After losing her father and several friends to cancer, Mary O’Neill, a recent retiree from careers primarily in education and politics, was looking for answers. Why did some people develop cancer and not others? How could the disease be prevented in the first place?
Mary’s questions prompted her to join a study that, with the participation of many others like herself, will help researchers better understand the causes of cancer and other chronic diseases. She was one of the first people to be part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project. Today, there are more than 100,000 Canadians participating across many parts of the country.
“It is incredibly meaningful that we have reached this milestone number of participants,” says Mary. “When I first joined, I thought, “What a fantastic opportunity to participate in such a far-reaching study, with very little time requested.” Now, this great number of participants will only add to the significance of the research.”
The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project involves the participation of ordinary Canadians like Mary who agree to share their health and lifestyle information over their adult lives. Collected anonymously, these data will over time enable researchers to explore and understand patterns and trends that may help to answer some of their most challenging questions about the causes of cancer and other chronic diseases.
If my participation helps someone avoid cancer in the future, it’s worth every minute, — Mary O’Neill, CPTP participant.
Mary’s participation in the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is through one of five regional studies, Alberta’s the Tomorrow Project. The others are Atlantic PATH, the BC Generations Project, the Ontario Health Study and Quebecs CARTaGENE. While each study has eligibility requirements, participation is generally open to people aged 35 to 69.
“Through the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, Canadians will be making a major contribution to what we know internationally about cancer and other chronic diseases,” says Alison Spaull, executive director of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project. “Their simple gift of information will yield results for decades to come. Ultimately, they are helping their neighbours, their children, their grandchildren and each other.”
The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is entirely funded by the public sector including $42 million from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, its largest current funder and the national organization responsible for leading a coordinated cancer strategy across the country. An additional $57 million has been invested by regional funders including the BC Cancer Foundation, Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Genome Quebec.
Learn more about the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project by visiting http://www.partnershipfortomorrow.ca/.