Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplants

As you may know from my prior posts,  on September 21st, 2004, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). My diagnosis fell almost seven years to the day after my father, Hyman Bernard Brock, received the same diagnosis. My father died six weeks after his diagnosis. For him there were no more dreams, no miracles and no second chance. 

 Thankfully, my story has a different ending. Over the past ten years, I have watched my children grow into young adults, and we have celebrated joyous family events, including a bar mitzvah and sweet sixteen, first summer jobs, my son and daughter entering (and very soon graduating!) from university, and the many everyday joys of children growing up. I have been blessed with the gift of time with my wife Maryse, and my family. I have enjoyed many professional challenges, wins and (very occasional) losses, achievements and fulfillment. Most of all, I have appreciated, and I revel in, every minute of every hour, and every hour of every day. I am enormously grateful for the gift of life and all the joy and challenges it brings. 

I owe all of this to many things and people, the support of my family, friends and colleagues, my own faith and will to survive and recover, and my older brother Gordon from whom I was fortunate to receive a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant – which literally saved my life. However, I would never have survived and recovered without the miracle of science, and the skill, hard work and support of the nurses, doctors, scientists, and staff of Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (HMR), a hospital affiliated with the Université de Montréal, where I received my transplant and where I was cured.

After I recovered I founded The Fund for Education and Research Into Blood Cancers, which funds research into blood cancer and fellowships. In 2012, I published Portraits of Hope (, a collection of photographs of survivors of blood cancers and their stories, to give hope to those afflicted with blood cancers. In 2005, to celebrate five years of my second life, I cycled across Europe to raise money for the Fund - as you can see from the posts below. This summer I will ride again to raise money for research!‎

On February 17, the 10th anniversary of my stem cell transplant (my day Zero!), we announced the creation of the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplants. This research chair will bridge the fundamental research being carried out by the scientists at HMR and the Université de Montréal with the clinical care provided by the world class stem cell transplant program at HMR, thereby bringing new therapies and treatments to patients, improving patient care and saving lives. 

I would appreciate a  contribution to the Chair, which will include a capital fund to finance the enduring work of the Chair. You can learn more about the Chair and make a donation, or by sending me a cheque payable to Stemcellchair–Université de Montréal. Your donation is tax deductible.

 I greatly appreciate your support and generosity. Together we can defeat blood cancers.

 PS – For more on this, see:

Manchettes - Headlines
Source | Daphné Cameron | 17 février 2015
L'hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR) annoncera aujourd'hui la création d'une chaire de recherche appliquée en greffe de cellules souches, mise sur pied grâce aux efforts philanthropiques d'un ancien patient qui a survécu au cancer. Il y a 10 ans, jour pour jour aujourd'hui, William Brock vivait son «jour Zéro». Après des mois de chimiothérapie pour vaincre une leucémie aiguë, le réputé avocat montréalais recevait une transplantation de moelle osseuse grâce à un don de son frère. …
17 février 2015 | 17 February 2015
Entrevue avec William Brock.

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