Mining Industry Raising $3.725 Million for a Cutting-Edge Initiative at BC Children’s Hospital
January 23, 2019
PRINCE GEORGE, BC – Mining for Miracles, the BC mining industry’s longstanding fundraising campaign for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, launched a campaign today to raise $3.725 million over the next two years to fund BC Children’s Hospital’s Gut4Health program. The initiative will further microbiome research and the development of new therapies with the goal of making BC Children’s the first children’s hospital in Canada to use gut bacteria to predict, prevent and treat infections and chronic inflammation in kids. Premier John Horgan joined BC mining industry representatives at the BC Resource Forum today to launch this year’s fundraising campaign.
“Mining for Miracles continues to demonstrate how the women and men working in the BC mining industry contribute to the strength and resilience of families and communities across our province,” said Premier Horgan. “Over the years their campaigns have raised over $30 million to support better health care, and it is just one of the many ways the resource industry makes our province stronger.”
“This year women and men across BC’s mining industry are continuing a 30-year tradition to support the health and wellbeing of children throughout the province,” said Joanne Klein, Co-Chair of Mining for Miracles and VP, Supply Chain at Goldcorp. “Mining for Miracles has provided the opportunity over many years for the BC mining industry to give back to the communities where we operate, and help BC Children’s Hospital lead the way in children’s health care,” added Karla Mills, Co-Chair of Mining for Miracles and Vice President, Project Development at Teck.
Why is Gut4Health so important?
- Gut4Health will further research into the use of gut bacteria to predict, prevent and treat infections and chronic inflammation in kids.
- Currently the diagnosis and treatment of many chronic diseases involve invasive procedures and medications with serious side effects – Gut4Health will study the gut microbiome to find better and safer ways to predict and prevent these diseases
- BC’s kids need microbiome research so that new and effective therapies can be developed – Gut4Health will develop and test new treatments with the goal of creating cures that will work for a lifetime
- BC Children’s Hospital has the clinical and scientific expertise to be the Canadian leader in pediatric microbiome research and therapeutic development, but the required facilities are not available in any children’s hospital in Canada – Gut4Health will provide the infrastructure needed to create these facilities and drive forward microbiome research
The success of Mining for Miracles in funding initiatives like Gut4Health 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 DayTM, the Online Silent Auction, Diamond Draw, Hooked on Miracles fishing tournament, or the Celebrity Pie Throw, taking place on May 23, 2019. 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 BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children. As one of the few pediatric medical centres in North America with a world-class acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and soon, rehabilitation centre, all on a single campus, BC Children’s provides specialized care, innovative therapies and expertise for BC’s kids, including the sickest and most seriously injured. At BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, we have a vision that every child is healthy and able to fulfill their hopes and dreams. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to help conquer childhood diseases, prevent illness and injury, and prioritize the unique needs of kids in every aspect of their care. Please follow us at @bcchf or visit bcchf.ca for more information.
Premier John Horgan meets Layla Houghtaling, BC Children’s Hospital patient, along with her mother Kristin Houghtaling, father Jeff Houghtaling, younger sister Charlotte Houghtaling, and Karla Mills, Mining for Miracles Co-Chair and Vice President, Project Development, in Prince George, BC today to kick off the 2019 Mining for Miracles campaign.
What is Gut4Health? The human body is home to trillions of bacteria, ninety percent of which live inside the gut. This population of gut bacteria, known as the gut microbiome, contains a balance of both good and bad bacteria, and maintaining this balance is crucial to our overall health. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to many chronic diseases, such as asthma, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease—diseases that cause lifelong pain and suffering to children.
By studying and understanding the gut microbiome, Gut4Health will be able to help the 10,000 kids in BC currently living with chronic inflammatory diseases. Once established, it will contribute to the development of new treatments for the kids who visit BC Children’s Hospital each year with devastating health conditions caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria. Gut4Health will help BC Children’s find safer, more effective ways to predict, treat and prevent these serious illnesses and infections in children.
How Gut4Health will help BC’s kids An example of the importance of understanding gut bacteria can be found in asthma research. Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. It affects 1 in 7 kids, costs over $2 billion per year in Canada and is the number one reason for a child to be absent from school or to be admitted to hospital. Currently, there is no cure.
Researchers at BC Children’s have made a ground-breaking discovery that may change this forever: they discovered that babies who develop asthma seem to be ‘missing’ certain types of intestinal bacteria in their first few months of life. These bacteria appear to act like “teachers”, educating the infant immune system to not cause asthma. Using this information, researchers will work to develop new and safe ways to replace these microbes in the at-risk babies and prevent the children from developing asthma in the first place.
Support from Mining for Miracles will establish the following cutting-edge infrastructure for Gut4Health:
- A gut microbiome profiling core to rapidly analyze patient samples using state-of-the-art equipment and profile all bacteria present in a patient’s gut
- Specialized bacterial culture facilities to grow bacteria under zero-oxygen conditions to mimic the insides of our intestines
- A microbiome culturing and imaging suite to study bacteria in stool samples and how they function and interact with human cells
- An expansion of the BC Children’s Hospital Biobank for storing and cataloguing microbiome samples
CONTACT INFORMATION For more information please contact:
Joanne Klein Mining for Miracles Co-Chair 604.696.3047
Karla Mills Mining for Miracles Co-Chair 604.699.4618
Kaleigh Gellert BC Children’s Hospital Foundation 604.875.2504
Kaleigh Gellert BC Children’s Hospital Foundation 604.875.2504