Spotlight on Giving

Family's Gift Turns Vision of new Dialysis Unit into Reality

Even before Garry and Kirsten Skidmore’s son Alex was born, they had braced themselves for the worst: they knew their son would be born with serious health problems.

The fact that he’s thriving today, 15 years later, is perhaps the greatest of many miracles that Alex and his family would experience on his journey to better health.

By the age of 13, Alex had endured both peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, two kidney transplants and countless follow-up visits to BC Children’s Hospital’s Renal Dialysis Unit. The road to health was an arduous one, but the loving care that he and his family received at the hospital inspired them to give a special gift.

When Alex’s grandparents, Allan and Clarice, learned that BC Children’s was building the Teck Acute Care Centre, they stepped up with a $3-million gift to create the Alex Skidmore Renal Dialysis Unit in the new facility.

The new unit’s 288-square-metre space will be much bigger than the current unit and will include patient and staff areas, a biomedical work room, and a much-needed water treatment room. The unit will also have wireless Internet, letting kids stay connected to friends and giving them a welcome distraction during treatments.

In short, the Alex Skidmore Renal Dialysis Unit, opening in 2017, is being designed to better meet the needs of children and families. And children with kidney problems will have the Skidmore family to thank for making the new space possible.

Making a difference in childhood cancer research

Michael Cuccione was only 16 years old when he passed away from a respiratory illness resulting from complications related to his cancer treatment.

Since then, Michael’s family, friends and countless supporters, have dedicated their time and energy to keeping Michael’s dream of raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research alive.

The Michael Cuccione Foundation has raised over $10 million to establish and support the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at the Child & Family Research Institute.

 Inspired by Michael’s wish, researchers are making a difference through training young scientists, advancing new therapies, and leading the way in childhood cancer research.

Nearly 20 years of fundraising work has created a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Together, researchers in the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Program have published 39 articles featured in esteemed journals, used by top international scientists, according to Dr. Kirk Schultz, director of the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program and an oncologist at BC Children’s Hospital.

 “Michael Cuccione’s vision to develop the young cancer researcher program for today and tomorrow is being realized with the creation of the Michael Cuccione

Cancer Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital,” says Dr. Schultz. “New discoveries in childhood cancer are being found and brought forward to children who need it most.”






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