Mining Industry Raising $2.9 Million for Cutting-Edge Facility at BC Children's Hospital

January 17, 2018 - PRINCE GEORGE, BC – Mining for Miracles, the BC mining industry's longstanding fundraising campaign for BC Children's Hospital Foundation, launched their 2018 campaign today to complete the development of the TRAnsplantation & CEll Therapy Program (TRACE), the first of its kind in Canada. Premier John Horgan joined BC mining industry representatives at the BC Resource Forum today to launch this year's fundraising campaign.

"Mining for Miracles is a great example of how the women and men working in the mining industry contribute to the strength and resilience of families and communities across our province," said Premier Horgan. "Supporting better health care is just one of the many ways the resource industry makes our province stronger."

In 2018, Mining for Miracles will raise a further $1.25 million, building on funds raised in 2017, to complete the development of TRACE, a $2.9 million initiative. TRACE will provide children across British Columbia with personalized medicine using the patient's own cells to prevent rejection of organ transplants, kill cancer cells and fight infection.

"BC’s mining industry has a proud history of giving back to the communities where we operate through programs like Mining for Miracles," said Tina Wang, Co-Chair of Mining for Miracles and Assistant Treasurer at Goldcorp. "The women and men in BC’s mining industry know how important good child health care is and are honoured to support a world class facility like BC Children’s Hospital," added Jeff Hanman, Co-Chair of Mining for Miracles and Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Teck.

Mining for Miracles funding will establish two state-of-the-art facilities for the TRACE program, giving children in British Columbia access to the best and most current cell therapies and enabling BC Children's Hospital and its Research Institute to develop new and better cell therapy and transplantation technologies.

Once complete, the TRACE Program will:

  • Help 40-50 children with kidney transplants each year, extending transplant function and saving lives
  • Help 250 children living with organ and bone marrow transplants in BC, by replacing invasive biopsies with innovative blood and urine screening tests, reducing pain and decreasing risk of organ rejection
  • Provide a new form of treatment for children with relapsed leukemia that has been effective in over 90% of cases in clinical trials
  • Position BC Children's Hospital as a leader in clinical cell therapies, transplantation and research into new treatments for cancer and diabetes

The success of Mining for Miracles in funding initiatives like TRACE at BC Children's Hospital depends on the generosity of individuals and corporations throughout British Columbia. Donations can be made through employee and corporate fundraising initiatives or through fundraising events such as Jeans Day™, Diamond Draw, Hooked on Miracles fishing tournament, or the Teck Celebrity Pie Throw, taking place on May 24, 2018. Visit www.miningformiracles.ca for more information and to donate.

About Mining for Miracles
Every year volunteers from the mining community work 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 and 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. Visit www.miningformiracles.ca for more information and to donate.

About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Since 1982, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation has partnered with kids, families, health professionals, and hundreds of thousands of people across the province to improve and advance care at BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute, and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. As the province’s only full-service, pediatric acute care hospital, BC Children’s Hospital serves the one million children living in BC and the Yukon. Through the generosity of our donors, we are able to ensure the hospital is equipped with the most advanced medical technologies, that our researchers have the resources to conduct their ground-breaking work, and thatwe have the highly skilled health providers needed to care for the province’s sickest children. For more information, please visit www.bcchf.ca.

Caption:

Premier John Horgan meets Audrey Saulters, BC Children’s Hospital patient, her mother Pamela Saulters, Jeff Hanman, Mining for Miracles Co-Chair and Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Teck and Bryan Cox, President, Mining Association of BC, in Prince George, B.C. today to kick off the 2018 Mining for Miracles campaign. Mining for Miracles has committed to raising $1.25 million in 2018 for BC Children’s Hospital. Funds raised will go to building a state-of-the-art cell therapy program at the hospital called TRACE, a $2.9 million initiative.

Backgrounder:
Through Mining for Miracles support, TRACE will establish two state of the art facilities, a Translational Biomarker Facility and a Clinical Cell Therapy Facility.

Translational Biomarker Facility

  • A first of its kind in Canada, the facility will be dedicated to innovative monitoring of patients undergoing organ transplantation or cell therapy.
  • The facility will allow physicians to better predict when a child is at risk of developing infection, late complications or transplant rejection.
  • Earlier identification allows clinicians to provide treatment to minimize risk, improve health and save children's lives.

As an example, a child who has received a kidney transplant currently needs multiple biopsies to screen for early signs of rejection. This is an invasive process that requires deep sedation and a hospital stay. With the establishment of the Translational Biomarker Facility, it is anticipated that in the near future, a simple urine test will become a first line of surveillance to understand if the transplanted organ is at risk of being rejected.

Clinical Cell Therapy Facility

  • Cell therapies offer exciting approaches that, for example, utilize the patient's own immune cells to kill cancer cells and stop viral infections.
  • Currently, children in British Columbia can only access this treatment in the US at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Will provide a new treatment for children with relapsed leukemia that has been effective in over 90% of cases in clinical trials.

The infrastructure enabled by the TRACE Program, will give children and families access to the best and most current therapies available. It will also enable BC Children's Hospital Research Institute to become a leader in cell therapies and transplantation for children in BC.

Contact Information

  • For more information please contact:

    Jeff Hanman
    Mining for Miracles Co-Chair
    604-354-5230

    Tina Wang
    Mining for Miracles Co-Chair
    604-696-3020

    Meghan McQuaid
    BC Children's Hospital Foundation
    Philanthropy Officer 604-875-2504