September 15, 2008 10:21 ET

Ted and Loretta Rogers Help Sunnybrook Tackle Blindness

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, Photo Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2008) - Ted and Loretta Rogers have made a landmark $7.5 million contribution to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to help tackle the most common causes of blindness in Canada. Their investment will support research into three major conditions leading to blindness that result from the uncontrolled growth of blood vessels in the eye: age-related macular degeneration, and vision complications stemming from diabetes and premature birth. Age-related macular degeneration affects an estimated one million Canadians.

Sunnybrook researchers are world-leaders in the study of the growth of blood vessels, known as angiogenesis. With this investment, they will use knowledge about angiogenesis with respect to applications for treating cancer and cardiac conditions and apply it to saving people's vision. This transformational gift to Sunnybrook's Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences Department is the largest single donation benefitting ophthalmology in Toronto.

"I have always been impressed with the vision care offered by the Department of Ophthalmology at Sunnybrook, and I am confident that this gift will benefit many across Toronto," said Ted Rogers.

In a selfless philanthropic gesture, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers chose to dedicate this gift in the names of their longtime friends, John and Liz Tory, honorary chairs of the current Sunnybrook capital campaign, and major benefactors of the hospital. The gift will create the John & Liz Tory Eye Centre. Additionally, in recognition of the leadership demonstrated by Sunnybrook's Dr. Bill Dixon in the field of ophthalmology, the Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology Research has been established.

"John and Liz Tory have been great friends to Loretta and me from both a personal and corporate perspective and we are pleased to recognize their many community involvements and most particularly this hospital with this gift," noted Mr. Rogers. "Bill Dixon has devoted his career to saving and restoring people's vision. This Chair honours more than 20 years of dedicated service."

"Ted and Loretta Rogers' visionary gift for clinical care and research is wonderful news for patients at Sunnybrook and around the world," said Dr. Bill Dixon, chief of the ophthalmology department. "It is a gift for today, but also a gift for the future. It will foster hope for millions of people and their families whose vision will be saved and restored and whose quality of life will be changed and improved significantly as an outcome of this research."

The scientist who holds the Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology Research, the first of its kind in Toronto, will work closely with researchers at the Sunnybrook's Toronto Angiogenesis Research Centre (TARC), the only centre of its kind in Canada. New collaborations between cancer, cardiovascular, imaging, and ophthalmology researchers will benefit all of these disciplines.

The gift is an important contribution to the $300 Million Campaign for Sunnybrook, which has now raised more than $210 million. The aim of the campaign is to fund priority projects that enable Sunnybrook to continue to be a centre of excellence in research, patient care and teaching.
"Transforming the future of health care requires major investment," says George Fierheller, Campaign Chair, Sunnybrook Foundation. "We depend on our community and business partners for a significant portion of this investment. The Rogers' generous gift will help us continue to build momentum as we strive to meet our fundraising goals, now, when it matters most."

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre:
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is transforming health care through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff members who provide compassionate and innovative patient-focused care. An internationally recognized leader in women's health, academic research and education and an affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for newborns, adults and the elderly, treating and preventing cancer, heart problems, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries.


For more information, contact:

Laurie Legere
Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Contact Information

  • Laurie Legere, Communications Advisor
    Primary Phone: 416-480-4040