Landscapers hoping to trim, mow and prune cancer

The Porter Lab at the University of Windsor received a major boost thanks to the efforts of a team of landscapers near Woodstock, Ontario.

By aerating, rolling and overseeding lawns last Saturday, Jason Stubbe and his team raised $170,326 during their annual Spring Yard Cleanup for Cancer. Stubbe said he has been passionate about raising money for cancer research ever since his father was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006.

“At the end of the day, I saw my dad fight with brain cancer, and he didn’t have a lot of options just due to what they knew at that time,” Stubbe said. “So being able to be part of that process and seeing your money at work is huge for us.”

The Canadian Cancer Society provided Stubbe and his team with a list of brain cancer research projects, and they voted on which project they would like to support. That vote led them to Porter Labs.

Biology professor Lisa Porter’s lab focuses on the study of a cancer-related protein called Spy1 and its role in the development of tumours.

Dr. Porter said the donation from Stubbe will help her lab operate for another year.

“Now what we’re doing is taking patient samples and targeting that protein in these samples,” she said.

She credited past funding with allowing her team to work more efficiently.

“I think sometimes people have a hard time understanding where all the monies for cancer research have gone in the past,” Porter said. “There are tools and things available to us now that I wouldn’t have dreamed possible back when I started my lab in 2004.”

Stubbe had about 62 volunteers help out in the single-day fundraising event. He said even though they are based in a rural community, sponsorships have helped them grow the event to the level it is today.