The Ski for a Cure benefit-event, created in memory of Rob Lutterman, proudly celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 16th on Mount Sutton. The ski day and the fundraising campaign, organized by Rob’s family and friends in collaboration with the Cancer Research Society, successfully raised $50 000 that will help fund cutting-edge pancreatic cancer research.
For the last 20 years, over 1.3 million dollars have been distributed in research grants thanks to the Rob Lutterman Memorial Fund. This has helped in discovering a very promising avenue, a new practice called “personalized medicine”. Researchers are now hoping that in a near future, pancreatic cancer will become a chronic disease rather than the deadly disease it is now, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 10%. Fran Lutterman, Rob’s widow is optimistic: “We will keep on fighting as we are confident that the researchers we are helping to fund will come through with life-saving discoveries.”
To mark this 20th anniversary, the Cancer Research Society has decided to extend this year’s donation period. It is therefore still possible to donate for the cause here.
The Story behind Ski for a Cure
In the winter of 1999, 63-year-old Rob Lutterman was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Because of lack of symptoms, Rob had lived with pancreatic cancer for some time without knowing it and the disease had already progressed to other organs. “Rob was healthy and otherwise energetic. He wasn’t showing any symptom and he wasn’t in any pain. We were shocked by his diagnosis. He didn’t know he had cancer until it was too late, he passed away four short months after his diagnosis,” explains Fran.
To honour his memory, Fran and their two children, Joel and Randy, along with other family members and friends, came together to create the very first Ski for a Cure event, to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research. “Ski for a Cure came to mind because of Rob’s true passion for skiing. There is nothing that Rob loved more than to spend time skiing with our family at his favourite mountain, Mont Sutton in Quebec’s Eastern Townships,” says Fran.
About pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer develops when malignant cells form in the tissues of the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. Pancreatic cancer is known to be quite deadly because it is so difficult to diagnose. Thus, the majority of cases are unfortunately not detected in the early stages when the tumor is the most treatable.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death and the one that presents the lowest survival rate: only eight percent of Canadians diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive five years after their diagnosis.
About the Cancer Research Society
Founded in 1945, the Cancer Research Society is the first Canadian organization entirely dedicated to funding research on all types of cancer. Over the course of its history, the Society has supported thousands of our country’s best scientific minds who have helped make important strides in the way we prevent, detect, and treat cancer. Since 2000, thanks to the generosity of donors across the country, the Society distributed over $155 million in research grants.