The Need for Cancer Research Never Stops  
Rebecca O’Brien
Executive Director
WICC Ontario
Marilyn Horrick
WICC Ontario 
As a Community Partner of Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC), IBAO  helped raise over $20,000 for cancer research and education in 2019. The collaboration was announced early last year, with focused fundraising efforts at our 99th IBAO Convention in October.   In February, we had the opportunity to attend WICC Ontario’s National Sponsor Appreciation Event at the University of Toronto St. George Campus, lab coats and all. Dr. Raymond Reilly, a WICC grant recipient, kindly opened his lab for an insightful tour and presentation. The event  was a thank you to WICC’s National Sponsors  & Community Partners and a demonstration of how fundraising efforts  directly benefit cancer research. WICC’s connection with the Canadian Cancer Society allows every dollar donated through WICC to be free of  administration fees, going directly to cancer research and support services.  “Dr. Reilly’s research is aimed at making radiation therapy safer and more effective for people with cancer,” explained Rebecca O’Brien, Executive Director of WICC. “The study he’s currently leading focuses on a new technique that uses gold nanoparticles to amplify and target radiation to boost effectiveness and reduce side effects of triple –negative breast cancer (TNBC)—an aggressive form of the disease with a high likelihood of turning metastatic. Patients with metastatic TNBC have few treatment options beyond chemotherapy, which is often  unsuccessful. 
“Seeing the connection between WICC fundraising and cancer research in action is an incredible opportunity and we’re thrilled we could share it with our sponsors.”  In light of the current pandemic, traditional events and fundraising initiatives must change, at least for the time being. The WICC Ontario team has had to think creatively about continuing to raise money while  everyone adapts to the new environment.   “WICC events are central to the fundraising and grant commitments we’ve made to life–saving cancer research,” said Marilyn Horrick, Co-Chair of WICC Ontario. “We’ve  been pivoting our efforts to focus on digital resources. We’re introducing new virtual events, promoting the simplicity of online donations and working closely with the Canadian Cancer Society to reposition our Relay for Life to a Relay at Home. The groundswell of energy and support for these virtual initiatives has been overwhelming.”   Ontario Brokers play an influential role in WICC fundraising efforts. “Brokers know the impact cancer has in their communities and the importance of donating to life–saving research,” said Marilyn. “The Ontario Broker community can get involved in any number of ways, raising funds for cancer research and increasing engagement through office–led activities or by participating in virtual fundraising events. We continue to be amazed by the dedication of all our volunteers, the broker community and the WICC community at large.”  
Over the past 24 years, WICC Ontario has donated over $10M to life–saving cancer research initiatives. 
Seeing the connection between WICC fundraising and cancer research in action is an incredible opportunity.
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