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summer 2012



Medical Mysteries The pivotal role of pathology

superhero news

South Asian community pledges campaign support Gifts to the Campaign for BC Children continue to flow in from across BC and the Yukon. As of June 1, over 65,000 donors from 304 communities had contributed $141 million toward the $200-millon goal. Whether donations come from individuals, community groups or large corporations, one thing is certain: every donation makes a difference and brings us closer to realizing the dream of a new Children’s Hospital. Members of the South Asian community are among the hospital’s most ardent supporters. This community has raised funds through individual and corporate gifts, as well as through the A World of Smiles telethon and the community’s signature event, the A Night of Miracles gala. A Night of Miracles, which started three years ago, brings close to 400 guests together for an evening of fine dining, a silent auction, live entertainment and dancing – all in support of BC Children’s Hospital. The gala has raised over $678,000 to date. In 2011, the A Night of Miracles’ cabinet and committee, spearheaded by South Asian business leaders, Robin Dhir and Vik Khanna, made a pledge to raise $3 million for the Campaign for BC Children and the construction of an interventional radiology room in the new BC Children’s Hospital.

2 speaking of children summer 2012

The 2011 A Night of Miracles gala raised $300,000 toward the $3-million goal. This year’s gala, co-presented by Fasken Martineau and RBC, takes place October 13 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown. Interventional radiology involves the use of medical imaging equipment such as X-ray, MRI and ultrasound to perform minimally invasive procedures. This allows doctors to treat children with conditions that would once have required surgery without the pain and longer recovery associated with many surgeries. Doctors rely on images as they navigate catheters, small hollow tubes, through blood vessels and organs to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. Thanks to the support of the South Asian community, patients in the new Children’s Hospital will be treated in interventional radiology rooms that will house the most advanced digital imaging equipment available. Attending the 2011 A Night of Miracles gala Above: Vik Khanna, vice-chair, A Night of Miracles gala with Denis Kirk, Faronics. Below left: Will Westeringh, Fasken Martineau, gala co-presenting sponsor; Teri Nicholas, president & CEO, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation; Tim Manning, RBC, gala co-presenting sponsor; Kevin Bent, chair, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors; Robin Dhir, chair, A Night of Miracles gala. Below: Gala guests in the hotel ballroom.

inside speaking of children


summer 2012

6 Banking on the Future


Cancer patients donate blood and bone marrow samples to advance research.

EDITOR Mona Bhullar

8 An Abnormal Heart

CONTRIBUTORS Kerry Gold, Rebecca Keillor, Joanna Newman, Winnie Tam, Janice Williams

Unmasking a genetic mystery exposes a threat to a family.

PHOTOGRAPHY Vincent Chan, Irvin Cheung, Andrew Chin, Tina Chin, Ian Durning, Brian Hawkes, J&R Photography, Mark Kinsofer, Raymond Ng, Sandy Ng, PhoTobin Photography, Mike Remek, Michael O’Shea, Jeff Weddell, Esther Wong, Keith Wong, Victor Wong

10 Sweet Smell of Trouble Sweet-smelling urine signals a rare metabolic disorder.

12 Newborn Screening

ART DIRECTOR Gabriele Chaykowski PROJECT MANAGER Casey Crawford



20 2012 Miracle Weekend

For more information about the editorial content of Speaking of Children or to make a donation to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation or Sunny Hill Foundation for Children, please contact 604-875-2444, toll-free at 1-888-663-3033 or

$17,939,688 raised for BC’s kids!


Charitable Business Number: 11885 2433 RR0001 BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, 938 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to SOC Editor at address above. Speaking of Children is published three times annually by BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Supporters who donate $50 or more receive a one-year subscription to the magazine, which is also distributed to government officials, public health units and libraries throughout the province. Publication sales agreement #40659514


Early screening means earlier diagnosis and improved health outcomes for newborns.


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superhero news well said ask the expert speaking of people what’s on healthy habits what’s up, doc? children speak

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation raises funds for Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Foundation for Children and the Child & Family Research Institute.

Did you know BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 2011-12 annual report is available online? Visit to view.

summer 2012 speaking of children


well said

25 Years of Miracles Miracle Weekend reached a monumental milestone this year – 25 years of making miracles happen for children in British Columbia and the Yukon. I was privileged to be a part of this history-making moment and to share the celebration with you. After months of planning and thousands of hours of hard work, everything came together for a spectacular weekend that was broadcast live across the province, thanks to the generosity of Global BC. This year’s Miracle Weekend raised a record-breaking $17,939,688, that’s more than 11 times the $1,600,000 raised in the first telethon in 1988. Success of this magnitude is to be credited to our donors, volunteers and supporters for coming together and showing how important the wellbeing of children is to them. Individuals, community groups and corporations have supported the foundation since the first Miracle Weekend aired 25 years ago and that support continues to strengthen with each passing year. This year’s fundraising total is testament to their commitment.

BC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION Board of Directors 2012 as of May 10, 2012

Mr. Kevin Bent, Chair Mr. Chris Carty Mr. David Doig Mr. Larry Gold Mr. Doug Gordon Mr. Peter Green Mrs. Lisa Hudson Mrs. Tammi Kerzner Mr. Don Lindsay Mr. Graham MacLachlan

Coming together and working as a team is what we excel at. Whether it’s the pathology team trying to unravel the mysteries of why a child is sick (as you’ll read in these pages), or the surgical team skillfully repairing a baby’s damaged heart, our success lies in our ability to bring the pieces of pediatric health care together.

Mr. Geoff Parkin

Through this core strength of collaborating and sharing, our caregivers at the hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children are able to seek out new ways to enhance the care they provide to our patients. It’s our ability to bring together the three pillars of clinical care, education and research that is allowing researchers at our Child & Family Research Institute to make life-changing breakthroughs.

Ms. Andrea Southcott

I am honoured to be a member of this passionate and dedicated team – BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill and the Child & Family Research Institute – that year after year demonstrates its commitment to making a difference in the lives of sick and injured children throughout BC and the Yukon.

Mr. David Podmore Dr. Erik Skarsgard Ms. Sandy So Mrs. Diane Zell

Foundation Executive Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW President & CEO

Linda Muller, MBA Thank you for choosing to be a part of our team. Sincerely,

Vice-President & Chief Philanthropy Officer

Knut Nordlie, CFRE Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer

Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW

Debora Sweeney, CFRE

President & CEO BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer

4 speaking of children summer 2012

Sherlock Holmes was infamous for using his powers of reason and deduction to solve even the most difficult of crime cases. Similarly, television’s Gregory House is known for his ability to diagnose the most obscure of medical conditions. BC Children’s Hospital has its own in-house team of medical sleuths. These highly skilled specialists, in the Department of Pathology, are the go-to resource for clinicians when the pieces of a medical puzzle don’t fit together. Every day, these unsung heroes behind the frontlines of health care examine the clues hidden in the human body to carefully put together the pieces of the puzzle – until they solve the mystery of what’s making a child sick. This issue of Speaking of Children touches on the pivotal role the pathology team plays at Children’s Hospital and in securing a healthy future for BC’s children.

summer 2012 speaking of children


feature story

Banking on the Future Collecting biospecimens from cancer patients to advance research. by KERRY GOLD

Fourteen-year-old Owen Barrett may be too young to care about banking, but he knows that his BioBank donation is one sound investment. Owen, a cancer patient, has voluntarily donated his blood and bone marrow for research as part of BC Children’s Hospital’s new Childhood Cancer and Blood Research (CCBR) BioBank, a part of the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program (MCCCRP). In this case, the bank is actually a super freezer inside the hospital that stores the biospecimens, such as blood and bone marrow samples, and provides cancer cells to investigators. The samples can ultimately provide the data for breakthrough treatments and medications. Young patients who donate samples to the BioBank program, which began last September, do so on a strictly anonymous basis.

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Left: BioBank chair, Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren, removes biospecimens from freezer. Above: Frozen blood and bone marrow samples. Right: Dr. Kirk Schultz, director, CCBR BioBank with Owen Barrett.

Owen has been fighting leukemia for the past eight years, which has meant periods of remission, followed by rounds of chemotherapy. The longest period of remission, says Owen, lasted two years. Otherwise, it’s been a cycle of hospital visits and treatments that have required him to be home-schooled five of the last eight years. He recently underwent a bone marrow transplant that involved a month-long stay in a hospital isolation room. Friends could visit on a limited basis, and he had his laptop computer, but most of his days in isolation were interminably boring, says the refreshingly frank Owen. That’s why he didn’t hesitate to donate to the BioBank. “Basically the reason I took part in the BioBank is so that nobody else has to sit through isolation anymore,” he explains. “Because when you are bored out of your mind and tossed into a room with no people and a nurse running in and out and a machine beeping beside you constantly, you kind of lose what little sanity you have left.” Dad, Don, says Owen also kills time on Facebook, and texts and Skypes with friends. “Somehow he gets girlfriends,” says his father, smiling. As for his son’s participation in the BioBank, he’s proud of his courage and generosity. “I think [the BioBank] is a good thing to have, just because it advances the research,” says Don. “When you consider the amount of time we’ve spent in here [at the hospital] and the advances we’ve seen in that time, it just proves what it’s all about and what it’s needed for. He was on experimental chemo this time, and now they’ve got him into remission. He wasn’t responding to anything else.” The BioBank at BC Children’s is the first childhood cancer bank in the province, but the first biobanks were created about 15 years ago. Since then researchers around the world have benefited from sharing data and samples for multiple purposes. “It is difficult for British Columbia to contribute to collaborative projects with childhood cancer researchers across Canada without its own biobank,” says Dr. Kirk Schultz,

director of the MCCCRP and the CCBR program. “This is a critical resource to further research across Canada to help cure more children and adolescents with cancer.” Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren, a hematopathologist at BC Children’s and chair of the CCBR BioBank says that patients at BC Children’s Hospital who choose to donate samples to the BioBank will benefit local research and facilitate larger national and international research projects. Patients at BC Children’s also have the option of donating their samples for local research only. “The samples are extremely valuable for research in the field of cancer,” says Dr. Vercauteren, who headed the launch of the program. Dr. Schultz, who played a significant role, says funding was provided by a private donation that will sustain the program for two years. Now that it’s up and running, he hopes funding comes through to keep the program going. The survival rate for young cancer patients has shot up from 10 per cent to 78 per cent in the last 40 years due to advances in research, but the goal is to have no child or teenager die from cancer. Dr. Schultz, who is also Owen’s clinician, will be one of the researchers to benefit from the samples; however the strict confidentiality rules mean he will never know which sample belongs to Owen, or any other child. “Some parents said, ‘We can’t give money, but at least we can give this to help research,’” says Dr. Vercauteren. “So far, about 95 per cent of patients have said, ‘Yes, we want to do this.’ Parents and patients are very motivated.” To learn more about the BioBank, visit

summer 2012 speaking of children


feature story

Unmasking a Genetic Mystery The loss of a child exposes a threat to her family. by REBECCA KEILLOR Nothing could have prepared Jan Coddington for the phone call she received from her eight-year-old daughter Sally’s school in June 2008. “I got a call saying meet the ambulance at the hospital,” Jan recalls. Sally had collapsed and lost consciousness while waiting for her turn on the playground swings, and though resuscitation was started immediately, she died on site. Aside from being treated for a concussion three weeks earlier, after falling over while playing soccer, Sally had no known medical conditions. Her death was classified as an unexpected death in childhood, and remained a mystery, until a recommendation on her autopsy report helped unveil much more than the cause of her death. “We made the suggestion about screening for Long QT because we know that in our population as many as 10 per cent of cases of unexpected death in childhood are going to be the 8 speaking of children summer 2012

result of one of these familial arrhythmias,” says Dr. Deborah McFadden, head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital. Her department performs the majority of unexpected death in childhood autopsies for the province, and is leading the way in their genetic testing procedures – which involve retaining DNA specimens for testing at a later date.

Long QT Syndrome is a disorder that affects the heart’s electrical activity and causes problems with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. It takes its name from the abnormal pattern that shows on an ECG (electrocardiogram), between the electrical wave Q and T, in people with this syndrome. If untreated it can cause dizziness, fainting, and in cases such as Sally’s, sudden death.

Left: Dr. Deborah McFadden, head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, studies a tissue sample. Above: Dr. McFadden consults with cardiologist, Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani.

Sally’s autopsy revealed a thyroid condition, which can cause heart rhythm problems, and also unmask genetic conditions that lead to abnormal heart rhythms. “Because I knew about that, and because I was thinking about the genetic implications, I suggested that the thyroid problem could unmask Long QT Syndrome and that other family members needed to be checked to see if they might be affected,” says Dr. McFadden. When the Coddingtons’ eldest daughter, Kate, began experiencing pain in her side, and was offered a prescription for pleurisy (an inflammation of the pleura, the covering of the lungs), alarm bells rang for Jan. “Something in me then just sort of triggered,” she says. “And I thought, ‘oh my gosh, no you can’t just give her anything because we were told we had to be tested.’” A Long QT on Kate’s ECG resulted in the family travelling immediately from their home, just north of Dawson Creek, to Vancouver for the answers and treatment they badly needed. “They were fabulous. They were wonderful,” says Jan of her family’s meeting with Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani, a cardiologist at BC Children’s Hospital. “They were very understanding and spoke directly to Kate in language that she could understand. They answered questions. It was amazing. I was really, really thankful for them.”

“Dr. McFadden is a real leader in that regard,” says Dr. Sanatani. “Not everybody retains tissue in these cases. You need people like Dr. McFadden and pathology to do what I do, which is to deal with families who have experienced sudden death.” In a combined effort, they were also able to confirm the girl’s father, John, as having Long QT Syndrome. “Gosh, I panicked,” recalls Jan. “I started thinking how would I just carry on dayto-day stuff if anything was to happen to either of them.” Luckily, with treatment, the survival rate for Long QT Syndrome is excellent, and most people go on to live long and productive lives. Kate and her father now take regular medication (beta blockers), and have been educated about the few precautions they need to take and medications they need to avoid. They are still able to do regular sports and activities and so far have not shown symptoms. Coming up on four years since her youngest daughter’s death, Jan says she has good days and not so good days. “Knowing that my oldest daughter and my husband can be treated is a huge relief, there’s no doubt. It’s something we never stop thinking about. It’s always right there.” (The names of the family members in this article have been changed at their request.)

“Long QT is a genetic condition,” says Dr. Sanatani. “It runs in families in about 70 per cent of the cases and occurs in about one in 2,500 people.” The Long QT on Kate’s ECG correlated with Dr. McFadden’s suggestion of possible Long QT to account for Sally’s death, and because Dr. McFadden had stored tissue from Sally’s autopsy, she was able to go back and confirm that Sally had this condition, allowing genetic testing of Kate.

To make a donation to BC Children’s Hospital, please visit

summer 2012 speaking of children


feature story

The Sweet Smell of Trouble Toddler Grayson McGill has a rare metabolic disorder where regular food can make him ill. by KERRY GOLD

Chad Farquharson, after a day at his government job, stands by a large schedule posted on his kitchen wall, considering his son’s protein consumption for the day. Nearby, his 16month-old son Grayson sits in his high chair, glued to his favourite show, one involving words. This is not unusual, explains Chad, because Grayson had been read to regularly, since Chad and husband Wayne McGill adopted the baby at birth. What is unusual is that every day, the couple must measure the amino acids consumed by Grayson down to the exact milligrams. If they are off, the results could easily be catastrophic. Grayson has Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), a rare and potentially deadly metabolic disorder that causes amino acids from proteins to accumulate in the body. Grayson is unable to process three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine. The disease’s saccharine name, which comes from the sweet smell of the patient’s urine, belies the seriousness of the condition. The toxicity it causes can lead to brain swelling, mental retardation, coma and death. Grayson’s life will hinge forever on his ability to delicately balance the amount of amino acids he consumes each day. He won’t be able to eat cheeseburgers and fries like other kids. As an adult, he’ll never sit down to a steak dinner. Meat, seafood and dairy products are like poison to Grayson. Even his environment can pose a danger. “Playdough has flour in it, and grain has protein,” says Chad. “If he swallows the playdough, it can break down in his stomach and release leucine.” Not knowing what might contain protein is a worry.

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Left: Grayson McGill. Above: Chad Farquharson and Wayne McGill with their son, Grayson. Top right: Dr. Hilary Vallance, head of the BC Newborn Screening Program, with colleague, Dr. Graham Sinclair. Bottom right: Newborn blood is screened for 22 conditions.

Chad and Wayne do not have a medical background, but they have become quick studies in MSUD. Grayson’s diagnosis was made just after he’d undergone open-heart surgery to repair life-threatening defects. The operation was successful, but a few hours later, his new parents were told that he had the disease. A neurologist had noticed subtle swelling in his brain and became concerned about a metabolic condition. Because BC Children’s Hospital began screening for MSUD as part of an extended screening program that now includes 22 conditions, the neurologist’s question was readily answered. The quick result of the testing meant doctors could instantly respond to Grayson’s dietary needs. Dr. Hilary Vallance, director of the BC Newborn Screening Program, developed the framework for the newborn screening test panel review, including the two-year-long selection of disorders to be screened. Colleague Dr. Graham Sinclair, who led the implementation of expanded screening, was the first to spot Grayson’s metabolic disorder as it became apparent in the alarmingly big blips on the computer read-out. “So this baby got appropriate care right from the get-go,” says Dr. Vallance. “If we didn’t have screening for MSUD, the diagnosis could have been missed entirely and the baby might have died post surgery and nobody would have known why.” As soon as their son was diagnosed, Chad and Wayne learned that proteins are made up of 20 amino acids. For life, Grayson will have to drink a specialty formula that is made up of the 17 safe amino acids. However, because the body needs all 20 amino acids, he will also have to consume the other three, but in precise doses that his body can break down.

Because any physical stress can make Grayson catabolic, a condition where the body must break down its own stores of fat, sugars and proteins for energy, he will also have to avoid contracting the common cold and going without food for a prolonged period. Grayson’s care is closely overseen by clinician, Dr. Ramona Salvarinova, and dietician, Alette Giezen. If Grayson should want to play sports one day, Alette would adjust his protein and calorie intake prior to the event. Then there’s the fact that nobody will understand his condition, which affects about one in 185,000 babies. Chad and Wayne only know of three other children in the province with MSUD. Grayson, with his fat cheeks and saucer-shaped eyes, looks like a perfectly normal kid. Nobody will believe that he’s forever one chocolate bar away from potential brain damage. “This is what we are concerned about when he goes to school,” says Wayne, sighing. “It’s not like a peanut allergy, so all he has to do is avoid peanuts. I’ll have to be clear: ‘All food can harm him.’” summer 2012 speaking of children


feature story

New mom Amy Labonte with her son, Seamus.

Testing Newborns Newborn screening means earlier diagnosis and improved health outcomes. by KERRY GOLD BC Children’s Hospital has improved the program that screens BC’s newborns for treatable conditions, meaning more babies are receiving life-saving treatment as soon as they need it. It used to be that the BC Newborn Screening Program only tested for six conditions. Now, babies in the province are screened for 22 conditions, including cystic fibrosis (CF), one of the most common lethal genetic disorders in children. Early treatment is key to better health outcomes in CF, as Whitehorse, Yukon mom, Amy Labonte, discovered soon after she gave birth to son Seamus, 15 months ago. Amy didn’t know anything about CF before she was told of Seamus’s diagnosis. “When Seamus was really young, he didn’t have the regular signs of CF,” she says. “If not for the screening program, I would have had this sick baby and not known why.” CF mostly causes chronic lung and intestine problems. In the lungs, this condition can lead to severe breathing problems from repeated chest infections. In the digestive tract, CF makes it difficult to digest and absorb adequate nutrients from food, putting children at risk of malnutrition. Current 12 speaking of children summer 2012

treatments for managing CF include medications to digest food, chest physiotherapy and treatments preventing lung infections. The newborn screening is done with a heel prick test at between 24 and 48 hours after birth. Samples are collected on a card and tested for CF, congenital hypothyroidism, Sickle Cell Disease, Maple Syrup Urine Disease and other rare conditions. Dr. Hilary Vallance, director of the screening program, says the lab screens a baby every three minutes, or about 45,000 a year. Out of those, they make about 40 diagnoses. Screening costs about $50 per baby, and only conditions that are treatable qualify. Dr. Vallance and her team spent about two years selecting disorders that made the most sense for screening. “The most conservative approach is to pick things that are treatable when early detection is going to make a difference,” she explains. “When you move towards things that are not easily treatable, you are likely to have a number of parents who don’t want testing done. There’s an ethical dimension to it.”

ask the expert

BOARD AND GOVERNOR ANNOUNCEMENTS NEW BOARD MEMBERS Lisa Hudson has served as a governor since 2007 and also serves on the foundation’s Allocations Committee and Campaign Leadership Council.

Guarding with Care

Dr. Erik Skarsgard has worked at Children’s since 2001 and was recently appointed chief of Surgery. He is one of only two surgeons in Canada with specialized training in fetal surgery.

For many years Ken Whitby was the eyes and ears of BC Children’s Hospital. After leaving the air force he became a commissionaire and began working at BC Children’s Hospital in 1981. Ken spent his days patrolling the hospital’s hallways and grounds, developing bonds with many patients and their families along the way.


Ken affectionately recalls the story of one young patient in the renal ward. “He would always come running up to me,” says Ken. “He wanted a hug so I would just hold him for a minute.”

Pamela Mitchell has been a member of the Sunny Hill Foundation for Children board since 1993 and currently serves as its secretary. She is also a director for The Wolrige Foundation.

NEW GOVERNORS Dr. Allison Eddy is the new chief of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital. She was previously chief of the Division of Nephrology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, professor of Pediatrics with the University of Washington Medical School, and director with the UW Child Health Research Center and the Center for Tissue and Cell Biology at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Raymond Li is the incoming Miracle Weekend chair and will serve as a governor while in that role. He is a senior private banker, international private banking, with RBC Wealth Management.

DEPARTING Chris Carty joined the board in 2002 and served on numerous board committees including Finance, Nominating & Governance and the Healing Environment Project. He was also the foundation’s representative on the Child & Family Research Institute board. Dr. Ralph Rothstein served on the board for two years while he was acting chief of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital.

Over the years, the hospital and the patients and families became an important part of Ken’s life. Even after he retired from his position, Ken and his wife, Anne, remained connected to the facility – as monthly donors. Recently, Ken took the additional step of naming BC Children’s Hospital Foundation as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. “I’ve always had a place in my heart for BC Children’s Hospital,” says Ken. “So when I was reviewing my investment portfolio I changed the beneficiary of my life insurance policy to the hospital. The original purpose of the policy was gone and I feel good knowing it will help the children.” Duncan Robinson, an advisor for Freedom 55 Financial, a division of Great West Life Insurance, believes Ken’s decision to name the hospital as a beneficiary is a wise and inspiring one. “I often suggest to clients with a policy that is no longer relevant for its original purpose that they consider switching the beneficiary to their favourite charity. It is easy to do and makes a lasting gift,” says Duncan. Duncan has personal experience with the hospital. In 1996, his son was treated for acute lymphocytic leukemia at BC Children’s; a short time later he became a donor. “If you knew tomorrow that you may need the services of BC Children’s Hospital, then your decision today would be automatic. But you don’t know, nor did our family,” says Duncan. “Life insurance creates a lasting legacy for those you care about.” When naming BC Children’s Hospital as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy or in your will, please remember to use the foundation’s correct legal name: British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, please contact the Gift & Estate Planning Team at or 604-875-2444.

summer 2012 speaking of children


speaking of people


4 AUCTIONMART The Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers hosted the 10th annual AuctionMart, an online auction featuring over $8-million worth of brand name products and services. Ten per cent of proceeds support the construction of the new BC Children’s Hospital. For further information visit or


5 the Bay Centre in downtown Victoria. Patient families and caregivers shared their stories, inspiring listeners to donate.

MOTHER’S DAY CAMPAIGN Over 24 restaurants located from the Lower Mainland to Oliver donated a portion of sales on Mother’s Day weekend to support BC’s kids. Diners and participating restaurants made the day a success for children – and mothers!

HOOKED ON MIRACLES LOTTERY WINNERS Shahab Mohensi, Damoon Ziba, Ghasem Mohensi & Bahman Rahimi-Alabadi of Coquitlam, shared BC Children’s Hospital Choices Lottery’s $2-million grand prize. Lottery proceeds of more than $2.5 million will support research at Children’s Hospital into the prevention and treatment of, and cures for, childhood illnesses.

The 2012 Hooked on Miracles Fishing Tournament took place June 21-24 at Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino and saw participants enjoy an all-inclusive three-day spring salmon fishing excursion, while raising funds for BC’s kids. The inaugural fishing tournament last year raised $315,000 for BC Children’s Hospital, and anglers were casting for a $350,000 target this year.



The 10th annual OCEAN 98.5 Radiothon for Kids, BC Children’s Hospital’s longest-running radiothon, raised $160,250 on May 10 and 11 at

The ninth annual Walmart Walk for Miracles took place June 10 in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Hundreds of Walmart associates, their families

14 speaking of children summer 2012

6 and community members collected pledges to walk a one- or five-kilometre route in support of BC Children’s Hospital. Walks took place across Canada to support children’s hospitals as part of the Children’s Miracle Network. For more information visit

A TRUE BRITISH COLUMBIAN BC Children’s Hospital’s largest individual donor will receive the Order of BC. In May, the Government of BC announced that Dr. Djavad Mowafaghian, whose $6-million gift made possible the renovation of the Oncology Outpatient Clinic and several other units at BC Children’s, will receive the Order.

WELCOME ADDITION Linda Muller recently joined the foundation as vice-president and chief philanthropy officer. Previously, she was with the Geneva-based World Health Organization for 10 years, leading the fundraising, communications and advocacy effort for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

what’s on




The end of the penny is drawing near, and it’s time to take the coin-filled jars, baskets or boxes stashed around your home to the nearest RBC branch and make your change matter! Until September 4, every RBC branch in the province is collecting coins to help build a new BC Children’s Hospital. Every penny counts.

In conjunction with its sponsorship of the LPGA Canadian Open Women’s Championship, taking place at the Vancouver Club in Coquitlam, August 20-26, Canadian National Railways has partnered with BC Children’s Hospital to raise funds for BC’s kids through the CN Miracle Match.


CN will match individual donations of up to $5,000 made between May 8 and August 26. In addition, a percentage of regularly priced LPGA Open ticket sales will go to BC Children’s and matched by CN. Visit to learn more.

Hosted by the Development & Real Estate Division, this tournament takes place July 19 at Tsawwassen’s Beach Grove Golf Cub.

FORE! 17 YEARS DAIRY QUEEN MIRACLE TREAT DAY Enjoy a cool Blizzard treat on July 26 and support BC’s kids. In 2011, participating Dairy Queen locations raised over $340,000.

For 17 years, participants have lined up to join the Overwaitea Food Group Classic Fore Kids golf tournament. Proceeds from this year’s September 13 event at the Northview Golf Club in Surrey go to Child Health BC, helping give kids access to the specialized care they need closer to home.

BATS FOR A CAUSE The fourth annual Bats for a Cause softball tournament takes place at the Mission Sports Fields in Kelowna on July 28 and 29. This event raised over $40,000 last year.


Photos: 1 Participants at last year’s Walmart Walk for Miracles; 2 Dr. Djavad Mowafaghian, BC Children’s Hospital’s largest individual donor, has been awarded the Order of BC; 3 2012 Choices Lottery winners; 4 Patient families share their stories with listeners at the OCEAN 98.5 Radiothon for Kids: Eathn Gregory (left) speaks to host Heather Palak; 5 Morning show hosts Michael Forbes and Lisa Marshall with Mya Bosdet and her family, mom Lisa, dad Jeffery and brother Owen; 6 Linda Muller joined the foundation as vice-president and chief philanthropy officer; 7 OCEAN 98.5 host Rob Michaels (left) with Emily Cotey and her mom Erin Vipond.

ISLAND BIG RIG CLUB Like trucks? Then don’t miss the Island Big Rig Club’s annual Butch Taylor Memorial Vancouver Island Truck Show August 3-6 at the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society in Saanichton. Proceeds go to BC Children’s Hospital.

TIM HORTONS SMILE COOKIES Enjoy a delicious chocolate chip cookie at participating Tim Hortons locations in the Lower Mainland from September 17-23 and help put smiles back where they belong. Over $187,000 was raised in 2011 to help kids at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

A NIGHT OF MIRACLES The fourth annual A Night of Miracles gala takes place Saturday, October 13, at the Marriott Pinnacle Vancouver Downtown. This black-tie event will attract close to 400 guests in celebration of the South Asian community’s support for child health. For more information on any of the upcoming events, please call 604-875-2444.

Foundation staff member, Lorri Hewitt (left) with Ron Basi, president, Island Big Rig Club.

summer 2012 speaking of children


healthy habits

Eat them, they’re

good for you

Mounting evidence proves that kids who eat their fruits and vegetables are healthier than those who don’t.

A lot of attention is being paid lately – by media and policy-makers alike – to the issue of obesity among children. Obesity has reached epidemic status – obesity rates in children have almost tripled in the last 25 years and approximately 26 per cent of Canadian children, aged two to 17 years old, are currently overweight or obese. Obesity and obesity-related health issues – including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, liver disease and respiratory problems – place a significant burden on our economy. In 2001, direct and indirect costs associated with obesity were estimated at $4.3 billion. And our children are at risk of being the first generation in modern times to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

16 speaking of children summer 2012

THE ROLE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Reversing obesity is a complex challenge, which makes prevention, education and awareness key to changing the course of this epidemic. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, nutrients, fibre and phytochemicals that are essential to a body’s ability to develop and defend itself against an array of health hazards. A diet that is rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may also help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer and heart disease. According to a 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, children who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day are less likely to become overweight or obese than children who eat less than three servings per day. Children are also more likely to respond to

something they can relate to. With that in mind, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and its partners recently launched a consumer education initiative called Fruits and Veggies - Mix it up!® aimed at helping Canadians of all ages eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle. The program encourages parents to think about variety in their choice of fruits and vegetables for themselves and their children, and to be creative when preparing fruits and veggies by using a mix of flavours, colours, textures and tastes. Program materials are delivered through schools, health units and other stakeholders – like the BC Produce Marketing Association (BCPMA) – across Canada.



In addition to the Mix it up!® program, CPMA designed the Freggie™ Children’s Program to encourage school-aged children to eat fruits and vegetables as part of their lunches and snacks at school, while helping them understand the benefits of making healthy food choices that include fresh fruits and vegetables. The program is intended to educate children about taking responsibility for their overall health so that they develop healthy eating habits as they grow.

on the Fruits and Veggies Mix it up!® and Freggie™ Children’s programs and to access other helpful resources on how you can take steps


toward healthy eating, visit

For 26 years, the BCPMA has partnered with BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s ChildRun as a major sponsor to raise funds and to increase children’s awareness of the importance of developing healthy eating habits early in life. By supplying fruits and vegetables to participants on run day, and providing information about the benefits of healthy eating, BCPMA’s messages have reached hundreds of thousands of British Columbians over the years. and

Test your nutrition knowledge 1. Fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients like: a) Vitamins A and C b) Minerals like potassium and magnesium c) Fibre d) Phytochemicals e) All of the above 2. A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may: a) Help lower your risk of heart disease b) Help keep your digestive system regular c) Help keep your bones strong d) All of the above

3. Diets rich in dietary fibre have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects including decreased risk of coronary artery disease. a) True b) False 4. Which of the following vitamin has been proven to help keep eyes and skin healthy, and protect against infections? a) Vitamin A b) Vitamin B c) Vitamin C d) Vitamin D Answers: 1e; 2d; 3a; 4a.

Information for this article was provided by the BC Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. summer 2012 speaking of children


what’s up, doc?

Dr. Deborah McFadden FAMILY / PERSONAL PICTURE I am married to Dr. Ken Berean, an anatomical pathologist, and I have three adult children – two daughters and one son. Both daughters are joining us in medicine – one daughter is in a psychiatry residency and the other is a medical student. Our son has bucked the family trend and is entering law school in September.

WHY I BECAME A DOCTOR I am one of those people who has known I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was eight years old. I think this is because I wanted to do good and help people in a way that would be endlessly interesting and involving.

WHAT YOU’D NEVER KNOW ABOUT ME I am embarking on yoga teacher training. I don’t really plan to teach but one never knows!

HOBBIES My favourite leisure activity is reading. I have taken up yoga in the last few years and love that. I can occasionally be cajoled into cross-country skiing.

BEHIND THE STETHOSCOPE For me, it’s “behind the microscope” as I am a pediatric anatomical pathologist. I work in an area of medicine called developmental pathology, which combines pathology and genetics in the understanding of conditions that affect children. As a Child & Family Research Institute clinical investigator, my research focuses on learning how genetics and epigenetics – chemical modifications to DNA that influence how and when genes are turned on and off – affect human growth and development.




I went to medical school at the University of Calgary and started residency training in Vancouver in Internal Medicine, switching to Anatomical Pathology. My fellowships in pediatric pathology and cytogenetics were in Vancouver at BC Children’s Hospital.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

18 speaking of children summer 2011

I love what I do but if I were to change that, I would probably do a bit more of everything non-work that I like: more reading, more yoga, more travel, and maybe going back to school.

PHILOSOPHY I try to live with integrity and a sense of inquiry. I value maintaining openness to learning and generosity of spirit.

children speak

on. ardeep Sekh ancouver, m A is e m a n Hi my d I li v e in V g n a ld o s r a e o r ti n I am 11 y y I a m s u p p m y s is te r , h w n o s a e r e cause BC. Th o s p it a l is b e c c id e n t. H ’s n e r d il h BC C ar a v o lv e d in a c in s a w , a iy r P th is r te d le a r n in g g r a . ta s I p u w e bhan As I gr d a n c e c a ll e d n d a t m y l a r u lt u c i b P u n ja e r f o r m in g a r te d p d te r ta s I e s ta L a te r o n , th e a u d ie n c w a s e c n a m r o f r e use I f ir s t p y a t m e b e c a I to ld m y e n o m g in w o th r day e ll . O n th a t ney d a n c in g s o w w a n te d to d o n a te th e m o n . re I p a r e n ts th a t to h e lp a ll th e s ic k c h il d al rence. to th e h o s p it m a k e a d if f e to d te n a w So I e c ti n g m o n e y ll o c n e e b e v o r ld s I ha F o r s ix y e a r l. O n M a y 2 0 1 1 in th e W it a for f o r th e h o s p ed over $500 is a r I n o th o f S m il e s te le o s p it a l a n d th is y e a r , H B C C h il d r e n ’s o r e – $ 6 1 3 ! m I r a is e d e v e n

Dear Children’s Hospital . . . After a car accident at the age of four and a half left his sister a quadriplegic, dependent on a ventilator and a wheelchair, her brother decided to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital – through his love of dance.

Do you have a story about BC Children’s Hospital to tell? Please submit your Miracle Kid stories to

summer 2012 speaking of children


miracle weekend

2012 BC Children’s Hospital

MIRACLE WEEKEND MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR The theme of this year’s 25th annual Miracle Weekend is miracles, memories and milestones. As I wrap up my second and final year as Miracle Weekend chair, I’m pleased to share my own miracles, memories and milestones. I witnessed a miracle in our Champion Child, 17-year-old Lindsey Lourenco. Having already beaten cancer twice, Lindsey was chosen to represent BC Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network in the Champions presented by Walmart Program. In January, her family learned of the unthinkable: Lindsey’s leukemia returned and this time, the Lourenco family was told to prepare for the worst. After many close calls, Lindsey’s transplanted immune system finally fought back, and on June 1, Lindsey graduated high school with her twin sister, Sadie. To me Lindsey’s survival is nothing short of a miracle. Over the past two years, I’ve made many memories that will last a lifetime. I’ve met many dedicated volunteers, and amazing patients and families who have all changed my perspective on life. My fondest memory will always be of seeing everyone’s smiling faces as the final total is revealed at the end of the Miracle Weekend broadcast. The milestones we’ve achieved are represented in the amount of funds raised for BC Children’s Hospital. I am proud to be a part of a team that has accomplished so much for the children of BC, by raising funds that support research, equipment and province-wide education programs. I’d like to thank all of the viewers from across the province who tuned in on June 2 and 3 and supported us with a donation. I’m pleased to pass the baton to Raymond Li, who will be chair of the 2013 Miracle Weekend. Thank you again to all of our supporters, and I hope that you will help us create more miracles, memories and milestones for BC’s kids. Sincerely, John Ridley Chair, 2012 BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Weekend

20 speaking of children summer 2012




Thousands of British Columbians wore jeans on April 26 during the 22nd annual Jeans Day™. Schools and businesses ordered over 200,000 $5 buttons and over 40,000 $20 lapel pins and, with support from school program sponsor Odlum Brown Limited and hockey card program sponsor Duso’s Fresh Pasta and Sauces, they raised $1.2 million for BC’s kids!

The 2012 Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend raised $1,025,602 for Operation Superhero to support the construction of the Oncology Inpatient Unit in the new Children’s Hospital. Funds were raised during the telethon on Fairchild Television on June 2 and through radiothons on CHMB AM1320 and Fairchild Radio AM1470.


6 CHILDRUN presented by the Wilson Family

Seventy-nine corporate teams stepped up to the plate at Softball City May 25-27 to hit a fundraising home run for BC’s kids. Inspired by the Ledcor Challenge, teams raised $476,361 to support the hospital’s most urgent needs. Top teams won the Vancouver Canadians Experience prize and an opportunity to throw the first pitch at Nat Bailey Stadium. Off the field, kids of all ages had fun at the Aldergrove Financial Group’s KidZone and bouncy castle.

Celebrating 27 years of ChildRun, over 5,138 runners, walkers and wheelers from across the Lower Mainland took to the streets June 3 to raise funds for pediatric oncology programs and research at BC Children’s Hospital. Participants of all ages raised $1,080,892 and enjoyed a morning of exercise and family entertainment. They also made their fundraising go further by participating in the Chip’s Challenge: Chip Wilson and his family made an additional $1,000 donation to the hospital for every participant who raised $1,000 or more.


There is nothing embarrassing about taking a pie in the face when it raises $2,002,378 for BC’s kids, as BC’s mining community did through the Teck Celebrity Pie Throw and participation in the Diamond Package Draw, Jeans Day™ and Slo-Pitch, as well as various employee and corporate giving campaigns. 4 A WORLD OF SMILES TELETHON

In partnership with Shaw Communications and numerous community groups and individuals, the South Asian community raised $360,810 at the 14th annual A World of Smiles telethon, broadcast province-wide on May 27. A special thank you to VIP reception sponsor Wings Restaurants & Pubs.





This year, the Retail & Wholesale Division raised over $5.2 million by organizing a huge number of fundraising activities that involved staff, customers, vendors and corporate supporters. Sector companies also took part in foundation initiatives such as Jeans Day™, Slo-Pitch and ChildRun. Since 1992, this division has raised over $37 million for BC’s kids.



7 summer 2012 speaking of children




Thank You British $17,939,688 raised

Chair John Ridley Vice-Chair Raymond Li, International Banking, RBC Physician Chair Dr. Erik Skarsgard, BC Children’s Hospital

MIRACLE WEEKEND FUNDRAISING CABINET Banks Alexander Fan, CIBC, Chair ChildRun Kendra Penrose & Jennifer Black, Co-Chairs; Roshanac Heed, Vice-Chair Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend Rebecca Chan, Modern Beauty Centre, Chair; Stella Chan, Primerica Financial Services & Venita Kwan, Care Plus Cleaning Services Ltd, Co-Vice-Chairs Credit Unions, Insurance & Financial Services Susan Byrom, Envision Financial, Chair Development & Real Estate George Crowhurst, BC Hydro, Chair Hospitality & Restaurants Nicholas Gandossi, Opus Hotel, Vice-Chair Jeans Day™ Ilda Brazinha, BMO, Chair; Cynthia Curll, BC Hydro, Vice-Chair Mining Colin Joudrie, Teck Resources Limited & Jason Weber, Kiska Metals, Co-Chairs Retail & Wholesale Calvin Johnson, Costless Express, Chair; Bruce Shepherd, Pacific Newspaper Group, Vice-Chair

On behalf of all the children and families who come to BC Children’s Hospital, thank you for making the 2012 Miracle Weekend an incredible success. We could not have done it without the support of our donors, volunteers, community groups, businesses, and events across BC and the Yukon. You are all Superheroes!

Slo-Pitch Cam Rathwell, HSBC, Chair; Aaron Stewardson, Maynards, Vice-Chair

MIRACLE WEEKEND OPERATIONS CABINET Catering David Rooney & Nia Vekris, Co-Chairs



Donations Management Carolyn Davies, Chair Guest Services Christina Papadimitriou, Chair Logistics Nicole Victor, Chair Play Area Brina Soni, Chair Presentations Donna Blaker & Laura Houghton, Co-Chairs Registration John Chandler, Chair Telephones Management Carol Miller & Helen Roelofsen, Co-Chairs TELUS Phones Lisa Stirling, Chair

COMMUNITIES FOR KIDS Port Alberni Barbara-Anne Kalugin & Steve Kalugin, Co-Chairs


Prince George John Abbott & Rick Mintz, Co-Chairs


Upper Fraser Valley Casey Hillton, Chair


Vanderhoof Corleen McNolty & Michelle Roberge, Co-Chairs



Equipment Health Promotion & Education Research Campaign for BC Children Miracle Weekend Direct Costs

Lindsey Lourenco, Champion Child, Champions presented by Walmart Program

22 speaking of children summer 2012

Columbia! for BC’s kids! $1M+ Costco Wholesale, Employees & Members Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Cooper’s Foods, Urban Fare & Bulkley Valley Wholesale Teck Celebrity Pie Throw

$750,000-$999,999 Hospitality & Restaurants Division Teck Resources Limited; Teck Highland Valley Copper; Teck Metals Ltd; Teck Coal Walmart Canada & Associates

$500,000-$749,999 CIBC Clients & Employees Credit Union, Insurance & Financial Services Division RE/MAX of Western Canada TD Bank Group – Employees

$250,000-$499,999 A World of Smiles Telethon Balding for Dollars Dairy Queen Canada Inc. Departments of Pediatric Anesthesia, Dentistry & Surgery Hooked on Miracles Fishing Tournament HSBC Bank Canada & Employees Medical Departments of BC Children’s Hospital and Child & Family Research Institute RBC and RBC Employees & Clients Slo-Pitch Event for BC Children’s Hospital

$100,000-$249,999 98.5 The OCEAN Asa and Kashmir Johal & Family Auxiliary to BC Children’s Hospital BMO Bank of Montreal Employees Building for Kids Charity Golf Classic Community for Kids – Victoria Goldcorp Inc. Golf for Kids Tournament Kirmac Collision Services Scotiabank Employees & Customers Sher-e-punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. Summits of Hope TELUS Team Members & Retirees Tim Hortons

$50,000-$99,999 BC Hydro Power Pioneers BMX Canada ABA Association Canada Safeway & Employees Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
















Community for Kids – Upper Fraser Valley Community for Kids – Vanderhoof Dr. Knox Middle School E. B. Horsman and Son Envision Financial ESSO The Hopkins Family’s Campaign for Hope Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program – BC & Yukon Macon Construction Prospera Credit Union Provincial Employees Community Services Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Rogers Communications Scamp Transport Ltd.

$25,000-$49,999 Bats for a Cause B.C. Road Builders & Heavy Construction Assoc. BC Safety Authority BC Scrapbooking Crop for Kids Canadian Western Bank Community for Kids – Port Alberni Endeavour Silver Corp. & Employees Great Basin Gold Limited Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club Hannah’s Heroes Foundation Highland Valley Copper & Employees Hospital Liaison Committee ICBC International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union Local 502 Ledcor Group of Companies

London Drugs Limited Marketplace IGA Marriott Hotels Mining Suppliers Association of BC North Shore Credit Union Order of the Eastern Star Silver Wheaton Surktek Industries Inc. Thrifty Foods Varshney Capital Corp.

$10,000-$24,999 99.3 The Fox AA Wayne’s Towing – Charity Car Program A Night for Kids – Croatian Community of Vancouver Alberni Valley Charity Golf Classic Aldergrove Credit Union AMEC AMPCO Manufacturers Avcorp Industries Inc. AWG/All West Glass Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Canfor Corporation Clean Energy BC C-Lovers Fish & Chips Community for Kids – Central Vancouver Island Community for Kids – Kelowna Copper Mountain Mining Corporation Deepak Binning Foundation Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation Dynasty Seafood Restaurant Eric Hamber “Edutones” Evening to Inspire Finning (Canada)

FL Smidth Knelson Friends of Oncology Kids Fs Financial Strategies Inc. G & F Financial Genuity Capital Markets Golder Associates Ltd. & Employees Gord Heppler Memorial Run Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant Grand Hale Marine Products Greater Vancouver Charity Classic Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club Heart to Heart Golf Tournament Humphrey Construction Ltd. ILWU Ship & Dock Foremen Local 514 Imperial Metals Corporation Interlock Industries (B.C.) Ltd. Jade Seafood Restaurant Jordan Owens Memorial Hockey Tournament Kids Can Help Kinder KPMG Legendary Developments Ltd. Liberty Wine Merchants Long & McQuade lululemon athletica Mangia E Bevi Ristorante McMillan LLP Michele Cake Shop MNP LLP Mortgage Brokers Association of BC New Gold Inc. Norco Products Ltd. Northair Group NovaCopper Inc. NovaGold Resources Inc. Nyrstar PartyLite Gifts Ltd. Qualex Landmark Developments Quorum Construction (B.C.) Ltd. Rio Tinto Alcan River Rock Casino Resort Robert L. Conconi Foundation Ryders Eyewear Sears Canada Foundation SMS Equipment Inc. Southwest Contracting Ltd. The Source UBC Bhangra Club Union of Canadian Correctional Officers – Pacific Vancity Savings Credit Union Vancouver Police Dept Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn & Pottery Barn Kids Women in Mining Yellow Pages

summer 2012 speaking of children


Children have a lot of questions.

2011/2012 annual report

Thanks to the support of our donors, hundreds of thousands of children and youth in BC and the Yukon have a lifetime ahead of them to seek answers. Go to to learn how your support is helping to address the needs, and questions, of the children and families at BC Children’s Hospital.

PM 40659514

Speaking of Children, Summer 2012  

Summer edition of BC Children's Hospital Foundation "Speaking of Children" magazine

Speaking of Children, Summer 2012  

Summer edition of BC Children's Hospital Foundation "Speaking of Children" magazine