Gerry Pencer's Vision
On May 23 1997, Gerry Pencer was diagnosed with a grade 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor. For the active and effervescent CEO of the world’s largest private label soft drink maker, this was the most frightening and lonely time of his life. During the course of his illness, Gerry sought information, answers, treatment options, and support systems for both himself and his family.
When he discovered the lack of readily available resources for brain tumor patients, Gerry Pencer set out to change the system. And like everything he did, he was determined to do it big. Gerry transformed his devastating diagnosis into the vision for The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Trust, a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to make a difference in the quality of life of people living with brain tumors. It was Gerry’s dream to fund and establish a world-class brain tumor centre where patients could feel at home while receiving state-of-the-art treatment and support, and where leading-edge research could be encouraged. In November 1998, The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre opened its doors on the 18th floor of Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital and Gerry’s dream was realized.
Thanks to your continued support, The Pencer Centre has blossomed into North America’s foremost multidisciplinary brain tumor facility, treating and supporting over 5,200 patients and their families every year and performing groundbreaking research in search of a cure. The programs at The Pencer Centre are so innovative that we regularly receive personal visits from other hospitals and treatment facilities world-wide seeking to implement our model. In addition, The Pencer Centre serves as a hub for brain tumor clinical trials in North America. In the summer of 2004, The Pencer Centre, led by esteemed Medical Director Dr. Warren Mason, was on the front lines of a ground-breaking discovery in the treatment of the most deadly type of brain tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme. A new combination of drugs has been shown to dramatically improve the prognosis for newly-diagnosed patients. For the first time in over 30 years, there is new hope for brain tumor patients at The Pencer Centre and around the world!
After 20 years of successful fundraising in support of The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, The Pencer Brain Trust is turning over its independent fundraising operation to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
We are proud to have brought Gerry’s vision to reality through the creation of The Pencer Brain Tumor Centre. The Pencer Centre has become internationally renowned for its unique multidisciplinary care, treatment, support, and education for brain tumor patients and their families while promoting brain tumor research in the hope of one day finding a cure for brain cancer.