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Sunnybrook says goodbye to Edmond G. Odette

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Donate in memoryThe Sunnybrook community is mourning the loss of one of its biggest champions and a leading Canadian philanthropist, Edmond G. Odette.

Mr. Odette and his wife Gloria, who predeceased him, made a landmark gift to Sunnybrook's cancer care and research in 2007, which was celebrated with the naming of the Edmond Odette Cancer Centre.

"This is sad news for the entire Sunnybrook community. We offer our condolences and support to Mr. Odette's family and friends during this difficult time," says Dr. Barry McLellan, Sunnybrook's president and CEO. "Mr. and Mrs. Odette's generosity has been essential in allowing Sunnybrook to build advanced facilities, purchase leading-edge equipment, attract talented medical professionals and pioneer the treatments of tomorrow."

Mr. and Mrs. Odette's philanthropic vision was characterized by a keen interest in the projects they supported. Understanding the tremendous value of breast cancer screening, the couple supported the conversion of the Gloria Odette Breast Imaging Centre to a digital mammography platform.

The Odette Cancer Centre's world-leading research into a patient-friendly, partial breast radiation therapy known as breast brachytherapy is another example of the couple's impact. With essential support from the Odette family, Sunnybrook's Dr. Jean-Philippe Pignol pioneered the treatment, which uses tiny, low-radiation seeds to target and kill lingering cancer cells following breast tumour removal.

Full media release

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is mourning the loss of one of its biggest champions and a leading Canadian philanthropist, Edmond G. Odette.

Mr. Odette and his wife Gloria, who predeceased him, made a landmark gift to Sunnybrook's cancer care and research in 2007, which was celebrated with the naming of the Edmond Odette Cancer Centre.

"This is sad news for the entire Sunnybrook community. We offer our condolences and support to Mr. Odette's family and friends during this difficult time," says Dr. Barry McLellan, Sunnybrook's president and CEO. "Mr. and Mrs. Odette's generosity has been essential in allowing Sunnybrook to build advanced facilities, purchase leading-edge equipment, attract talented medical professionals and pioneer the treatments of tomorrow."

Mr. and Mrs. Odette's philanthropic vision was characterized by a keen interest in the projects they supported. Understanding the tremendous value of breast cancer screening, the couple supported the conversion of the Gloria Odette Breast Imaging Centre to a digital mammography platform.

The Odette Cancer Centre's world-leading research into a patient-friendly, partial breast radiation therapy known as breast brachytherapy is another example of the couple's impact. With essential support from the Odette family, Sunnybrook's Dr. Jean-Philippe Pignol pioneered the treatment, which uses tiny, low-radiation seeds to target and kill lingering cancer cells following breast tumour removal.

Mr. Odette, a Member of the Order of Canada, has aided many other aspects of Sunnybrook's cancer care, including the recent modernization and expansion of the centre's Chemotherapy Unit and Gloria Odette Pharmacy. The family's generosity has impacted many Sunnybrook patients over the years - heart, orthopedic and ophthalmology patients among them.

"It is a somber time. Mr. Odette's thoughtful, caring personality will be missed," says Dr. Jon S. Dellandrea, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Foundation. "He demonstrated the importance of community support in advancing health-care services. Without the Odettes' support, we simply would not be able to deliver some of our most innovative care."

The family's decades-long investment in Sunnybrook has gone far beyond financial. The Odettes have given their time and have truly been ambassadors for the hospital.

"It is truly inspiring the way Mr. Odette and his family have given back to the community, both to Sunnybrook patients and institutions throughout Ontario," says Dr. Andrew Smith, chief of the Odette Cancer Centre.

Sunnybrook expresses its condolences to the entire Odette family, including Edmond Odette Jr., Anne Odette Kaye, Andrea Odette Federer and Curtis Odette.

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