing what I was going through,” Stronach said.
For more on the chair, and to find out how to donate, click here.