Dr. Paola Marignani

DMRF's Molly Appeal Raises over $330,000 for Cancer Research

Molly Update

The DMRF Molly Appeal is a Maritime-wide annual fundraising campaign that supports various medical research initiatives. Beginning in 1980 after a local woman named Molly Moore donated a $5 bill to medical research, the campaign is based on Molly’s belief that if we all give even a small amount, together we can make a big difference.

This year, in support of cancer research, we’re pleased to share that the Molly Appeal raised a total of $330,000, with contributions from 3,000 individual donors in the community. These outstanding contributions allow researchers the critical ability to focus on emerging priorities with adequate support, and to improve research capacity across multiple disciplines through the ability to invest in vital lab equipment, software and talent.

Proceeds from this year’s Molly Appeal purchased the Fluidigm C1 System - a powerful piece of equipment that is essential to providing patients with precision cancer care.  It's so advanced, it can analyze a single tumour cell.  To compliment this state-of-the-art technology, this year’s donations will also support the hiring of a manager for the largest cancer tumour bank in Canada, to further develop precision medicine tailored to the specific cancer profiles of individual patients. Personalized treatments based on a patient's own unique needs is the future of health care.

“Every person’s cancer is unique, like their fingerprints,” says Dr. Paola Marignani, a cancer researcher and professor in Dalhousie’s Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. “Even when two people have what seems to be the same kind of cancer, they don’t necessarily respond the same way to treatment. We need to dig deeper, to the genetic and molecular roots of each individual’s cancer, to find a way to stop it.”

According to the latest statistics, cancer claims the lives of nearly 80,000 people in Canada each year, and here in the Maritimes, we have the highest cancer rates in the country.  That’s why campaigns like DMRF’s Molly Appeal for Cancer Research are so important.

Though Molly herself passed away in 1998, she would be proud to see that her legacy lives on through the Molly Appeal. Thanks to her, Maritimers from every walk of life take pride in contributing to lifesaving research at Dalhousie Medical School every year. To date, the Molly Appeal has raised over $6 million for critical research initiatives.

“Many of our very loyal donors come through the Molly Appeal, staying with us for years. What’s really special about the campaign is that it allows anyone in the community to participate, no matter the size of the donation, and to feel good about helping to make a difference in people’s lives.”

- Brian Thompson, CEO, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation