News Release: Mining for Miracles launches
$3.5 million fundraising campaign for Precision Health Initiative
Precision Health Initiative harnesses state-of-the-art medical research technologies to provide answers for families of children with rare undiagnosed diseases at BC Children’s Hospital
Vancouver, BC (January 31, 2023) – Mining for Miracles, the BC mining industry’s long-standing fundraising campaign for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, announced today their commitment to raising $3,580,000 to support the Precision Health Initiative. The campaign was launched at the Association for Mineral Exploration Round Up conference, with the Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. The Precision Health Initiative is a transformative approach to push the boundaries of medical research. It is designed to augment BC Children’s Hospital’s ability to provide answers for children with previously undiagnosed conditions, many of whom have been on long diagnostic journeys.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people from the B.C. mining sector come together and provide incredible support for B.C. children and families who need it the most,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Through Mining for Miracles, the B.C. mining sector has raised more than $37 million dollars since 1998, and one hundred per cent of the proceeds that Mining for Miracles raises goes to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. This is a true testament and a real demonstration of dedication to create healthier, stronger communities across the province.”
This initiative provides BC Children’s Hospital’s clinicians, researchers and medical experts with the means to: study each child’s unique set of genetic, molecular and cellular characteristics; partner with medical experts worldwide to help solve mystery cases; and provide the most advanced precision health tools available to help ensure the best care possible for each child, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.
“The Precision Health Initiative can help transform the lives and future of kids and their families through personalized precision research and care at BC Children’s Hospital,” said Malcolm Berry, President and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “One in 25 children born in BC is affected by a rare disease, and these patients occupy one in every three hospital beds at BC Children’s Hospital. Many of these cases remain unsolved, despite families spending weeks, months or even years seeing specialists and enduring endless tests. Through the Precision Health Initiative, BC Children’s Hospital believes it can solve up to 25 per cent more of these mystery cases, giving a renewed sense of hope to families.”
The Precision Health Initiative aims to benefit the lives of children and their families by finding medical answers for 50-100 children per year, developing computational infrastructure and training the next generation of precision health clinicians and scientists. It will also have long-term impacts such as improving clinical standards of care, generating new discoveries, attracting talent and strengthening British Columbia as a leader in precision health research and care.
“Children will benefit from the Precision Health Initiative’s cutting-edge diagnostic approaches and global partnerships,” said Dr. Stuart Turvey, lead of the Precision Health Initiative and Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Precision Health. “Some rare diseases are as infrequent as one in a million, so the experts here connect and collaborate with other leading specialists around the world, sharing information to find answers more quickly. We then take this global collection of information and apply the Precision Health Initiative’s toolkit of multi-omic technologies that look at things like our DNA, RNA, proteins, the bacteria that live in us, and molecules in our blood to solve these challenging cases.”
“Mining for Miracles is excited to support this state-of-the-art initiative that will ultimately save lives,” said Jelena Puzic, Chair of Mining for Miracles and Director, Strategic Initiatives at Teck. “The Precision Health Initiative builds upon the work of established health and research programs, many of which were previously funded by Mining for Miracles.”
Some of the programs supported by Mining for Miracles that have advanced the care of seriously ill children across the province include the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank, the Clinical Assessment of the Utility of Sequencing and Evaluation as a Service (CAUSES) clinic, the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (TRACE) program, Gut4Health and the Cellular and Regenerative Medicine Centre (CRMC). The Precision Health Initiative will build on these programs to accelerate, simplify, and unify the delivery of precision health research at BC Children’s Hospital.
“Through the Precision Health Initiative, BC Children’s will be better able to provide much-needed answers for children with undiagnosed rare diseases and give their families a renewed sense of hope,” said Puzic.
“BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is extremely grateful to Mining for Miracles for their longstanding and generous support,” said Berry. “The Precision Health Initiative will not only change the lives of hundreds—and ultimately, thousands—of kids, it will also solidify BC Children’s Hospital as an international leader in precision health care. New researchers will train under today’s medical leaders right here in BC, creating an ongoing cycle of knowledge translation and innovation as they become the experts of tomorrow.”
About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children and youth. It’s one of the few pediatric medical and teaching facilities in Canada with an acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and rehabilitation centre all in one place. BC Children’s provides specialized care, innovative therapies and pediatric expertise for BC’s kids, including the sickest and most seriously injured. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation raises funds to provide kids with excellence in health care by continuously driving advancements provincially and globally. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to conquer childhood diseases, prevent illness and injury, and prioritize the unique needs of kids in every aspect of their care. Follow us at @bcchf or visit bcchf.ca for more information.
About Mining for Miracles
For more than 30 years, the BC mining community has worked together through Mining for Miracles to help improve the quality of health care for children in our province. Through its support of the construction of facilities, ground-breaking research, and the acquisition of specialized medical equipment at the hospital, Mining for Miracles is helping to keep BC Children’s Hospital at the forefront of excellence in pediatric care. The industry’s donations have made an enormous positive impact on the health and well-being of children, families and communities across B.C. Donations can be made online, through employee and corporate fundraising initiatives, or by supporting the Mining for Miracles Virtual Pie Throw, which will take place in early June 2023. More details will be shared soon at: miningformiracles.ca
SOMA Public Relations
Chair, Mining for Miracles