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Tour de Bleu Cycling Fundraiser Supports Purchase of Mri to Aid Sunnybrook Prostate Cancer Patients

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/13/14 -- Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this Press Release.

Dozens of cyclists pedalled from Muskoka to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on Aug. 10 as part of the 10th annual Tour de Bleu, raising funds for the purchase of a state-of-the-art MRI scanner that will aid prostate cancer patients at Sunnybrook.

Peter Gilgan, the founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, created the Tour de Bleu in 2005 to combine his love of cycling and his commitment to supporting community initiatives. The Tour de Bleu, Mattamy Homes and the Peter Gilgan Foundation have made a combined donation of $1.8 million toward prostate cancer care at Sunnybrook.

"We're very grateful for the generosity that Mr. Gilgan, his company and his fellow riders have demonstrated toward Sunnybrook," says Dr. Jon Dellandrea, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Foundation. "With the purchase of an MRI, we will be able to provide the best possible prostate cancer diagnostic imaging."

Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Program - the sixth largest comprehensive cancer program in North America - is counting on support from the Tour de Bleu and additional donors to establish Canada's foremost centre for the treatment of prostate cancer and other urological conditions. This new prostate centre will bring together Sunnybrook's wide-ranging expertise to invent the future of prostate cancer care by leading groundbreaking research, by improving and creating new diagnostic methods, and by delivering precise, image-guided treatments that maximize effectiveness while minimizing harm.

The MRI scanner will be essential to one of the centre's three pillars: rapid, state-of-the-art prostate cancer diagnosis. MRI provides superior imaging of soft tissues and tumours, enabling medical staff to detect prostate cancer at the earliest stages and in some cases find tumours missed by standard imaging. MRI also allows targeted prostate cancer biopsies that require as few as two tissue samples, rather than the standard 12 samples.

"Through research, Sunnybrook has been a leader in developing MRI techniques for prostate cancer detection. Thanks to the purchase of an MRI, our prostate centre will be able to use this superior imaging technology on a large scale," says Dr. Calvin Law, chief of the Odette Cancer Program.

"I'm proud," Mr. Gilgan says, "that the Tour de Bleu is supporting an initiative as crucial as Sunnybrook's prostate centre. When it comes to cancer, men and their families need fast answers based on the most advanced detection techniques. That's what the centre will achieve."

With this year's ride, the Tour de Bleu has raised more than $5 million over its 10-year history for a wide range of health-care institutions in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as for the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton.

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