Mining for Miracles Launches 2016 Campaign to Help BC Kids with Rare Diseases

January 20, 2016 – Prince George, BC – Mining for Miracles, the BC mining community’s longstanding fundraising campaign for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, launched their 2016 campaign today in support of the CAUSES research clinic, a state-of-the-art diagnostic centre for rare diseases in pediatric patients. Premier Christy Clark joined BC mining industry representatives to launch this year’s fundraising campaign.

"Mining for Miracles is one of the many ways in which B.C.’s mining industry supports families and communities in every corner of our province,” said Premier Clark. “Over the years, Mining for Miracles has raised more than $25 million for BC Children’s Hospital, helping to connect children and their families with the care and support they need.”

The new CAUSES Research Clinic provides genome-wide sequencing to support the accurate and efficient diagnosis of rare genetic diseases in children who would otherwise require numerous tests or might not be diagnosed at all. These services have the potential to save lives and also reduce costs to families and the health-care system.

Genome British Columbia has pledged to match Mining for Miracles’ commitment up to an additional $1 million.

“Since 1988, the mining industry has come together to raise millions of dollars to support child health in British Columbia,” said Jeff Hanman, Chair of Mining for Miracles. “Investing in the CAUSES Clinic is a great example of how Mining for Miracles can have a transformative impact on the lives of children and their families in our province.”

There are 7,000 known genetic disorders and the CAUSES Research Clinic will use a single genomic test capable of identifying all of these at once. This may reduce the number of tests required to diagnose a patient’s condition from 10 or more to just one. This has the potential to reduce costs to families and the health-care system.

How to support Mining for Miracles
The success of Mining for Miracles depends on the generosity of individuals and organizations throughout British Columbia. Donations can be made through employee and corporate fundraising initiatives or through fundraising events such as Diamond Draw, Jeans Day™ on April 28, Teck Celebrity Pie Throw on May 12 or the Slo-Pitch Tournament on May 28-29. 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 pediatric care excellence. Visit www.miningformiracles.ca for more information and to donate.

About the CAUSES Research Clinic
The CAUSES Research Clinic provides genome-wide testing, clinical interpretation, genetic counselling, and personalized recommendations for treatment for children with complex, undiagnosed medical conditions. The CAUSES Research Clinic is made possible by a $3-million commitment from Mining for Miracles through BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and is supported by the Provincial Health Services Authority and the University of British Columbia. The CAUSES Research Clinic will ensure that BC Children’s Hospital remains a centre of excellence providing outstanding care to the children and families of British Columbia.

The CAUSES Research Clinic:

  • The Causes Research Clinic opened to its first patient in June 2015
  • 5 year old Collyns Doran of Prince George is the first patient to receive a diagnosis at the Causes Research Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital. The diagnosis provided by genome-wide sequencing ends the family’s 5-year journey to find an explanation for their daughter’s developmental issues.
  • There are 7000 known rare disorders and Causes uses a single genomic test to look for all of these. CAUSES provides this service to children across British Columbia and in some cases, is utilizing Telehealth.
  • Over the next 3 years, 500 children and their parents will have their genomes sequenced through CAUSES. CAUSES is currently receiving approximately 10 patient referrals a week.
  • Since opening in June 2015, 70 families have been seen at CAUSES, and the CAUSES team is now beginning to provide answers to families.
  • For some families, a diagnosis will lead to life-changing treatments for their child. For others, their diagnosis is important information that helps parents in planning for their child’s future.
  • The CAUSES Clinic helps reduce the number of invasive tests – such as biopsies, biochemical tests, expensive single gene tests, or MRI scans often requiring sedation– needed to obtain a diagnosis for children. This is expected to reduce the average number of tests per child required for a diagnosis from 10 or more to one, resulting in significant savings for both families and the health-care system

About Genome British Columbia
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $710 million in 254 research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada. Genome BC is supported by the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada through Genome Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada and more than 300 international public and private co-funding partners.

Contact

BCCHF | Gloria Cameron | (604) 875-2519

Mining for Miracles | Jeff Hanman | Chair | (604) 699-4338