Your Dollars At Work

A Message from Dr. Sam Aparicio

For Dr. Sam Aparicio, research into breast cancer goes beyond just scientific interest.

Sam Aparicio
The Nan and Lorraine Robertson Chair of Breast Cancer Research at the BC Cancer Agency lost his mother to breast cancer. And as the father of four daughters, Dr. Aparicio is committed to improving the future for women.

With support from funds raised by the Weekend to End Women's Cancers, Dr. Aparicio has been able to complete research that might not have been possible elsewhere.

"Cancer research is moving at an astonishing rate. It really is changing in a matter of weeks or months," he explains. "If I had to depend on granting agencies for my funding, we would not be able to keep up with the scientific pace and I'd be very restricted into the types of questions I can ask. The funds raised from the Weekend not only sustain our research program and but also allow us to really experiment, ask questions and be innovative."

And the hard work is paying off. Last October, Dr. Aparicio and his team were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature. His breakthrough unlocked new clues about how breast cancer starts and spreads.

Since then, he's joined an international consortium to genetically decode 50 different tumour types, including Triple Negative Breast Cancer - an aggressive and relatively unknown form of cancer.

"I honestly never thought in my professional career that I would see this type of research. We've reached a golden age where the technology is advanced, accessible and cost-effective. I think we're going to see many more exciting developments in the near future.”

"But there are still questions. Lots and lots of questions," he says.

This is why Dr. Aparicio also walks every year in the Weekend, and helps his team fundraise by hosting a BBQ in his backyard.

“I hope that everyone reading this will feel the same motivation that I do to participate in the Weekend,” he continues. “I could not do the work I do without every single walker, volunteer, and donor.”

There is still time to register and fundraise for the 2010 Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Click here to find out more about our new, one-day option.