TBCRU 2019 Dress for the Cause Team

This Year’s Dress for the Cause 2019 Researcher Team


Welcome back to another trainee blog series for this year’s Dress for the Cause event with the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. My name is Natasha Knier. I am happy to be sharing some experiences of planning an event, promoting awareness about research, and connecting with the community to raise funds for breast cancer research.

This year, the Robarts Cellular and Molecular Imaging Group (CMIG) has several trainees that have received scholarships from the Breast Cancer Society of Canada – Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit (TBCRU). The unit is also connected to the London Health Sciences Centre research community. Scholarships are awarded to students pursuing projects in translational breast cancer research. Many of us are also involved in fundraising efforts for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada throughout the year.

This series will showcase the journey of myself, Veronica Dubois, Nourhan Shalaby, and Julia Gevaert, as we take the lead in executing several fundraising and promotional efforts. As trainees involved in breast cancer research, we are passionate about supporting fundraising and awareness efforts that highlight the critical need for further research in this area. We believe in the importance of showing support for the community of individuals who have been affected by breast cancer throughout their lives.

To introduce the team, I will be introducing myself and my lab members, as well as a summary of our current projects that are funded by the TBCRU.

Natasha Nicole KnierMy name is Natasha Knier, and I am an MSc Candidate in the Medical Biophysics program at Western University, supervised by Dr. Paula Foster. My project focuses on studying breast cancer that spreads to the brain using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models by using a specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique and bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to see which cells that spread to the brain die, which form new tumours, and which cells do not form tumours, but remain within the brain. You can find out more here. This is my second year supported by the TBCRU, and happy to be participating in the Dress for the Cause event in 2019.

Veronica Dubois is another TBCRU trainee that is an MSc Candidate in Medical Biophysics. She is co-supervised by Dr. John Ronald and Dr. Paula Foster at Western University. Veronica DuboisVeronica’s project focuses on developing molecular imaging techniques to study the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. A cancer cell therapy made up of immune cells that have been modified to find and kill cancer cells in the body. Her work involves adding reporter genes to CAR-T cells to enable their detection during treatment using non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging and bioluminescence imaging. The valuable information provided by these imaging techniques will aid in the development of new CAR-T cell therapies that are more safe and effective against breast cancer. You can read more about her project here. Veronica also participated in the Dress for the Cause event last year and is happy to be taking the lead on this event again


Nourhan Shalaby Nourhan Shalaby is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Medical Biophysics, under the supervision of Drs. John Ronald and Timothy Scholl. Nourhan exploits the stiffness property of breast cancer, which is commonly used by women for self-assessment, to develop a stiffness-sensing cancer-activatable cell system. The cell system is genetically engineered to specifically target cancer lesions and activate expression of reporter genes that can improve detection of tumour lesions. Using widely available medical imaging technologies, such as PET and/or MRI.

Furthermore, the cell system can be genetically modified to include a therapeutic component to allow for the treatment of breast cancer at earlier disease states. This is Nourhan’s first year as a TBCRU trainee, and she is looking forward to assisting with fundraising and event efforts in the coming year! Stay tuned for future blog posts highlighting Nourhan’s work.

Lastly, another new TBCRU trainee joining us is Julia Gevaert. Julia is an MSc student in the Department of Medical Biophysics, also under the supervision of Dr. Paula Foster. HerJulia Gevaert research project aims to investigate the way breast cancer spreads using Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI). This brand-new technique can detect iron labelled cells in areas that remain hidden in other imaging techniques, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). “I will be labelling breast cancer cells with iron nanoparticles and monitoring their movement throughout the body into lungs, brain, and bone. This study will help us understand how tumours start to grow early after cancer spreads. More blog posts highlighting Julia’s work will be available soon.

Now that you’ve met us, we’d love to have you join us in our fundraising efforts. If you would like to support the Breast Cancer Society of Canada this year, please visit dressforthecause.ca to register yourself or your team and get involved! Are you already registered? Great! Let us see your fundraising efforts by posting your photos and experiences on social media and using the hashtags #DressfortheCause and #ResearchMatters.

We’re looking forward to sharing this experience with you!

How to

Support an Event

Make a contribution to a fundraiser being held in support of Breast Cancer Canada. You can search for the organization or person you wish to support; or click on the event name to make a general donation to the Raise More initiative of your choice.

How to


Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. We work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

Let’s talk about building your program!

Contact Charlene Politano today to get started.
Email: cpolitano@breastcancerprogress.ca
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 or 416-352-8567

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

If you would like to explore other ways to give, we invite you to learn more.

How to


Join the Raise More Challenge

The more money we raise, the sooner we can end breast cancer. The more time researchers have in the lab. The more technology they can use. The more support we can get. Advancements in early detection and personalized treatment are in reach, and with your help to raise funds, we can find a cure sooner.

There are many ways to fundraise – whether you want to create a competition or tournament, fundraise with your team, challenge your colleagues, host a pink party, have a bake sale or cook-off, the idea is to raise more for breast cancer research.

Breast Cancer Canada will empower you with all the tools you need for a successful fundraiser, and if you need more information, contact Dawn Hamilton at: dhamilton@breastcancerprogress.ca  

I am a

Corporate Donor

Support life-saving breast cancer research. A corporate donation is a simple and efficient way to demonstrate your corporate support.

To make a one-time or reoccurring corporate donation online, please click here.

Learn more about

How to Sponsor

Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

Let’s talk about building your program!

Contact Dawn Hamilton today to get started.
Email: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

I am a

Legacy Donor

Over the last 30 years, many generous donors have left a legacy to Breast Cancer Canada in efforts to advance breast cancer research.

No matter what the form of your gift, you will be remembered by your legacy which will live on through each of the lives you touch with your gift.

Learn more about

Legacy donor

Leave a legacy. Plan for a future gift.

  • Leave a gift in your will
  • Donating a life insurance policy
  • Donate a TFSA, RRSP, or RRIF

Support Breast Cancer Canada with a future gift to create a better future for breast cancer patients. Your gift helps to save lives through early detection and improve outcomes with better treatments.

or more information, please contact: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca


This is often called a bequest. It’s the simplest way to make a legacy gift. A gift in your will has no effect on your current income and your estate receives a charitable donation tax receipt. Here’s a sample of simple bequest wording : “To pay the sum of $_________ OR _______% of the residue of my estate to Breast Cancer Canada.”


Life insurance is a way to provide financial security for your family. If the needs of your family are already taken care of, a life insurance policy is a smart way to donate to charity including tax savings for your estate. Speak to your financial advisors for your personalized advice and learn how a gift of life insurance can work for you. Here’s the top-line on ways of leaving gifts of life insurance:

Bequeath your policy to Breast Cancer Canada for the future:

  • Name Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your policy. BCC will receive your insurance proceeds tax-free. Your estate will receive a donation receipt.

Transfer ownership of a paid-up policy to Breast Cancer Canada now:

  • Want to gift us your existing, paid-up policy right now? Make Breast Cancer Canada the beneficiary and owner of your policy. You will receive a donation receipt for the fair market value of the policy. BCC may redeem the policy now, or hold it and receive the face value in the future – however your gift can be put to best use.

Transfer ownership of a policy on which premiums are still owing to BCC now:

  • Premiums still owing? You can still opt to transfer your policy ownership to BCC. You’ll receive a donation receipt for the policy’s fair market value. Want to make it an ongoing gift? Transfer the ownership to BCC, and still continue to pay the premiums owing. You’ll receive donation receipts for those payments too.


Register a significant difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Donate the proceeds of a registered account: Tax-free savings account (TFSA); Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP); Registered retirement income fund (RRIF). It’s a smart way to make a major contribution. Without reducing your current assets. Without subjecting the funds to probate fees. While reducing taxes on your estate through a donation receipt.

Making a gift like this is easy. Designate Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your registered account.  You benefit from the full use of your account(s) during your lifetime. We receive any remaining funds after your passing.

For more information, contact: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca

I am a

Individual Donor

When you support Breast Cancer Canada, you are helping to improve and save lives through better treatments and early detection of breast cancer.

Learn more about

Gifting securities

Donating securities is becoming more popular, and supports Breast Cancer Canada just like cash donations. Gifts of publicly traded securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) are an easy, tax-effective way to make a contribution towards life-saving research that helps with early detection, better treatments, and ultimately  Securities can be of any size and given immediately, or you can bequeath them to Breast Cancer Canada in your will. Just like a cash donation, you’ll get a donation tax credit for your gift of securities.

Today, most securities are held electronically and are easily transferred from your brokerage account to our BCC brokerage account. Your Financial Advisor can make all the arrangements.

For more information, contact: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca

Send e-cards in memory or honour

Bravery is beautiful. That’s why we encourage you to make a donation in honour of a loved one’s own experience with breast cancer. With your donation, we’ll send a email to acknowledge the dedication to the individual or family.

Make a donation with  eCard by dedicating your donation:

Let’s get started

Corporate matching

Multiply the impact of your donation

Fact: thousands of companies will match donations made by employees.

It’s true, and it’s very generous. Want to know if your company will match your donation to BCC? Use the search tool below. It also has access to all the forms, guidelines, and instructions you need to submit a company-matchable gift donation today.

Search Tool

Monthly Giving

Support life-saving breast cancer research every month of the year.


When you make a monthly contribution to Breast Cancer Canada, you provide stable funding for year-round campaigning and allow us to continue to support research projects across Canada.


To join, simply pre-authorize a monthly deduction from your credit card.

  1. Online:  Donate Now
  2. By Phone: Sign up as a monthly donor by calling Toll Free: 1-800-567-8767
  3. By Mail

Breast Cancer Canada, National Office
415 Exmouth Street Unit # 101
Sarnia, ON N7T 8A4

You will need to provide us the credit card type, number and expiry date, and the amount you would like to give each month.

How to


Volunteers are Breast Cancer Canada’s most important resource, and the backbone of our organization. From helping build our PROgress research to helping breast cancer patients, to supporting events, special fundraising projects and administrative tasks, our volunteers are dedicated to making a positive, life-changing impact.

We ensure our volunteers have the best possible experience and apply the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement.

You can help us end breast cancer by:

  • Volunteering with one of our fundraising campaigns. Or a BCC signature event
  • Helping with local community events where you live
  • Joining our PROgress research at a local hub
  • Assisting us with virtual office tasks

Learn more about our volunteer driven Regional Hubs.

Regional Hubs are an integral part of Breast Canada Canada. We connect communities and those committed to our mission to make the goal local. Together, we can save lives through advancing breast cancer research, coast to coast.

Connect to learn more about what is happening in your area: volunteer@breastcancerprogress.ca