Local philanthropists, Philip and Harriet Libin, make $3 million donation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation to help Albertans OWN.CANCER once and for all.
January 21, 2022 – ALBERTA – When the Alberta Cancer Foundation asked, “Who will help us OWN.CANCER?”, local philanthropists, Philip and Harriet Libin responded by making a transformational gift of $3 million in support of breast cancer research and clinical trials at the new Calgary Cancer Centre.
Raising funds for cancer care and research is a cause close to the Libin family’s hearts. In 2006, Sheryl — Phil and Harriet’s daughter, Stuart’s sister and mother to Michael and Matthew— was diagnosed with breast cancer. After an 11-year journey, Sheryl passed away from her illness in 2017 at age 55.
“Sheryl will have been gone for five years in May,” says Harriet. “I always said to Phil, ‘We have to find some way that will be meaningful to keep Sheryl’s memory alive.’ And when the Calgary Cancer Centre came up, we thought it would be a perfect place because it’s meaningful for us and because we went through the process with her… I really hope this centre will give people confidence knowing they have a place to take their loved one to be cared for. I hope that in the not-too-distant future, they’ll find cures for some of these cancers or make things easier for people if they can’t be fully cured. I think Sheryl would be honoured to know that we remember her in this way, and she’s in our hearts always.”
With giving back being a generational habit for the Libins and something continued not just by Sheryl, but also, by the Libin’s son, Stuart, Phil and Harriet made their gift in memory of Sheryl and in honour of Stuart.
In recognition of the Libins’ contribution, the Calgary Cancer Centre is naming the Knowledge Centre auditorium the Philip and Harriet Libin Auditorium. This auditorium will offer tremendous impact to patients by housing patient advisory meetings, seminars, support groups, lectures and conferences where medical professionals and patients alike will have a space to communicate and share research.
When it opens next year, the 1.3-million square foot Calgary Cancer Centre will have capacity to treat more cancer patients with increased space for clinical trials that is currently available at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. It will also contain 110,000-square feet of dedicated research space. In the meantime, the OWN.CANCER campaign is raising $250 million in support of improved research, treatment and care at the new Calgary Cancer Centre. This game-changing initiative is backed by three trusted community institutions: Alberta Health Services, Canada’s first and largest fully integrated provincial health system; the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the official fundraising partner for all 17 cancer care centres across the province; and the University of Calgary, a globally recognized leader in medical research and home to tomorrow’s health-care professionals. Currently under construction, the Calgary Cancer Centre will open its doors in 2023 as one of the largest comprehensive cancer centres in North America.