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TEGH supporter and celebrated entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson buoys robotic prostate cancer program with a healthy million-dollar challenge during "Movember"

Wilson donates $100,000 launching the TEGH W. Brett Wilson Gift Challenge

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) supporter, iconic Canadian investor, grateful former TEGH patient and prostate-cancer "graduate", W. Brett Wilson, has donated $100,000 to TEGH, launching the TEGH W. Brett Wilson Gift Challenge. Wilson is challenging Canadians to match his commitment, to hit a target of one million, in support of the hospital's revolutionary robotic prostate cancer program.

"As a very fortunate prostate cancer "graduate", I admire and respect Toronto East General Hospital's critical vision to be a leader in men's health and I'm extremely proud to lend my support," said W. Brett Wilson, formerly of CBC's Dragon's Den, now hosting Risky Business on Slice. "While visiting friends in Toronto, I became ill with radiation-induced renal cystitis and was rushed to Toronto East General Hospital for what I would say was a very personal and life-threatening experience. TEGH saved my life."

Wilson's gift and the launch of his challenge are well-timed in a month where prostate cancer is high on the radar, with various 'Movember' initiatives. At an alarming rate, one in seven Canadian men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime and an aging population is pushing these rates even higher. The good news is that prostate cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer and new research, technology and surgical techniques are bringing better outcomes for prostate cancer patients. The most revolutionary advancement is the robotic da Vinci Surgical Training System.

"With the support of generous champions who rise to the W. Brett Wilson Gift Challenge, Toronto East General Hospital will transform care for men with prostate cancer," noted Michael Burns, Chair of the TEGH Foundation. "The Regional Robotic Surgical and Teaching Program will provide the platform for definitive leadership in men's health at TEGH and create a better future for men with prostate cancer; we are grateful to Mr. Wilson for his generosity and his vision."

TEGH's acquisition of the revolutionary da Vinci System, aka "The Robot" by TEGH's Department of Urology provides patients with the latest in Minimally Invasive Surgical technology. It enhances an already exceptional program and enables our surgeons to dramatically change the experience for prostate cancer patients.

About Toronto East General Hospital:
Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) has been proudly serving the community of East Toronto since 1929, when it opened its doors as a 110-bed general hospital. Over the years TEGH has continually renewed its commitment to the community it serves. Today TEGH is a large, urban, full-service community teaching hospital, providing comprehensive care to a diverse population of 400,000, representing over 45 cultural and linguistic groups. TEGH boasts Centres of Excellence in Thoracic Surgery, Family Medicine Residency Program, and Progressive Ventilation Weaning among its leadership programs.

About the TEGH Capital Redevelopment Campaign:
TEGH has received final approval for redevelopment from the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto. TEGH Foundation is currently in the midst of a $60 million private sector campaign to raise funds for the Hospital's $211-million redevelopment project. More than $50 million has been raised to-date, through the generosity of donors, including 100 per cent participation in the campaign by TEGH doctors. Construction of a new eight-storey Patient Care Centre will replace some of the oldest and most dysfunctional clinical spaces and patient rooms. Some of the highlights of the expansion include: improved infection control, an increase in privacy for patients and families, addressing accessibility requirements, and enabling TEGH to retain and attract the best doctors.

In the month of "Movember", which raises awareness for prostate cancer, Dr. Rajiv Singal, Head of the Division of Urology at TEGH, would be pleased to speak with members of the media about the challenges with prostate cancer and what citizens can do to help tackle this deadly disease. Arrangements can be made by contacting Justin Van Dette at 416-659-3870 or by e-mail at juvan@tegh.on.ca

Brett Wilson is available to discuss the donation/challenge with interested parties.  If you would like to speak with W. Brett Wilson, please contact Teresa Vasilopoulos, President of Toronto East General Hospital Foundation, at 416-500-2384 or by e-mail at tvasi@tegh.on.ca

SOURCE Toronto East General Hospital

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