Former Canadian Coca-Cola president Neville Kirchmann, started off as a board member and was later invited to become president of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation before becoming board chair. “It was meant to be for a short time, but I ended up being there for four years. It sure was a good ride,” he said.
It was a very special opportunity for Neville because his family, like many of our own, had been directly affected by cancer. “The Princess Margaret was a special place for us, because my late wife Edith received treatment there,” he says. After her diagnosis he knew he wanted to be directly involved in raising the money needed to help conquer this horrible disease.
Sadly, after Edith passed, cancer in the Kirchmann family continued. Neville’s granddaughter, Avery was diagnosed with kidney cancer at just 10 months old – this diagnosis only strengthened his resolve. Today, Avery is a very healthy and active teenager, and the Neville family has left an influential and remarkable footprint in the hearts of many around the world.
After Edith passed, the Kirchmann family created a $1M fellowship in Psychosocial Oncology. Later, they wanted to do more, so they created a $2M chair in Neuro-Oncology. Both of which helped to fuel many advancements in research and care.
Neville Kirchmann eventually became a patient himself, after being diagnosed with low-grade lymphoma and continues to be regularly monitored by Dr. Michael Crump. In 2018, he was diagnosed again, this time with prostate cancer, and after a month of intensive radiation was deemed cancer free. Mr. Kirchmann feels extremely lucky to be here and is thankful to the entire Princess Margaret healthcare team for their support.
Most recently, Neville and his wife Lorraine co-chaired a successful $50 million research campaign for the Foundation and look forward to their continued involvement in the future of cancer care. “We consider it a privilege to be involved with this world-renowned cancer centre – it doesn’t matter how much we give; we want to do more. It is our duty to give back and donate for our children and our grandchildren,” says Mr. Kirchmann.
All of us here at The Princess Margaret would like to acknowledge what a privilege it is to know and be supported by the Kirchmann family. They are an integral part of our community and a very powerful and passionate voice behind our cause.
Published February 26, 2021