Author Archive

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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