Mining for Miracles Kicks off 2024 Fundraising Campaign
On January 22, the 2024 Mining for Miracles campaign was launched at the Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference, with the Honourable David Eby, M.L.A. Premier of British Columbia, in support of the Precision Health Initiative (PHI) at BC Children’s Hospital.
In 2023, the campaign had an exceptional year, raising over $2.1 million and aims to achieve the fundraising goal of $3.58 million by the end of the 2024 campaign.
“Taking care of sick kids takes a whole community,” said Premier David Eby.
“It is good to know the hard-working people in B.C.’s mining and exploration sector are there to support children and their families when they most need it. The sector has so far raised $40 million through Mining for Miracles, a testament to their dedication to creating a healthier, stronger British Columbia.”
The Precision Health Initiative which began in 2023, harnesses state-of-the-art medical research technologies to provide answers for families of children with rare, undiagnosed diseases. Through support received from Mining for Miracles, the PHI has enrolled more than 20 families since April 2023, and more answers are being discovered for clinicians to share with patients and their families including the discovery of a new disease: gain-of-function MARK4.
“Through standard genetic testing, it was discovered that two siblings had a change in the MARK4 gene, but many details were still unknown as no neurodevelopmental disorders were associated with a change in MARK4 at that time.
Enrollment in the Precision Health Initiative at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute brought this family long-awaited answers. Using hyper-personalized testing, we were able to provide the family with a diagnosis: gain-of-function MARK4, ending their diagnostic journey and resulting in a novel medical discovery that will help others,” said Dr. Stuart Turvey, lead of the Precision Health Initiative and Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Precision Health.
“This groundbreaking discovery reinforces the importance of Mining for Miracles’ commitment to the Precision Health Initiative. We are excited to work with the women and men of the BC and Yukon Mining Industry to complete our fundraising goal in support of Precision Health, showcasing our operations and projects and celebrating the generosity of our mining communities along the way”, said Jelena Puzic, Chair, Mining for Miracles.
One in 25 children born in British Columbia are affected by a rare disease, and these patients occupy one in every three hospital beds at BC Children’s Hospital. Roughly half of these children do not receive a diagnosis, despite the families’ seeing specialists and experiencing countless diagnostic tests.
“Through the Precision Health Initiative, we believe we can solve up to 25 percent more of these mystery cases, pushing the diagnostic rate from 50 percent to 75 percent, and giving a renewed sense of hope to families benefiting from this program,” said Dr. Turvey. “This discovery has moved us a step closer to that 75 percent mark.”
“When we have the right technology and the generous support from fundraising campaigns like Mining for Miracles, significant advances in medicine can happen,” said Malcolm Berry, President and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“This discovery was driven by the incredible teams at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, which is a place of both outstanding clinical care and world-class research. The Precision Health Initiative is not only changing the lives of families facing an undiagnosed disease, but is also solidifying BC Children’s Hospital as an international leader in precision health care.”
Some of the programs supported by Mining for Miracles that have advanced the care of seriously ill children across BC and the Yukon include the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank, the Clinical Assessment of the Utility of Sequencing and Evaluation as a Service (CAUSES) clinic, the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (TRACE) program, Gut4Health and, most recently, the Cellular and Regenerative Medicine Centre (CRMC).
The Precision Health Initiative is building on these programs to accelerate, simplify and unify the delivery of precision health research at BC Children’s Hospital.
About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children and youth. It’s one of the few pediatric medical and teaching facilities in Canada with an acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and developmental assessment and rehabilitation centre — all in one place. BC Children’s provides specialized care, innovative therapies, and pediatric expertise for BC’s kids, including the sickest and most seriously injured. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation raises funds to provide kids with excellence in health care by continuously driving advancements provincially and globally. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to conquer childhood diseases, prevent illness and injury, and prioritize the unique needs of kids in every aspect of their care. Follow us at @bcchf or visit bcchf.ca for more information.
About Mining for Miracles
For more than 36 years, the BC mining community has worked 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, ground-breaking research, and the 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. The industry’s donations have made an enormous positive impact on the health and well-being of children, families, and communities across BC.
Donations can be made online, through employee and corporate fundraising initiatives, or by supporting the Mining for Miracles Virtual Pie Throw, which will take place in June 2024.
More details will be shared soon at www.miningformiracles.ca.