Dr. Ian Dayes is a Radiation Oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre and has been a member of the Breast Disease Site Team since 2002. His fellowship was funded by the (then) Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre Foundation, of which he joined the board shortly afterwards for many years. Several of his research projects stemmed from initial work during the fellowship. Currently, he is the provincial lead of a study examining the potential role of PET scanning in women with advanced breast cancer.
He and his wife, Tina, settled in Hamilton following his residency at McMaster University. After four years in Toronto, Hamilton seemed an ideal place for a couple to settle down and have a family. That family has now expanded to include four children, two dogs and a horse.
When not taxiing his kids or trailering the horse, he tries to get to jiu jitsu class at least once a week, where he is typically thrown around by people half his age and twice his size. He also owns four hives on a colleague’s farm and is hoping to fill them with bees, if this winter ever goes away.
When, how and why did you get involved in the BRIGHT Run?
At Christmas rounds during my residency, I developed a reputation of having a bit of a smart mouth, so I was often asked to MC those rounds. I’ve done a few similar talks and when the BRIGHT Run started, I was asked if I could make announcements with the promise that I could ad lib from time to time. At an early additional event, raising money for BRIGHT, I also hosted an evening called Fugetaboutit!, at which there were no kids, so the jokes could be a bit more cheeky. That was really fun!
How does your work for the BRIGHT Run fit with your job?
Through my work, I treat patients with breast cancer; I do research about breast cancer; I help set local and provincial guidelines about breast cancer and I also supervise resident research projects. I also sit on the Foundation granting committee. Funding for medical research is very expensive but even small successes for individual patients can have huge overall gains in a disease against which so many people find themselves fighting.
What do you do for the BRIGHT Run?
My job is mostly about standing at the front with my microphone and making announcements. Most people are there to enjoy the day (weather pending), reconnect with old friends,honour loved ones and help support the fight against this dreadful disease. The last thing they want is some doctor at the front making announcements. However, coordinating the day and making sure that everyone is aware of all the events going on, such as silent auctions, raffles, snacks, vendors, First Aid and how to find the bathrooms, is important so that everyone can take full advantage of everything to offer. If I can throw a few light comments in there as well, I hope that makes people listen just a little bit more and not miss out on anything.
Do you have any personal/family connections to breast cancer?
My grandmother had a mastectomy many, many years ago but our family never really learned if there was a diagnosis associated with that. We also lost a very close family friend about two years ago after her very prolonged fight. Her loss is still deeply felt in my family.
What are your feelings about the BRIGHT Run?
I find the day wonderful. Every year I go I think to myself, “Is this the year that it will start to feel routine?”, but there is always something new, after all these years. I am always moved when I go visit the names of people whose loved ones have left tributes. I love how the rain never seems to bother people. I love the energy that my co-presenters bring (A BIG shout-out to Sunni Genesco and Michelle Dubé) and I love that their energy is echoed back a hundred-fold by the survivors, the families, the friends, the physicians, the nurses…. everyone who is there at the BRIGHT Run.