The family of a former Saanich banker has spurred $1.3 million in donations from across the province, and added $2 million of their own, all towards supporting advanced cancer research at B.C. Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre.
The research centre is located on the campus of the Royal Jubilee Hospital, at Saanich’s most southern tip. Robert Conconi is a cancer survivor who went to Claremont secondary and started his career at the former Bank of Montreal at Cook and Quadra. He says he owes his life to cancer research and the hard-working scientists and clinicians of the B.C. Cancer Agency.
Less than two months ago the Robert L. Conconi Foundation publicly announced it would match up to $1 million in donations to help get immunotherapy clinical trials into the clinic.
By the Oct. 22 closing date, 5,965 people had made donations exceeding the $1 million by $300,000. That was matched by the Conconi family for a successful campaign of $2.3 million.
During last week’s 2015 Inspiration Gala, the Conconi family then pledged another $1 million.
“We’ve always known that the B.C. Cancer Foundation has a large community of supporters, and they have stepped up in a meaningful way making over $1.3 million in donations in only two months time,” said Alex Conconi, son of Robert and director of the Conconi Foundation. “That’s just remarkable.”
Clinical trials using therapies that will harness each patient’s own tumour reactive T cells are expected to launch in 2017.