Feast of Fortune fundraiser just the ticket for Vancouver women potentially affected by breast cancer

Chinese New Year event especially beneficial to Asian community

Vancouver, Feb. 7, 2013 – Breast cancer survivor Ju Ng is appealing to Vancouverites to buy tickets to the 2013 Scotiabank Feast of Fortune dinner to raise funds for a 3D ultrasound breast scanner because she knows first-hand how important it is to have access to the latest in breast cancer detection technology. Ng was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy last autumn through the Rapid Access Breast Clinic (RABC) at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ).

Ng and her husband plan to attend the Scotiabank Feast of Fortune to support MSJ’s efforts to become the first facility in Western Canada to offer 3D ultrasound breast scanning. The Feb. 16 dinner at the Westin Bayshore Hotel is geared to raise $380,000 for the scanner while celebrating the Chinese New Year and offering an evening of fine dining, live and silent auctions, entertainment, and opportunities for individual donation pledges. Over the past five years, the Feast has raised more than $1.3 million for priority needs at MSJ.

“The 3D ultrasound breast scanner would be a major win for MSJ’s RABC in the battle against breast cancer. The scanner is more comfortable for patients and faster than conventional handheld ultrasounds, reducing exam times from 25 to 10 minutes. It eliminates variations and inconsistencies between images captured by different technicians, and enables data acquisition and reporting to be done separately, freeing the scanner for more exams,” said Dr. Richard Lee, a MSJ radiologist.

“It will be of special benefit to the high number of Asian women seen at MSJ as it is extremely effective in detecting cancers in the dense breast tissue common to Asian women and which puts them at significantly greater risk of developing breast cancer,” added Dr. Lee.

When Ng, a 40-year-old mother and wife committed to her family and healthy lifestyle, felt a twinge of pain in her chest last November, she initially thought she’d pulled a muscle during one of her regular workouts. But, when she examined her left breast, she found a lump. Given that her mother and her father’s sisters all had breast cancer, she saw her family doctor who sent her to MSJ’s RABC. There she underwent a series of diagnostic tests, including a biopsy. A week later, she was driving home from the gym when she received the call that she had breast cancer.

“I wasn’t completely surprised because, after I found the lump, I already had that possibility in mind. I was more shocked when I originally found the lump. Once the diagnosis arrived, it was a matter of the dreaded truth becoming a reality,” said Ng.

Because of her family history and the fact that her other breast was already developing calcifications, she made the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy. Thanks to early detection, she was able to avoid chemotherapy and radiation.

“As a result of the surgery, I was able to go back to having a normal life and simply seeing my family doctor instead of having to go back every four months for tests. I didn’t want to live like a ticking time bomb, knowing that at any time the cancer could come back,” added Ng.

Ng admits that, within the Chinese culture, people don’t like to talk about things like cancer. She is hopeful that her positive outcome from detecting cancer in its early stages will prompt other women in her community to be proactive about their breast health and get regular mammograms, and that Vancouver residents as a whole will support the Scotiabank Feast of Fortune.

Scotiabank Feast of Fortune tickets will be available until 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 and are $198 CDN each, with a tax receipt of $90 CDN. For more information on how you can attend the event or support the campaign, please visit www.tapestryfoundation.ca or call 604.877.8336.

The Rapid Access Breast Clinic at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
Opened in 2009 with the help of community donors, the clinic is the largest in the province, providing screening mammography, diagnostic imaging and specialized breast surgery services. It is predicted that, every year, there will be 2,800 new cases of breast cancer in British Columbia and 650 women will die of the disease. By coordinating breast care services through a single location, this clinic has helped to reduce the average wait time from breast screening to diagnosis and surgery.

Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
Tapestry Foundation for Health Care raises funds for eight hospitals and residences in Metro Vancouver operated by Providence Health Care. Sites supported include Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Marion Hospice, St. Michael’s Centre, St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni, Honoria Conway-Heather, Langara, and Youville Residence. Donations support purchases of medical equipment, funding to support quality of life programs for the elderly, education programs, and geriatric research projects.


Contact: Michele Penz,
Calico Communications for Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
Tel: 778.888.2249 Email: calicocomm@telus.net