Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates $7 million to Research

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $7 million to  benefit women across the province.

Researchers working at the Child & Family Research Institute will use the funds to test new strategies for the monitoring, prevention, and treatment of pre-eclampsia, a medical condition in which high blod pressure arises in pregnancy.

“Hypertensive disorders, or high blood pressure, complicate five to 10 percent of pregnancies and can lead to serious maternal and fetal illness or death. Pre-eclampsia, the most serious of these disorders, is the second leading cause of maternal death worldwide, resulting in up to 76,000 maternal deaths each year,” UBC said in a news release today.


December 3, 2010 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

We Have a New Blog!

Follow Sunshine Stories Here

Sunshine stories is now part of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation website. All of these stories, as well as new ones, can be found at

September 13, 2010 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

Geeking-Out Dragon Boat Style

Paddle for Kids takes place Saturday, September 11th in False Creek and, so far, 20 teams have signed up. There are no rules when it comes to how you form your team. Take the H2O Geeks, for example. They formed a team over Twitter. Read on to learn how this group of unlikely “geeks” came together in support of BC kids.

The “Geeks”

H2OGeeks was founded and formed on Twitter, but they’ve grown to become more than just a bunch of social media nerds. What began as a group of strangers has turned into a community of friends, siblings, parents and coworkers. The geeks have opened up membership to anyone who wants to paddle with them.

An interview with co-founder Aidan McGilveray:

“Last year, when the team was first formed, Kimm Mitchell and myself did lots of online promoting through Twitter and Facebook. Kimm is a veteran dragon boater (15+ years and counting) and she heard about Paddle for Kids through the grape vine in the paddling community.

What drew the geeks together and toward Paddle for Kids was the drive to learn something new, meet new friends, and, of course, do good by helping BC’s sick and injured children and their families. What more can you really ask for?

This year the team is looking for a few,new members. Our boat is still not full! We will have a drop in practice session for people interested in joining in the next few weeks. Drop in fees will be donated to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Learn more about the H20Geeks here:

You can also follow the team on Twitter here: @h2oGeeks or @paddlinggeek

August 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Michael Bublé: A Class Unto His Own

Michael Bublé wrapped up his sold-out 12-date Canadian concert tour, Crazy Love. His last show was in Vancouver, where he announced to his hometown audience that all profits from the show would go to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Campaign for BC Children. Michael? You’ve left us speechless,

The Campaign for BC Children is a $200-million initiative to support the construction of a new BC Children’s Hospital and to enhance medical services for children throughout the province. And if you were lucky enough to attend the concert, you would have heard Bublé speak to the campaign:

“They are really inspirational people, and the doctors and nurses who care for them are amazing. But, when you’re in the hospital, you can really understand the need for a new building.”

Michael Bublé has been a supporter of BC Children’s Hospital for many years now. He makes frequent, quiet visits to meet with young patients and their families. In 2008 he took on the role of Ambassador to the Campaign for BC Children and performed for over 800 people at the Bublé Gala, which raised over $2.2 million for the campaign. He’s also participated in public service announcements for the hospital and has lent his songs Home and Everything to the campaign. Michael is not only a superhero but a superb example of someone who gives back, even when they’ve reached heights like Michael has in his career.

The Campaign for BC Children is calling on British Columbians to “Be a Superhero” by making a donation to the hospital. Donations can be made online at More information on the campaign and its priorities is available at

August 23, 2010 at 10:00 am 2 comments

In Light of Research

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

~Edith Wharton

In our case, at BC Children’s Hospital, our patients are our candles while our researchers, nurses and doctors act as our mirrors.

Dr. Steven Miller of the BC Child & Family Research Institute is no exception. Ground breaking work is currently taking place at BC Children’s Hospital and it has to do with what we can’t see; what needs the light of research.

Dr. Steven Miller is leading the way on how to better protect a newborn’s brain. He is a neurologist at BCCH and his research involves imaging technology and how it can help protect premature babies and their neurological development once they are no longer in the womb. Dr. Miller’s research is garnering its share of attention. The Globe and Mail newspaper featured his research in an article this summer.

The following excerpt is from The Globe and Mail article titled “Technology allows doctors to peek inside baby’s brain,” August 11th, 2010

“Premature babies, [Doctor Miller’s team has] learned, tend to suffer damage to their white matter, which connects different parts of the brain and allows those parts to communicate with each other. That’s different from term babies – their injuries tend to affect the grey matter that makes up the structures of the brain.

Dr. Miller wants to be able to scan the brains of premature babies… and offer a prognosis that would either reassure families or help them prepare for the extra care, therapy or treatment their children may need as they grow up. “

D. Miller and his team began their research in 2006. Through extensive testing and 175 newborn brain scans, Dr, Miller has found roughly one in three premature babies have signs of white matter injuries. He’s now working to see if there is a link between how severe those injures are and whether the child will face developmental problems in the future.

To read the complete article in The Globe and Mail, click here.

If you would like to donate to the BCCHF to further child-healthcare research in BC and help outfit our hospital with the best technology available, click here.

August 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Fundraising with Trains: Making the Connection

Photo courtesy Davide Restivo

Not-for-profits around the world, tell me if this sounds familiar. These days, innovating and online giving  is like running alongside a
 moving train: the landscape is constantly changing and not always at a
 consistent rate. We speed up, we slow down and sometimes we come to a 
full stop only to start-up at top speed, yet again. We’re always looking 
into new and innovative ways to connect meaning and heart to online 

Last year, The Chronicle of Philanthropy released a study that looked at 3,500 donors who gave to charities in the United States. They found four out of five donors gave online. A little over half of the people studied preferred giving online and 46% expect to make a greater share of their charitable gifts over the web in the near future.

With more people turning to the web for giving opportunities, charities have to stretch their imagination and connect online giving to the real world in new and innovative ways. Here in British Columbia, a new opportunity has come up that brings whole new meaning to web 2.0 moving train metaphors.

The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation has been invited to take part in The Pixel Train. With the completion of the Canada line, Vancouver commuters now have more options than ever to stay out and about in the city. The fine folks at InTransit BC connected with BC Children’s Hospital and three other Lower Mainland charities, offering 2-D real estate along the outside of one of their trains. Throughout 2010, the Pixel Train will be collecting photos from donors and preparing them for display on the outside of the train. The size of on your image is directly connected to your online donation. For more information on how to post your pic on the pixel train, you can click here.

We think this is a great example of how charities can connect online giving to the day-to-day activities of our lives. It’s nice to see a smiling face as you board the train on your way to work — how extraordinary it would be to see your own.

July 26, 2010 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

World Cup Soccer and Healthy Children

The World Cup has reached a fever pitch, with the final match just a few days away. Everyone appears to have football on their mind, even here at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

As we continue to raise money for a new hospital, we often think about what we’d like to have in that new hospital. It should come as no surprise that the people we turn to for input and ideas are hospital patients. Enter Luca Piccolo.

Luca, first and foremost, loves soccer. This year, Luca was one of our patients featured over our wildly successful Miracle Weekend. Our community was introduced to Luca and how BC Children’s Hospital plays a role in his life. Luca has cystic fibrosis and visits to the Hospital are part of his routine. During Miracle Weekend, Luca made his energy and love for the game known. He even suggested a soccer field be installed  in the new hospital design.

Not only do we love that Luca opened up his life to our community and expressed his passion for the game, we love the benefits that accompany the game when kids are at play.

The CBC recently reported on the benefits of soccer on child health. Angelo Belcastro, a kinesiology professor at the University of New Brunswick, says, “soccer is one of the best physical activities for children to participate in because it parallels the way they move naturally. Typically children’s activity patterns are starts and stops, spurts and whatnot, and if you watch children in the playground that’s naturally what they do.”

Belcastro goes on to say that “shorter bouts, again with the rest periods and continuing that for 20, 30, 40 minutes, is very, very beneficial.”

We hear you loud and clear, Luca. The benefits speak for itself. But, more importantly, so does your love for the game. Enjoy the rest of the FIFA World Cup Championship!

To help us build a better hospital for Luca, you can click here.

To read Luca’s story, click here.

July 8, 2010 at 9:33 am 1 comment

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