Firefighters Organization Support Colorectal Research Program at The Ottawa Hospital

Firefighters have seen all kinds of devastating situations in their line of work. But few things are as devastating as hearing the words “you have cancer” from your doctor.

The Retired Professional Fire Fighters Cancer Fund Inc. is trying to put an end to those words, and the devastation that comes with them, with its support of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI).

The organization, which is based out of Binghamton, New York, recently presented a $10,000 gift in support of OHRI researcher Dr. Rebecca Auer’s colorectal research program.

A non-profit organization committed to raising funds for cancer research programs, the fund allocates dollars to established programs that seek to impact those cancers that have a higher occurrence rates among firefighters, said Bill Newland, President of The Retired Professional Fire Fighters Cancer Fund Inc. But although the fund’s mandate is to focus on “firefighter cancers,” its efforts seek to benefit everyone because, “as we all know,” said Newland, “cancer does not discriminate.”

“We are so pleased to help our neighbours to the north,” added Newland. “We know that the research being done by Dr. Auer and her colleagues at OHRI will not only end up benefitting patients in the Ottawa area, but around the world.”

An Associate Scientist in the Cancer Therapeutics Program at OHRI, Surgical Oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Auer is leading clinical trials of a common blood thinner in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer. Her team is also investigating the use of novel therapies that stimulate the immune system, including oncolytic viruses.

“This is a generous gift,” said Tim Kluke, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. “This group has saved lives in more ways than one — first as firefighters, and now as cancer fundraisers.”

The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.2 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada, and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital website at

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation‘s mission is to inspire and enable people to support the highest quality health care at The Ottawa Hospital and lifesaving research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website at

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