BRIGHT – Breast cancer Research In Greater Hamilton Today


The beginnings: Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre

The origin goes back to the early 1980’s when a small group of oncologists and nurses at the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre, now called the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC), started a breast cancer clinic where women with breast cancer were assessed, their special needs attended to, and treatments initiated in a timely fashion.

In 1992 the Cancer Centre moved to its present location 699 Concession Street in Hamilton, Ontario. With this relocation and expansion of the Cancer Centre, the Breast Cancer Disease Site Group (DSG) also grew significantly. Oncologists in the group made a name for themselves on both the national and international scene.

In the early 2000’s the Cancer Centre had outgrown its space and plans were initiated for another expansion which was completed in 2006.

By 2006, the Breast Cancer DSG had grown to include not only medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, but also surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, general practice oncologists, nurses, genetic counsellors, and social workers.

The Juravinski Cancer Centre now serves as a hub and Centre of Excellence for breast cancer treatment for the 6 regions of Hamilton, Haldimand, Burlington, Brant, Norfolk and Niagara.

What was the catalyst for the BRIGHT Run?

To say that we were proud of “our care and research” is an understatement. We were, and we continue to be passionate about it. Our patients told us that they would support research at our Centre if we held our own walk or RUN.

By the Fall of 2007, the seed had been planted and in the Spring of 2008, the BRIGHT Run came to be. The Breast Cancer DSG formed a volunteer committee. As medical professionals, we had little experience with the organization of a fund raising event, but learned very quickly.

The Rail Trail in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area was selected as the venue and the first Saturday after Labour Day – our date. You could feel the excitement in the air of the Cancer Centre in the weeks leading up to the first BRIGHT Run.

Saturday morning September 6th, 2008 arrived. It was raining and misty. The weather however did not dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the participants. Just before the BRIGHT Run started the clouds parted and the sun came out. An omen… perhaps.

The event was a great success – 1002 participants raised over $250,000! It heralded the commitment of the Breast Disease Site Team and the community to continue to support the outstanding researchers in the Department of Oncology, McMaster University at the Juravinski Cancer Centre.

2014 was the celebration of the 7th Annual BRIGHT Run. Each year, the BRIGHT Run has been supported by over 1000 participants and over $2 million has been raised in support of Breast cancer Research In Greater Hamilton Today.

We are very proud of the work we do here in Hamilton at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in support of women, and men with breast cancer.

Through the BRIGHT Run, we look forward to bringing increased awareness to breast cancer research being done right here in Hamilton, and raising much needed funds to ensure it continues.

Dr. Mark Levine
Professor and Chair, Department of Oncology
Buffett Taylor Breast Cancer Research
McMaster University