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Photo of patient Mickey Patterson in Wizzybug

2015 / 16 Annual Report

At BC Children’s Hospital, each caregiver aims to help every child realize his or her full potential – whether that’s helping a non-verbal child communicate through a computer that generates speech, or providing a child with diabetes with a portable insulin pump to make her life easier.

Whatever hopes and dreams families hold for their children, our caregivers are there to help give them the best chance to reach their goals.

Thanks to support from donors like you, we’ve ensured that every child and family who relies on the hospital receives the best care possible – care that encompasses their physical, developmental and emotional well-being.

Every day, our young patients show incredible resilience and strength in the face of adversity. They teach us valuable lessons, and remind us of what’s most important in life. Your contribution helped give hope to these inspiring role models at times when they needed it the most.

Thank you for making BC Children’s Hospital the best it can be for children and families in British Columbia and the Yukon.

Photo of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s president & CEO Teri Nicholas and Board chair David Podmore

President's Message

Report from the President and Chair

It’s remarkable – in just one short year, we’ll be celebrating the grand opening of the teck acute care centre, the heart of the new BC Children’s Hospital.

We’ve moved light-years since the conclusion of our $200-million Campaign for BC Children in November 2013. Hundreds of truckloads of concrete have been poured, construction cranes light up our campus’s nightly skyline and thousands of hours have gone into building the facility that will house the most comprehensive pediatric health-care services we’ve ever had.

And just when we think things couldn’t get better – they do! As we eagerly await the opening of the Teck Acute Care Centre in 2017, we also celebrate the innovation your generous support has enabled during the last year.

In December a transformational gift from the Hudson family created the first ever Hospital Chair in Pediatric Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital. The Chair, held by the hospital’s chief of Pediatrics Dr. Allison Eddy, gives Dr. Eddy and her successors the ability to attract the best medical talents, improve patient care and outcomes, and take advantage of opportunities in medical education and research. In other words, it will position our hospital well to meet the ongoing needs of BC’s most seriously ill and injured children for generations to come.

Throughout 2015-16, scientists in our hospital’s research institute continued to advance discoveries that will profoundly change lives. Dr. Stuart Turvey completed a groundbreaking study on gut bacteria and asthma that garnered worldwide attention, shedding a new light on how the disease develops and can be prevented in children. Our researchers’ merits were also recognized with accolades, including our recent recruit Dr. Philipp Lange, who was awarded a prestigious Canada Research Chair.

As BC Children’s reputation in clinical care and research grows, so does the hospital’s ability to attract and retain top-notch specialists. In January, we welcomed Dr. Patrick McDonald from Winnipeg to lead the neurosurgery team.

In addition to new recruits, we’re benefiting from the expertise and dedication of caregivers with a long history at the hospital. This includes Catherine Ellens, who has served children and families at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children as an occupational therapist for 19 years.

The unifying element that makes all of this possible is donor funding. This past year, donations from 116,442 individuals, businesses and community groups has helped us to provide more than $280 million in grants and contributions to BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children over the past five years. This incredible funding had a direct impact on the lives of the 86,634 children and their families who visited the hospital, and many more who relied on the hospital’s outreach programs spread throughout BC.

Thank you for enabling our caregivers to give each child the best chance to reach his and her fullest potential. On behalf of everyone who depends on BC Children’s Hospital, we are eternally grateful for your support.

Signature of Teri Nicholas

Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW
President & CEO

Signature of David Podmore

David Podmore, O.B.C.
Chair, Board of Directors

Photo of the Teck Acute Care Centre construction

New Hospital

Teck Acute Care Centre Construction Update

Signs of construction of the Teck Acute Care Centre are hard to miss at the BC Children’s Hospital site. Over the past year, crews have made remarkable progress and the eight-storey building is on track to open in late 2017.

In January 2016 representatives from Teck, which pledged $25 million to the Campaign for BC Children, attended a ceremony that marked the raising of one of the last beams in the acute care centre’s structure. It was a meaningful occasion as many of Teck’s employees have been involved in fundraising for the building since the beginning. Teck’s CEO Don Lindsay served as chair of the capital campaign.

In March 2016, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation issued a nationwide call for artists – sculptors, painters, photographers and graphic artists – who were invited to submit their interest in creating artwork for the new hospital. The call will welcome in a collection of purposeful artwork to be used throughout 60,000 square feet of space in the Teck Acute Care Centre, which will help create a child-friendly, engaging environment for young patients and their families. This call for art is part of the vital Children’s Healing Experience Project, launched with funds raised by the foundation’s Crystal Ball and For Children We Care galas in November 2015 and January 2016, respectively. The project will create holistic, inspirational healing experiences that engage and comfort children, youth, families and staff. Research suggests that purposeful art in hospitals directly supports patient outcomes and reduces anxiety in sick children by an astonishing 75 per cent.

In April 2016, some of our closest donors, supporters and other esteemed guests, including BC’s Minister of Health Terry Lake, celebrated the “topping off” milestone, which symbolizes the completion of the exterior of the new hospital. In total 32,600 cubic metres of concrete have been poured and 4,600 tonnes of rebar have been installed at the Teck Acute Care Centre.

Photo of the head of Pediatrics Dr. Allison Eddy

Head of Pediatrics

Dr. Allison Eddy

As chief of Pediatrics and the inaugural Hudson Family Hospital Chair in Pediatric Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital, Dr. Allison Eddy is committed to giving her team every opportunity to question trends and seek answers in the pursuit of improving health care for children. She’s an expert in pediatric nephrology, and specializes in the care of children and youth with chronic kidney disease.

Dr. Eddy considers herself lucky to work in medicine. “For me, being a physician is both a hobby and a profession,” she says. “The opportunity to develop close partnerships with patients and their families, to be entrusted to help them make difficult health-care decisions, to serve as a teacher and mentor, and to believe that you really can make the world a better place are unique opportunities to us.”

After a long stint in the U.S., Dr. Eddy returned to Canada to join BC Children’s Hospital in April 2012. She thanks the Hudson family, whose visionary and generous gift in 2015 established the Hudson Family Hospital Chair in Pediatric Medicine, for helping to attract and retain young talents to the hospital and, ultimately, elevate the care provided to BC’s children.

Created in perpetuity, the Hudson Family Hospital Chair in Pediatric Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital will help Dr. Eddy and succeeding chiefs of Pediatrics improve patient care, take advantage of opportunities in medical research and education, and meet the ongoing health needs of BC’s children. The first several years of funding will establish and facilitate a mentored career development program known as the Hudson Scholars in Pediatric Medicine. This program will grant two years of funding to the brightest junior physicians at BC Children’s for dedicated time for research while they build capacity in exciting new fields of pediatric medicine. The first Scholars to be funded will be general pediatric subspecialists.

“We have amazing, talented people who are completing their training at BC Children’s,” says Dr. Eddy. “The Hudson family’s gift offers us the ability to retain and build on their energy, ideas, interests and expertise. It also offers the beginning of a long-term career pathway that is focused on quality care.”

Photo of investigator Dr. Philipp Lange


Dr. Philipp Lange

Dr. Philipp Lange has always been drawn to understand the guiding principles that make things work, or fail. As a basic scientist and member of the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at BC Children’s, he is pushing the boundaries of what we know about cancer to find clues that have an impact on diagnostic and medical treatments for children with cancer.

Dr. Lange completed his PhD in Biochemistry in Berlin and joined BC Children’s in July 2015 after completing his post-doctoral work at UBC. He was drawn to the close collaboration between clinicians and researchers at BC Children’s. “With this, there’s an increased chance that findings get translated and have an effect on practice,” he says.

Dr. Lange’s expertise lies in using proteomics to study childhood cancer using a cutting-edge technology called “protein mass spectrometry.” A sensitive mass spectrometer allows Dr. Lange to detect the proteins in a cell and observe minute differences between proteins in healthy and cancer cells. Delving into the study of proteins gives researchers a better ability to target specific cancer cells and, hopefully, reduce side effects caused by cancer drugs.

Dr. Lange explains: “Every drug not only affects cancer cells but also other cells and tissues. It leads to potential late effects or secondary disease that will manifest decades after [children] survive their initial cancer. So not only do we have to cure cancer – we really have to be mild on the rest of the system.”

Dr. Lange is focusing on childhood leukemias and neuroblastoma. He plans to branch out to other cancers and share his proteomics expertise and instrumentation with researchers studying other diseases.

In February 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Canada Research Chair, which will fund his position for the next five years. He credits donors for making his work possible. “Without donor funding, I wouldn’t have the high-performance mass spectrometer and instrumentation to do my work,” he says. “I would have to send samples off-site, which is cost-prohibitive and really limits me in the type of research I do and the number of samples I analyze. Donations enabled me to come here and set up my research lab.”

“My hope is to be able to make a change in cancer treatment and reduce late effects to give children a better quality of life,” he adds. “If I could make a dent in there, it would be amazing!”

Photo of occupational therapist Catherine Ellens


Catherine Ellens

To say Catherine Ellens is dedicated to her work would be an understatement. The 19-year veteran at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children has helped hundreds of children and youth improve their mobility and, in turn, their quality of life. As an occupational therapist and leader of the Positioning & Mobility team at Sunny Hill, Catherine outfits children and families with customized walkers, wheelchairs, strollers and other specialized equipment.

Most of the children Catherine helps have conditions that affect their development, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy; some have been injured in accidents. For her, one of the most satisfying aspects of the job is getting to know the families. As the children grow and their needs change, so do their mobility requirements. Catherine often spends 10 to 18 years working with the same family.

“I find out what their hopes and dreams are for their child,” she says. “They may want their child to be able to ride a bike. So we look at whether the child is able to pedal on their own and if not, are we able to adapt a bike trailer? We just try to give them every opportunity to participate as fully as they can in life.”

Catherine is a big proponent of power mobility. “There is nothing more rewarding than putting a child in a power chair for the first time and seeing the joy on the child’s and parents’ faces,” she says. “Some of them have never moved themselves through space before so having that independence…it’s a great thing. The parents sometimes cry because it’s so powerful.”

Photo of investigator & clinician Dr. Patrick McDonald

Investigator & Clinician

Dr. Patrick McDonald

In January 2016, BC Children’s Hospital welcomed Dr. Patrick McDonald as the new head of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery.

Trained in Toronto, he arrived in Vancouver after 14 years as head and founder of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. As its first pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. McDonald eased the strain on children and families who would otherwise have had to travel out of province for treatment.

Where he forged a reputation in Winnipeg as an innovator, Dr. McDonald is a builder in BC, reinforcing the success of longtime BC Children’s leaders Drs. Paul Steinbok and Douglas Cochrane, outgoing head of the Neurosurgery division.

“Dr. McDonald is a man of integrity who will care for the children of BC with expertise and compassion and lead the division with wisdom,” says Dr. Cochrane.

Dr. McDonald will pursue research in bioethics and his interests in the surgical treatment of children with hydrocephalus and brain tumours. He says the strength of children propels him toward excellence.

“Children are unbelievably resilient,” he says. “They live with and adapt to challenges that most grown-ups couldn’t.”

Photo of investigator & clinician Dr. Stuart Turvey

Investigator & Clinician

Dr. Stuart Turvey

A major finding in asthma treatment has placed one BC Children’s Hospital leader at the forefront of a medical milestone.

Dr. Stuart Turvey, a pediatric immunologist at BC Children’s since 2004, turned his attention from diabetes to asthma treatment and research early in his career after he saw an inordinate number of children seeking asthma treatment.

“The clinical care we’re able to offer at BC Children’s today was research 10 years ago,” says Dr. Turvey. “The field is always evolving. The nice thing is, we have the research institute located with the hospital and we’re able to move back and forth – and that’s extremely powerful.”

In 2015 Dr. Turvey and a team of researchers completed a study that could change the way we look at bacteria, their link to our “clean” environment and the risk of respiratory disease.

He co-led a team with Brett Finlay, professor of Microbiology and Biochemistry at UBC, that analyzed fecal material from 319 infants from across Canada. They found that four bacteria, Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella and Rothia (collectively nicknamed FLVR), were abnormally low in the stool of babies who were at risk of asthma later in life.

The bacteria produce chemical byproducts that teach the immune system to fight harmful germs during an infant’s first three months. The researchers confirmed these findings in mice and also discovered that newborn mice inoculated with FLVR bacteria developed less severe asthma.

Dr. Turvey says this discovery generates new questions about the relationship between bacteria, the gut and occurrence of asthma, and our emphasis on a “clean” environment for babies. The research could also lead to a future in which infants can be screened, and those with low FLVR levels could be treated to prevent asthma altogether.

Further study with a larger number of children is required to confirm these findings. The team released the results of their research in 2016 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Photo of child Benjamin Knight undergoing an ultrasound exam



Radiologists at BC Children’s Hospital are very busy people! Each year they conduct more than 86,000 imaging exams including X-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs – vital information that helps shed light on a child’s condition and results in accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatments. 2015-16 was an exceptional year for Radiology, as donors supported the purchase of several pieces of equipment that are having an enormous impact on patient care and safety.

In January 2015 proceeds from our foundation’s premier Chinese-Canadian community gala, For Children We Care, and contributions from the Lions Club International Foundation, Vancouver Evergreen Lions Club and Vancouver Granville Lions Club allowed the hospital to acquire several new ultrasound machines.

The new machines replaced ones with antiquated technology that had been in use for more than 10 years. They’re faster and easier to operate, and offer greatly enhanced image quality to support the care of children with cancer, heart and other complex conditions.

In March 2016 our radiologists’ and orthopedists’ dreams came true with the installation of the revolutionary EOS. Resembling an airport body scanner, EOS uses leading-edge technology to create two- and three-dimensional X-rays with dramatically reduced radiation. The 2014 Crystal Ball raised the funds for EOS – including an incredible $1.4-million gift from the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation announced at the gala.

That same month, thanks in large part to a $1-million gift from the Dave Lede Family Foundation, yet another state-of-the-art machine was acquired – a brand new bi-plane X-ray imager that can obtain images from two different angles simultaneously. The machine’s technology is highly advanced: it comes with a large flat screen and its camera is less than half the size of the older model’s – yet, it produces images that are much sharper, allowing caregivers to pinpoint wires, catheters and disease-affected areas. This marks a massive improvement over the old single-plane imager, which restricted images to one angle, forcing children to undergo more X-rays and exposing them to higher doses of radiation.

“Without the contribution of donors, we wouldn’t be able to offer BC’s kids the latest technology to contribute to their health care,” says Dr. John Mawson, head of Radiology at BC Children’s. “There’s no question that donors help us acquire the latest state-of-the-art technology, which changes so rapidly.”
Photo of patient Cora Thomson-Whike in Wizzybug with therapist


Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children

Caregivers at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children assess and treat children with developmental conditions and disabilities such as brain injury, hearing loss, autism, cerebral palsy, and fetal alcohol syndrome. More than 5,000 children from over 265 communities in BC visit Sunny Hill each year.

In 2015, donor funding enabled Sunny Hill to develop an early mobility loan bank program, giving families the chance to “test drive” mobility devices, such as wheelchairs or other assistive devices, to see if the child will be able to use it in their daily life, before they purchase the equipment.

One of the power devices available through the loan bank is the “Wizzybug.” It allows children as young as 12 months with cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy to zip around with peers and helps to develop their spatial awareness, social interaction and independence.

Last year, the Sunny Hill-based BC Autism Assessment Network saw 1,968 children for autism assessments – the highest number of children assessed in one year to date. Caregivers were able to reach this milestone and boosted efficiency while ensuring children still benefit from high-quality assessments.

In 2015, Sunny Hill hired its first Family Engagement Advisor – a parent of a child with special needs who has helped other families work with staff to focus on improving services to children and families. This work has helped Sunny Hill staff engage with more than 50 families. They’ve contributed to educating medical and therapy students, and helped produce the Acute Rehabilitation Program orientation video for children and families.

Throughout the year, compassionate care funds supported birthdays, Christmas and Halloween for our inpatients; entertainment from the Vancouver Children’s Festival, and monthly visits from a beloved character called “Fizzie.” These funds also assisted families in financial need until alternative assistance was found.

Photo of child Sam Pratt reading a book


Mental Health

For many children and youth, social and school pressures can generate anxiety that can become difficult to manage and sometimes lead to self-destructive thoughts and behaviours.

At a life stage when their brains are rapidly developing, children’s lives can be complicated further by family strife and peer and social-media pressures, which can compound mental health concerns and keep them from reaching their full potential.

For children who must cope with strong emotions – including those who develop mental disorders – adapting to changes and dealing with anxiety often leads to extreme distress, requiring a mental health treatment plan from a compassionate team of professionals.

In 2015, the hospital’s Mental Health program received more than 16,000 visits from children and adolescents with existing and emerging mental health problems. Caregivers conduct assessments, provide outpatient services and run inpatient programs – in eating disorders, adolescent psychiatry and more – to meet growing needs. The hospital is also involved in promoting mental health and well-being. Its Mental Health Literacy Team develops resources and initiatives to support child and youth mental health.

These include the popular websites mindcheck.ca (for youth and young adults) and keltymentalhealth.ca (for parents and families). Last year, the mental health team also developed Stresslr (at stresslr.ca), a free web app that provides a fun and engaging way for children ages nine to 11 to learn about stress; organized mental health literacy workshops for school districts across the province, and translated mental health and substance use resources into different languages for BC’s culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

Photo of patient Brayden Kuehnle with his mother and music therapist


Child Life

The hospital can be a scary place for adults, let alone kids. Children may not understand why they are there. Medical equipment can look scary and, worse yet, the procedures may hurt.

Understanding the complex physical and emotional issues faced by children, the Child Life & Music Therapy team at BC Children’s strives to reduce the impact of hospitalization and illness on patients and their families using play, age-appropriate explanations, music, expressive arts and more. The team is specially trained to provide each child with the appropriate interventions to help soothe their spirits.

Child Life’s work does wonders for a child’s well-being. A notable example involves children who would typically be booked for a sedated MRI. Using an MRI simulator, a child life specialist helps to prepare a child for the eventual real procedure – an intervention that has lessened the incidence of sedation.

The department’s Expressive Arts program brings together youth aged 12 and older to explore art and music, increasing peer socialization and decreasing feelings of isolation teens may feel while in hospital. In 2015, donations enabled the department to purchase a top-of-the-line electronic drum kit as well as a digital sound beam called “Beamz,” which encourage patients to be actively involved in live music-making.

“One of our goals is to help children develop effective ways to cope with their hospital experience, and to incorporate those into subsequent hospital visits,” says Diane Hart, director of Patient & Family Centred Care. “The fear of the unknown is not as prevalent, and children learn that they have some control.”
Photo of HSBC Bank Canada employees and their families


HSBC Bank Canada

Few choose to celebrate their own momentous birthday by giving to others, but that’s exactly what HSBC did for its global 150th anniversary in 2015.

HSBC asked its employees to select the charitable themes they would like to support and established a $150-million USD Community Fund globally to support those causes. BC Children’s Hospital was among the eight beneficiaries selected in Canada.

Since 1987, HSBC Bank Canada has provided more than $6.5 million in corporate and employee donations to BC Children’s. In 2015 alone, employees raised over $150,000 toward the hospital’s Miracle Weekend.

HSBC’s recent 150th Anniversary Community Fund contribution helps to purchase life-changing equipment such as a child-friendly power wheelchair, supports childhood disease research, and funds child development and rehabilitation services and programs.

The hospital is proud to share with HSBC such a strong partnership – one that has improved the lives of children and youth from across the province.

Photo of donor Marion Crawford


Marion Crawford

Two special reasons compelled Marion Crawford to make a gift to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation in her Will: her great-grandchildren Nevan and Lauren.

Both needed specialized care early in life. Just before Nevan turned two, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour and went through rounds of chemotherapy and a surgery. Later, the family faced another health crisis when Lauren’s hip dysplasia, a misalignment of the hip joints, was discovered; she underwent two hip surgeries and had to endure a body cast for three months. Thanks to the expert care from BC Children’s specialists and their family’s support, Nevan and Lauren are both now enjoying active lifestyles and back to doing the things they love.

Marion hopes that her legacy gift will serve as an inspiration to others. “Hospital stays for children are difficult. After witnessing both Lauren’s and Nevan’s care at BC Children’s, I felt moved to make a donation in their honour so that other children could also have the best care possible in a very special child-centred facility,” she says. “I’m honoured to give a gift so that the hospital can continue to do the work it is meant to do for children.”
Photo of donor Andrea Soo


Andrea Soo

At just 10 years old, Andrea Soo has already achieved what many adults never do in their lifetimes. She’s an accomplished pianist, having completed her Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music exam last year. She’s also a ballet dancer, swims and plays the flute and saxophone. Last summer, inspired by the care she received at BC Children’s Hospital, she wrote and sold a book – and donated the proceeds to the hospital.

“We were so happy and surprised to see Andrea take her own initiative to support the hospital,” says Andrea’s mother, Vicky Cheung.

Andrea was born at 28 weeks and weighed only three pounds. “Without the help of the nurses and doctors at the hospital I wouldn’t be alive today,” says Andrea. “I want to raise funds and help other children so that they also have a fighting chance in life.”

On Andrea’s first birthday, her parents Vicky and William collected donations for the hospital from guests. By the time she was four, Andrea initiated the idea to raise funds at her birthday party. In Grade 1, she donated 10 inches of her hair to kids with cancer in need of wigs.

Andrea’s already long history of giving demonstrates her compassionate and generous spirit. She aspires to be a doctor one day to make an even greater difference in people’s lives. “She can be a doctor, a musician, whatever she would like. Her dream is our dream,” says Vicky. “The most important thing is that she can be a healthy, happy, compassionate and responsible person who contributes back to society.”

With all that Andrea has accomplished so far, it looks like she’s well on her way to reaching all of her goals.

Photo of patient Maya Ahuja


Maya Ahuja

When Karm and Gary Ahuja look at their daughter Maya, they’re often amazed that the vibrant six-year-old nearly lost her life when she was just a few months old.

Before Maya’s birth, Karm and Gary learned from an ultrasound that their baby girl would have a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition and Maya’s cleft palate are linked to Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects many other parts of the body. As soon as Maya was born, doctors took her to the Intensive Care Unit.

“They had warned us that there’s something called ‘tet spells’ that she would have. They cause her to turn blue,” says Karm. “I think I slept with one eye open.”

At four months old, Maya had open-heart surgery but shortly after the operation, her heart stopped. BC Children’s doctors and nurses acted quickly to save her life, and placed her in a drug-induced coma to enable healing. She spent six weeks at the hospital before she was able to go home.

Today Maya has so much energy that Karm and Gary have trouble keeping up with her. Although her initial health struggles are over, Maya will depend on BC Children’s for continuous care.

“As a parent, you hate to have to be here at BC Children’s Hospital but at the same time, you know you’re at the best place to get your kids better,” Gary says. “And without donors, it wouldn’t be possible.”

Photo of patient Anakin Fretts


Anakin Fretts

The turning point began with a smile.

In late 2014, a serious car accident left Anakin Fretts with a traumatic brain injury. Today Anakin, now 13, is back at school, back to his karate practices and reconnecting with his community in Powell River.

“When we arrived at the hospital we were told if Anakin survived he would not walk, talk, or even breathe independently on his own,” says Daniel Fretts, Anakin’s father.

Anakin’s recovery can be attributed to the support of Daniel and Anakin’s mother Joleen Dew, and caregivers at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

But even while in a coma, he showed signs of consciousness, offering a gentle smile to his mother and sister. Nearly four weeks after the accident, Anakin began breathing on his own, without the aid of a ventilator. After 28 days in intensive care and nearly two months at BC Children’s Hospital, Anakin moved to Sunny Hill for rehabilitation.

Anakin will be regularly monitored by specialists in ophthalmology, endocrinology, neurosurgery, neurology, ear, nose and throat, and complex care. Character-wise, he’s already back to full form. He’s smart, cheeky, and expresses his amazement about the world. “He wonders about the universe, its origin, the nature of time, and how life began on earth,” says Daniel.

Photo of patient Carlee Vasquez


Carlee Vasquez

Carlee Vasquez’s glasses hint at only a fraction of the medical challenges she’s endured in her young life. Born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, Diamond Blackfan anemia and a cleft palate, Carlee’s life has revolved around BC Children’s Hospital since the day she was born.

At less than a day old, Carlee had her first blood transfusion to treat her anemia, for which there is no cure. At six weeks, she underwent a stent procedure. At nine months, she had an open-heart surgery. Countless other procedures filled the family’s time in between, including at least 20 visits to the Emergency Department.

Carlee’s mother Lian will never forget seeing her baby in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for the first time.

“When I walked in the room and saw her in bed with all those attachments, it broke my heart,” she says. “The best part of that was we were assured by the nurse that Carlee is in a good place. Dr. Kevin Harris and the late Jan Rooks from the Cardiology team both made such a difference in Carlee’s first year.”

Carlee’s condition has now stabilized, but she continues to visit the hospital regularly. The Complex Care Program was created for children like Carlee, who must see specialists from more than 10 different departments. The family is grateful for Dr. Tammie Dewan, head of the program, and her team. “Dr. Dewan is like family,” says Carlee’s father Charles. “When we go to Emergency and we see Dr. Dewan, we feel at peace knowing that she’ll take care of us and Carlee.”

“Carlee is our angel, our hero, our warrior and our everyday miracle,” adds Lian. “She has grown to be a sweet yet tough little girl, always ready to give hugs and kisses.”

Photo of patient Aidan Chin


Aidan Chin

Seventeen-year-old Aidan Chin has wisdom and maturity well beyond his years. As BC Children’s Hospital’s champion child in the Champions Across Canada program presented by Walmart in 2016, Aidan eloquently shares his feelings and insights, and remembers the friends he’s met and lost along the way.

Aidan is uncomfortable with the label “cancer survivor.” “Treatment isn’t over when you’re a survivor; there’s still the emotional side of things,” he says. “You have friends who are going through it, and friends who aren’t going to make it, and that becomes a reality for you. It’s not just over.”

Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 11, Aidan endured three-and-a-half years of intense chemotherapy and radiation before he was declared cancer-free. Since this ordeal, Aidan has evolved from a shy, soft-spoken boy to a confident young man who proudly shares his experience with other patients.

“I’m in an Oncology Teen Group at the hospital and one time, a fellow teen asked me about treatment. I felt good knowing I could answer questions that this other teen could now put to rest.”

Speaking at public events to raise awareness of childhood cancer and BC Children’s Hospital is his way of honouring the memory of his brave friends who succumbed to the disease. “I carry their memories with me wherever I go, in whatever I do.”

Aidan’s treatment is over, but he still visits BC Children’s Hospital every few months to ensure his cancer has not returned. “I’m happy that I have survived. I want to give back to those who have helped me at the hospital so that I can go out there and be active and live my life again.”

Photo of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s vice-president & chief financial officer Hitesh Kothary and chair of the Finance & Investment Committee Michael Lam

Report from the

Finance & Investment Committee

Continued strength in both annual and major gift fundraising moved BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s total consolidated revenues to a new high in the 2015-16 fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

Total consolidated revenues, including lotteries and investments, were a remarkable $97.5 million in 2015-16, a new record for the foundation and up from $95.9 million the year prior.

The majority of this increase came from fundraising revenues, which grew by $4.3 million year over year. Unrestricted revenue, primarily from annual fundraising programs, was up $4.9 million year over year. Revenue from our two lotteries, which support research programs at BC Children’s Hospital, was up slightly over the prior year. Investment income was lower by $3.0 million compared to the prior year, due to greater volatility in the equity markets.

In June 2015 we announced Miracle Weekend revenue of $18,804,361, marking the third consecutive year with Miracle Weekend revenue of over $18 million. Foundation events including ChildRun (now branded RBC Run for the Kids) and Jeans Day™ brought in $1.0 million and $1.2 million, respectively, in the 2015-16 fiscal year. The top three Miracle Weekend industry sector supporters were the Retail & Wholesale Division with $6.7 million, the Banks Division with $2.0 million, and Mining for Miracles with $1.8 million.

With the conclusion of the capital campaign in 2013-14, we set in motion initiatives to support both annual and major gift fundraising activities and to ensure we maintain the momentum we built in these areas during the campaign. In the 2015-16 fiscal year, our Annual Programs including the Tribute Program and Direct Response Marketing, brought in over $8.3 million and Major Gifts generated more than $16.1 million.

With the generous support of our donors and partners, we will continue with such initiatives aimed at helping us meet the needs of the children who benefit from services provided by BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Child and Adolescent Mental Health programs and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Our aggregate contributions to these organizations over the past five years are in excess of $280 million.

If you would like more information about the foundation’s fiscal activity or to view our audited financial statements, please call 604 875 2444 or visit www.bcchf.ca.

Signature of Hitesh Kothary

Hitesh Kothary, CPA, CA
Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer

Signature of Michael Lam

Michael Lam, MBA, FCPA, FCA
Chair, Finance & Investment Committee

Photo of of green leaves hanging from a branch

Financial Report

Source of Fundraising Revenue

Source of Funds Chart 35% 11% 9% 14% 29% 2%

Source of Fundraising Revenue

35% BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Weekend

The annual Miracle Weekend is one of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s most visible community fundraising campaigns. This two-day broadcast is the culmination of a year of fundraising activities by employee groups, service organizations, schools and community groups, and members of the public. Miracle Weekend includes the Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend telethon on Fairchild TV and radiothons on CHMB AM1320 and Fairchild Radio, and BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Weekend on Global BC.

29% Individual, Corporate & Community Major Gifts

Donations from individuals, corporations and community groups make up a large percentage of funds received by the foundation. Donors can choose to support a specific area of need at BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute or Sunny Hill, or allow the foundation to designate funds where they are needed most.

14% Estate & Tribute Gifts

The foundation accepts individuals’ gifts in estate plans, Wills and donations of life insurance or from a charitable trust. Tribute gifts are an expression of friendship, love or sympathy and provide a channel for donors to create a lasting remembrance of someone. Donations may be designated to a particular area of interest. Undesignated gifts are used to meet the hospital’s most urgent needs.

11% Direct Response Marketing

Every year, generous individuals respond to mailed correspondence, television promotions, telephone requests, and door-to-door solicitation conducted by representatives of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Many of these donors belong to the Sunshine Club – a monthly donation program that provides a stable and cost-efficient source of funding for the foundation.

9% Special Events

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation receives funds from a number of special events each year, including Crystal Ball, A Night of Miracles, Festival of Trees and golf tournaments, as well as independent community events organized by individuals and groups across BC.

2% United Way & Grants

Each year, British Columbians contribute to the United Way and designate BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill as the funding recipients. In addition, granting agencies may designate funds to a specific program through the foundation.

Information contains results for BC Children's Hospital Foundation and Sunny Hill Foundation for Children.

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Financial Report

Use of Funds

Use of Funds Pie Chart 4% 4% 3% 19% 38% 32%

Use of Funds

38% The Campaign for BC Children
  • Construction of the new Teck Acute Care Centre
  • Child Health BC
32% Specific Endowments & Designations
  • Genetic research endowments
  • Pediatric oncology endowments
  • Diabetes research at the hospital and research institute
  • A broad range of other areas of donor interest, including cardiac sciences, nephrology, mental health and orthopedics, to name a few
19% Research into Childhood Diseases
  • Childhood Diseases – including childhood cancer & blood research, diabetes, immunity in health & disease, and rare diseases
  • Healthy Starts
  • Evidence to Innovation
  • The M.I.N.D. (Mental Health & Integrated Neurobehavioural Development)
  • The Centre for Molecular Medicine & Therapeutics
  • Research administration and infrastructure
  • Research platforms
4% Health Promotion & Education
  • Quality Resource Centre
  • Centre for International Child Health
  • Clinical fellowships
  • Other special projects
4% Specialized Equipment
  • A broad range of child-specific medical equipment such as acute ventilators; diagnostic microscope for the ear, nose and throat department; surgical tables, and monitors to measure vital signs and oxygen levels
3% Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children
  • Equipment and capital needs
  • Compassionate care for children
  • Child Development & Rehabilitation Evidence Centre
  • Fellowships and education
  • Quality improvement projects
  • Clinical technology

Information contains results for BC Children's Hospital Foundation and Sunny Hill Foundation for Children.

Photo of child Audrey Pratt in playground

Honour Roll

Thank You to our Donors

Corporate, community groups & foundations

BC Children’s Hospital depends on corporations, their employees, foundations and community groups for their dedication and generosity. We thank this special group of donors who contributed $10,000 or more between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, for helping to make miracles happen.

View the donors (PDF)

Photo of Wendy Milton (Vancouver Granville), Linda Wong and David Thompson (Vancouver Evergreen), Dickie Lam (Vancouver Granville)

“Children are our future. We are proud that the ultrasound machine we donated is helping to provide a healthy future for BC’s children.”

- Vancouver Granville Lions Club & Vancouver Evergreen Lions Club

From left: Wendy Milton (Vancouver Granville), Linda Wong and David Thompson (Vancouver Evergreen), Dickie Lam (Vancouver Granville)

Children’s Circle of Care

The Children’s Circle of Care honours individuals and family foundations that contribute gifts of $10,000 or more. It is our honour to recognize these dedicated donors for their support of child health between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

The Royal Circle recognizes individuals and privately held corporations whose cumulative contributions to BC Children’s Hospital have reached or exceeded $1 million since the inception of the Children’s Circle of Care program in 1995.

View the donors (PDF)

Arran and Ratana Stephens, Royal Circle members

“We support BC Children’s Hospital not only because our family has benefited, but also because we’d like to show all British Columbian families how gratifying it is to help children overcome their health issues. We all benefit from the excellent care this hospital provides.”

- Arran and Ratana Stephens, Royal Circle members

Children’s Circle of Courage

The smaller the patient, the greater the need for specialized medical care and support. We thank these donors for their support of $1,000 to $9,999 between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, and welcome them to the Circle of Courage.

View the donors (PDF)

Photo of Jonathan Gelderman, PREC, RE/MAX Aldercenter Realty, Children’s Circle of Care member

"Virtually everyone knows someone who needs the services of BC Children’s Hospital. I believe supporting the hospital is an integral part of giving back to our clients and community!”

- Jonathan Gelderman, PREC, RE/MAX Aldercenter Realty, Children’s Circle of Care member

Caring for the Future Society

When a legacy gift to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is made, a legacy of hope is created for BC’s kids. The Caring for the Future Society honours those who have generously made provisions for a future gift through their Will, life insurance or trust arrangement as of March 31, 2016. We thank these thoughtful individuals for their support.

View the donors (PDF)

“Team 4 Hope is a group dedicated to raising awareness about childhood cancer, especially neuroblastoma. As long as I’m able to put one foot in front of the other and there are people who want to join me in this mission, we will continue to run and bring hope and perseverance. Together we will make a difference.”

- Lisa Hopkins, founder of Team 4 Hope

Tribute Gifts

A tribute gift honours a remarkable person who has touched your life. It also honours other remarkable people – all the young people from across BC whose lives you are helping to improve every day. These special individuals have had gifts totaling $1,000 or more made in their name between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

View the individuals honoured (PDF)

Photo of Kevin Halicki, Bayside Furniture, Children’s Circle of Courage member and Tribute donor

“We support BC Children’s Hospital because the well-being of children is of paramount importance to our company. Many of us are fortunate to have healthy children, and it simply breaks our hearts to see children in pain and discomfort. Supporting the hospital is easy, and it’s the least we can do to help children and families when they need it most.”

- Kevin Halicki, Bayside Furniture, Children’s Circle of Courage member and Tribute donor


A gift in a Will is an expression of what is most dear to you. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is fortunate to be a beneficiary of the estates of many people who believed passionately in improving the health of children and youth in British Columbia. We are honoured to recognize the gifts received from the estates of the following individuals between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

View the estate gifts (PDF)

Photo of Shannon Boscariol, Sabrina Vandenbrink, Pat Johnson, Alison Parvin, Brenda Hilton

“Our committee fundraises for BC Children’s Hospital to ensure the kids in our community and those across the province receive the best possible care. We are proud to have raised more than $1 million over the last 25 years to support the hospital’s amazing doctors, nurses and other caregivers who treat children today, and will care for future generations.”

- Community for Kids, Upper Fraser Valley

From left: Shannon Boscariol, Sabrina Vandenbrink, Pat Johnson, Alison Parvin, Brenda Hilton


Those who establish and contribute to endowments are true visionaries of our community. They understand that their investments provide a strong financial foundation to improve the health of children both now and into the future. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following endowment funds that provide support in perpetuity for vital programs and initiatives throughout BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. This list recognizes endowment funds established by March 31, 2016, with a minimum donation of $25,000.

View the endowments (PDF)

Photo of Colin and Angela McKenzie, Caring for the Future Society and Children’s Circle of Care members

“We are grateful for the specialized care our children received at BC Children’s Hospital.”

- Colin and Angela McKenzie, Caring for the Future Society and Children’s Circle of Care members

Photo of patients and sisters Kiana and Alysa Robinson

About Your Gift

Ways of Giving

There are many ways to plan your gift to benefit BC’s kids. and there are ways your gift can benefit you, too!

Current Planned Gifts

Our pledge program offers you a convenient method of making contributions. The program allows you to spread your contribution over three to five years, usually commencing the year the pledge is made. You will receive full recognition for the value of your contribution as soon as the commitment is made.

Publicly Traded Securities

Donating securities is an effective way to give. If you own publicly traded securities that have increased in value and you decide to sell them, 50 per cent of the capital gain is taxable. However, if you donate these securities “in kind” directly to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, no tax is payable on the capital gain. The resulting tax credit from the donation of the securities can reduce taxes payable on other income. Making a gift of publicly traded securities is easy to do. Please contact us for a transfer form to facilitate the process or visit our website.

Future Planned Gifts

Making your legacy gift is a thoughtful step today that leaves a footprint of love in the future. Here are some options for you to consider.

Bequest in Your Will

A bequest is a direction in your Will that a portion of your estate, a certain sum of money, or a particular asset is to be given to British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital Foundation (our legal name). *We can provide suggested wording for your lawyer or notary.

RRSP / RRIF / Pension

You can name BC Children’s Hospital Foundation as the direct beneficiary of the proceeds of your RRSP or RRIF, or your pension. By directly designating these tax-smart gifts, they also will not form part of probate assets.

Life Insurance

You can make BC Children’s Hospital Foundation the owner or beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy. In due course, the policy proceeds will be paid by the insurance company directly to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Giving life insurance is a way to make a significant gift without depleting your estate available to loved ones.

Your current or future gift, when planned in a thoughtful manner, can provide you with significant tax savings and refunds. Smart planning allows you to receive benefits now in your lifetime as well as for your loved ones in the future. Please consult with your financial planner, accountant and/or lawyer to create a financial plan that supports your philanthropic goals in your lifetime and beyond. We are also here to help you.

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and issues tax receipts for all donations.

938 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4


British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital Foundation

11885 2433 RR0001

*We encourage all donors to provide for their children in their Will, and let their family know of their intention to make a legacy gift to the foundation in their Will.

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About Your Gift

Donor Bill of Rights

The board of directors of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is in place to ensure that donors:

  1. are informed of our mission, of the way we intend to use donated resources, and of our capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes;
  2. are informed of the identity of those serving on our governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
  3. have access to our most recent financial statements;
  4. are assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they are given;
  5. receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition;
  6. are assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law;
  7. can expect that all relationships with individuals representing our organization will be professional in nature;
  8. are informed whether those seeking donations from our organization are volunteers, employees of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, or hired solicitors;
  9. can expect that BC Children’s Hospital Foundation will not share or sell a mailing list that includes the donor’s name;
  10. feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
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About Your Gift

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is committed to protecting the privacy of its donors, volunteers and other stakeholders, and their personal information. We value the trust of those we deal with, and of the public, and recognize that maintaining this trust requires transparency and accountability in our treatment of the information you choose to share with us. For further information, please refer to our complete privacy policy on our website at www.bcchf.ca.

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BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors

  • Mr. David Podmore, CHAIR
  • Ms. Leslie Arnold
  • Mr. Kevin Bent
  • Mr. Robin Dhir
  • Mrs. Lisa Hudson
  • Mrs. Tammi Kerzner
  • Mr. Mike Lam
  • Mr. Raymond Li
  • Mr. Don Lindsay
  • Mr. Bjorn Moller
  • Mr. Geoff Parkin
  • Dr. Erik Skarsgard
  • Ms. Andrea Southcott
  • Mrs. Diane Zell

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Society

  • Mr. Terry Bubb
  • Mrs. Isabelle Diamond
  • Mr. Jeff Dowle
  • Mr. Ming Gin
  • Ms. Pam Mitchell
  • Mr. Maurice Mourton

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Governors

  • Ms. Candice Alderson
  • Mrs. Tali’ah Aquilini
  • Mr. Rick Arnish
  • Mr. Mike Bonner
  • Mr. Allen Bordeleau
  • Ms. Gail Brown
  • Ms. Stephanie Carlson
  • Mrs. Sylvia Chen
  • Mr. Peter S.H. Chieng
  • Mrs. Marion R. Dixon
  • Ms. Sherry Doman
  • Dr. Allison Eddy
  • Mr. Adrian Fu
  • Mr. Poul Hansen
  • Dr. David Hardwick
  • Mr. Harald Ludwig
  • Mr. Brett Manlove
  • Dr. Djavad Mowafaghian
  • Mr. Ron Neal
  • Mrs. Diane Norton
  • Mrs. Marjorie-Anne Sauder
  • Mr. Garry Skidmore
  • Ms. Sandy So
  • Ms. Dee Sutherland
  • Mr. Malik Talib
  • Mrs. Sharon Toohey
  • Mr. Allan Yap

Sunny Hill Foundation for Children Board of Directors

  • Mr. David Doig, CHAIR
  • Mr. Kevin Bent
  • Mr. Ron Edwards
  • Mr. Doug Horswill
  • Ms. Pam Mitchell
  • Mr. John Smiley

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Executive

  • Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW President & CEO
  • Maria Faccio Vice-President & Chief Philanthropy Officer
  • Lillian Hum Vice-President & Chief Philanthropy Officer
  • Hitesh Kothary, CPA, CA Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer
  • Debora Sweeney, CFRE Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer