Lina’s Dream was established in April 2011 in honour and in memory of Lina Vassallo (Di Biase). Lina was a mother to three young children and an active member in her community of Port Moody. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. The disease had gone undetected for two years and was in advanced stages by the time it was diagnosed in 2006. The incredible love she had for her children, her husband Cateno, family and friends kept her strong the entire time. Lina passed away on January 6, 2011, at the age of 38.
Lina’s Dream was created as a partnership between Bob Tattle (a close family friend), Robert Bruno (Lina’s brother-in-law), Fatima Di Biase (Lina’s sister), and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF) to support the early detection of breast cancer.
Lina’s “Dream” was that no other woman would face the challenge she was forced to confront. She hoped that no other person would go to bed worried about cancer, and that someday, the threat of breast cancer would not cloud the future for her family or any other family.
The Difference Lina’s Dream is Making
The first Lina’s Dream Golf Day was held in July 2011 at Westwood Plateau Golf Course – the 5th annual event will be held on Friday, July 17th, 2015.
Since 2011, this event has raised over $300,000 (includes expected funds raised from this year's event). These funds have supported the Lina’s Dream Fellowship, which was awarded to Dr. Esta Bovill in 2013. Dr. Bovill’s research focuses on investigating whether long wait times from diagnosis to a mastectomy – the removal of a breast, with our without reconstruction, in young BRCA-mutation carriers, increase the likelihood that they will develop breast cancer and be subject to psychological stress. If there is an association of cancer development with wait times, this study will highlight the importance of expeditious treatment for BRCA-mutation carriers and guide decision-making amongst clinicians and policy makers, improving clinical outcomes and reducing breast cancer risk by approximately 90 per cent. In addition, Lina’s Dream has also generously directed funding to CBCF’s Don’t Forget to Check campaign to help educate women in British Columbia, age 25 – 39 on critical breast health and breast cancer information with the goal of having women check their breasts.
What to Expect at Lina’s Dream Golf Day
The Lina’s Dream Golf Day is incredibly unique, because it’s a fun family affair! Both adults and children participate in the tournament – with contests and fun-filled activities on the course for everyone. At the tournament dinner, it’s truly a reunion – with family and friends coming together to celebrate Lina’s life and raise funds in her honour. The event is a reflection of all that Lina held dear – including her family, friends and her passion for her community. I personally walk away every year feeling honoured and inspired to be among such a tremendous group of volunteers, sponsors, donors and supporters.
It’s not easy to pull together an event of any kind... and Bob, Rob, Fatima and their close friends and family work incredibly hard to make it a success every year. They have very busy professional and personal lives, and somehow, they make it look easy. They astound me with their energy, passion and vision. Through their efforts, they carry on Lina’s legacy – and are making a difference in the breast cancer landscape. We greatly appreciate their continued efforts and commitment to CBCF in helping to create a future without breast cancer.
On behalf of the Foundation, I want to send our sincere gratitude to Fatima Di Biase, Rob Bruno and Bob Tattle. They are amazing people, and we are thankful for their continued partnership. But, I also want to acknowledge all of the sponsors, donors, volunteers and supporters who are so committed to Lina’s Dream, and making it a reality. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Senior Manager, Community Partnerships
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region