Mining for Miracles Launches 2018 Diamond Draw in Support of TRACE Program at BC Children's Hospital

January 23, 2018 – VANCOUVER, BC – Mining for Miracles kicked off its 2018 Diamond Draw at the Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference in Vancouver today. Mining for Miracles, the BC mining community’s longstanding fundraising campaign for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, is raising $2.9 million through initiatives including Diamond Draw to complete the development of the TRAnsplantation & CEll Therapy Program (TRACE), the first of its kind in Canada. 

The Diamond Draw package, valued at over $18,000, includes a Cushion-cut 1.20 carat diamond in a gold designer setting, donated by C3 Alliance Corp., Teck and Costen Catbalue Goldsmith + Design.

“We receive incredible support for the annual Mining for Miracles campaign from the thousands of women and men who work in the mining industry. Since 1988, the Diamond Draw and other initiatives have raised nearly $30 million to support child health,”   said Jeff Hanman, 2018 Co-Chair, Mining for Miracles. “The areas of need identified by the hospital will benefit directly, as they receive one hundred per cent of the funds raised through Diamond Draw ticket sales and our other campaign initiatives,” said Tina Wang, Co-Chair, Mining for Miracles.

Tickets are available at mining industry events and directly from Mining for Miracles member organizations. The draw will take place on May 28, 2018.

In 2018, Mining for Miracles will raise a further $1.25 million, building on funds raised in 2017, to complete a $2.9 million commitment to the TRACE program at BC Children’s Hospital. 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.

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 that we have the highly skilled health providers needed to care for the province’s sickest children. For more information, please visit www.bcchf.ca.

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