Cancer Fundraiser Sarah Cook to Carry Olympic Torch

Honour takes place during a busy period of fundraising for children with cancer

Montreal, December 9, 2009 – Sarah Cook will carry the Olympic Torch this Thursday, December 10th, as it makes its way through Montreal. Sarah will receive the torch at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the corner of St. Denis and Mont-Royal. This event is one of many taking place during an intensive period of fundraising for The Sarah Cook Fund, which has raised $230,000 in the past two weeks.

More than 600 people attended the 8th annual Splash & Dash, presented by Johnson and Johnson, on November 21st at the McGill University Sport Complex. The event raised $155,000 for Sarah’s Fund for Families, which provides financial support to families in need by covering the cost of meals, special transportation, lodging, and other unexpected expenses.

Kids for Kids took place on November 27th at Marché Bonsecours, and raised $75,000 from 700 partygoers aged 20 to 40 years old. The funds will help purchase vital radiation-therapy equipment and support the needs of children on "Sarah’s Floor"—the in-patient hematology/oncology division at The Montreal Children’s Hospital.

"I couldn’t be more excited to be a RBC Olympic Torch bearer on behalf of child cancer patients here in Montreal," said Sarah Cook. "Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, the little fund we started in 2001 has raised an incredible $4.5 million. We are more determined than ever to do what we can to help children who are battling cancer and provide support to their families."

"Sarah Cook embodies the Olympic motto, from the way that she handles the disease that continues to challenge her life and advocates for young patients to the shining example that she sets for Canadians from coast to coast," stated the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, Director General and CEO of the MUHC. "The Sarah Cook Fund is helping the MUHC acquire leading-edge equipment that will enhance our capacity to diagnose and treat some of our most vulnerable patients. With construction of The Montreal Children’s Hospital at the Glen Campus taking place in 2010, Sarah is helping us to rise Swifter, Higher and Stronger just like her."

The Sarah Cook Fund continues its fundraising this holiday season with its Buddy Blanket program. With each purchase of a cozy buddy blanket, available in toddler and adult sizes, another blanket will be donated to a patient spending the holidays at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Also this week, Casansa is holding a sale at its 1101 Laurier boutique, where 10% of sales will be donated to the Sarah Cook Fund. For more information, call 514 843-1606.

About The Sarah Cook Fund

The Sarah Cook Fund of the Cedars Cancer Institute supports the haematology/oncology division at The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH). The Sarah Cook Fund was started in 2001 by Sarah Cook, an eight-year-old girl battling Ewing’s Sarcoma who was determined to make it a little easier for the other children on the floor by buying new pillows. Sarah’s Fund gained momentum and continues to support the efforts of the professionals who make a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of children and their families every year. The Fund addresses the pressing needs of Sarah’s Floor, the in-patient haematology/oncology division at The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), with positive results including: renovations and upgrades of "Sarah's Floor"; development and support of Art Therapy; providing humanitarian resources through Sarah’s Fund for Families; participation in the acquisition of the first Intra-Operative MRI in Quebec at the MCH, an invaluable tool in the care and treatment of children with brain tumours; continuing education for nurses; and much more.
About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
The MUHC is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. Its partner hospitals are The Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital. The goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.

For more information, contact:
Terry Diab Peterfy
Tel.: 514 934-1934, 71204