Caption: Wadih and Cathy Fares (pictured) are the donors behind the WM Fares Family Foundation, who are matching all donations to BMO Ride for Cancer on Sept. 15. They hope their matching gift, which is part of a larger $500,000 donation, will inspire the community to join them and help create the biggest one-day impact in the event’s history.

Originally published by the Chronicle Herald.

Wadih Fares remembers fleeing Lebanon during the Civil War to come to Canada almost 40 years ago. Now, he and his family are determined to give back to the country that graciously opened its arms to him.

On Sept. 15, the WM Fares Family Foundation will help this year’s BMO Ride for Cancer event in a big way by matching all donations made today up to $300,000. With the support of the community, it’ll create the largest single-day impact in the event’s history, and the WM Fares Family Foundation is proud to be part of it. Their family’s matching gift and the support it will inspire is part of a generous $500,000 donation by the WM Fares Family Foundation, supporting a world’s first cancer-fighting technology at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

“We decided to support the BMO Ride for Cancer with a matching gift because we felt this would make the biggest impact,” Fares says. “We know that our riders are very passionate about this event and the impact it has on local cancer care.”

BMO Ride for Cancer, which is hosted by the QEII Foundation, will take place on Oct. 1 this year. The largest cycling event in Atlantic Canada, it transforms cancer care in the region through fundraising.

The event, which started in 2015, has raised over $5.9 million net to date and continues to raise more with the help of people like Fares and his family, and those participating in the event.

‘Making a difference with your money’

Proceeds from this year’s BMO Ride for Cancer will help fund personalized radiotherapy at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Developed here by QEII teams, this new cancer-fighting technology aims to reduce the number of radiation treatment sessions required from 25 to five for certain patients.

“You want to make sure you’re making a difference with your money,” Fares says. “This radiation treatment is huge. I understand it’s the first in the world that’s coming here to Nova Scotia; it’s exciting to help new innovations, especially in health care.”

Fares says he is excited about the impact that the new cutting-edge cancer care technology will have on healthcare outcomes in Halifax and throughout the province. He advocates for others to support this year’s BMO Ride for Cancer event as well.

“If we don’t have the people to donate money to make a better healthcare system, then what’s the other solution? So many in our community are directly impacted by cancer, so let’s not delay in doing what we can to support patients and their families right now,” he says.

“Health care is a priority. I said, ‘Our family has the ability to contribute to this, so let’s do it.’”

‘Keeping me and people like me alive’ 

For Patti Davidson, the BMO Ride for Cancer is an event that hits close to home for her.

Davidson has been battling colon cancer since 2018 and currently receives chemotherapy at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

“This technology and equipment that we are funding through the BMO Ride for Cancer, past, present and future, is keeping me and people like me alive. I am truly grateful for every dollar donated,” she says.

Davidson is a two-time BMO Ride participant and, like Fares, she encourages people to support this year’s event by donating.

“This money is all going to the cause,” says Davidson. “Anything that will improve treatment options and reduce treatment time for other patients, I say bring it on.”

There’s urgency behind Davidson’s call-to-action. The community is needed to step up within the next 24 hours and help unlock the biggest BMO Ride donation in the event’s history.

“Our community’s support today will make unlocking that full match possible,” says Davidson. “If you’re supporting a BMO Ride participant or team in your life, right now is the time to donate.”

Today only (Sept. 15), all donations to BMO Ride for Cancer are being matched by the WM Fares Family Foundation, up to $300,000. Double your impact now when you donate at or 902 334 1546.

Caption: Patti Davidson is a two-time BMO Ride for Cancer participant and current QEII cancer patient, who has directly benefitted from funds raised via this event.