GolfMore than 230 golfers participated in the third annual Gary O’Neill Memorial Golf Tournament held at RattleSnake Point Golf Club in Milton on June 16.

The event, sponsored by Local 793, raised $100,000 for the esophageal cancer program at University Health Network.

At a luncheon following the golf tournament, Local 793 president Joe Redshaw thanked the sponsors, contractors, officers, members, executive board and staff of the union for once again making the event a success.

“I would like to thank everybody for their contributions and helping us raise money for this great cause,” he said.

Dr. Tom Waddell, head of thoracic surgery at University Health Network (UHN), also spoke at the luncheon, telling golfers that the money from the tournament enables vital research to be done.

“We’re putting your money to good use in developing new programs for patients and scientific research to make the whole care of these patients much better.”

Dr. Waddell said the funds have helped the UHN make significant strides in research and clinical programs to detect and prevent esophageal cancer.

He said Dr. Gail Darling, director of thoracic surgery clinical research at Toronto General Hospital, is making excellent use of the money raised at the tournament.
Dr. Darling is evaluating a new screening test to help bolster early detection efforts, published a landmark study concerning esophageal tumors, and is working with Dr. Armand Keating to develop the world’s first clinical trial of immunotherapy for patients with esophageal cancer.

Dr. Waddell said early detection is key and with esophageal cancer that can be challenging because it’s hidden deep in a patient’s chest and is difficult to cure when the cancer reaches its later stages.

The doctor thanked golfers for participating in the event held annually in honour of O’Neill.
“He sounds like a remarkable man who is still, years after his passing, able to bring this many people together.”

O’Neill was president of Local 793 for 13 years until he passed away in 2011 due to cancer.