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January 19, 2012

Bouffet, Egeler named inaugural holders of Garron Family Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research

Dr. Eric Bouffet and Dr. Maarten Egeler appointed as inagural holders of Garron Family Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research
Dr. Eric Bouffet and Dr. Maarten Egeler appointed as inaugural holders of Garron Family Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research

By Daniel Puiatti

Imagine cancer as something children knew by name, not by experience. Thanks to the Garron family, we are getting closer to this vision.

On Jan. 16, some of the most world-renowned doctors and scientists gathered with friends and family to celebrate the generosity of the Garron family and the appointments of Dr. Eric Bouffet and Dr. Maarten Egeler as inaugural holders of Garron Family Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research.

In 2010, the Garron family donated an unprecedented $30 million to SickKids to establish the Garron Family Cancer Centre. The family’s gift also provided funding to create four Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research that will ensure SickKids continues to perform state-of-the-art cancer research.

Bouffet and Egeler are the first two to receive appointments to the four Garron Family Chair positions. Bouffet is a pioneer in the treatment and research of children’s brain cancer and Egeler is a leader in stem cell research and the treatment of bone tumours.

In a heart-warming speech to the audience, Egeler compared his work to being a mountain climber. You have to be persistent and never give up, he said. But in cancer research, like in mountaineering, he added, “teamwork is the essence of success.”

Egeler will use the funding to continue his team’s research into strategies for making bone marrow transplants more successful in more patients.

Bouffet 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. He considers the Garron family cancer champions. “You will make a difference in the world of paediatric oncology,” he told them.  

Visit the Garron Family Cancer Centre site to learn more about its groundbreaking vision for cancer research and care.