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spring 2013


Leading Change


superhero news

Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation give to the heart Earlier this year, the Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation donated $5 million toward construction of the new BC Children’s Hospital and, specifically, to support the creation of a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and enhance care for children with heart disease. The gift brings the total raised in the Campaign for BC Children to $162 million.

Caregivers in the new Cardiac Intensive Care Unit will provide specialized, round-the-clock care to children with complex heart conditions. The construction of this unit will place BC Children’s Hospital among the few hospitals in North America with an area in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit dedicated to serving children with heart problems.

“Milan and Maureen Ilich were the first million-dollar individual donors to the Campaign for BC Children,” said Teri Nicholas, president and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This recent gift from the Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation signifies their unwavering commitment to the health of BC’s children and builds on the tremendous legacy they have already left for BC’s children.”

The Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation gift will also support the hiring of a nurse practitioner who will help care for children recovering from heart surgery, and the immediate purchase of life-saving equipment used in the care of these children in the current hospital. In 2012 alone doctors at BC Children’s Hospital performed 187 open-heart surgeries on children, half of whom were under a year old. Maureen and Milan Ilich.

For Children We Care Close to 700 guests helped raise $1,105,986 at the For Children We Care gala, organized by the Chinese-Canadian community, on February 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. With the addition of $940,000 in generous multi-year pledges announced at the event, For Children We Care will have a $2-million impact on the delivery of care to BC’s children. “I’m proud to belong to a community that is so generous and committed to the health of our children,” said Sylvia Chen.“I would like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and donors for their pledge of support. We owe the gala’s success to them. I encourage everyone to continue giving, so that BC’s children and families can continue to have access to the best possible medical care.” Over its 18-year history the gala has raised over $10.6 million for BC Children’s Hospital. In the past three years alone the ChineseCanadian community raised $5 million to support the construction of the Oncology Inpatient Unit in the new Children’s Hospital. 2 speaking of children spring 2013

From left: Teri Nicholas, For Children We Care chair Sylvia Chen, Sandy So, vice-chair Michael Lam, past chair Ludia Li with committee members and guests.

inside speaking of children


spring 2013

6 Promising privacy Private rooms will make anesthetic care easier for families. MANAGING EDITOR Stephen Forgacs

8 Leading the way

EDITOR Tara Turner

The gift of a kidney changes a seven-year-old’s life.

CONTRIBUTORS Mona Bhullar, Chantel Canessa, Alissa Collingridge, Angela Crowther, Kerry Gold, Rebecca Keillor, Minna Miller, Susan Shumay, Janice Williams

10 Setting new standards Child Health BC sets the bar for cerebral palsy and hip care.

PHOTOGRAPHY Irvin Cheung, C&W Media Services, James LaBounty, Rob Lyons ART DIRECTOR Gabriele Chaykowski





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 Charitable Business Number: 11885 2433 RR0001 BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, 938 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4

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

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



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


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spring 2013 speaking of children


well said

Looking back, moving forward This April marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Campaign for BC Children. As chair of the campaign, I am pleased with our achievements of the past five years and excited about concluding the campaign in the year ahead. We are now in the final leg of fundraising to support the construction of a new BC Children’s Hospital and improve access to pediatric care services throughout the province. It has been a long haul, but our success to date is testament to both the importance of our mission and the incredible dedication of our donors and friends. To date, more than 70,000 individuals and organizations have collectively contributed over $162 million toward our $200-million campaign goal.

BC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION Board of Directors 2013 as of January 31, 2013

Mr. Kevin Bent, Chair Mr. David Doig Mr. Larry Gold Mr. Doug Gordon Mrs. Lisa Hudson Mrs. Tammi Kerzner

It is remarkable to me that so many people across BC and the Yukon have acted independently and yet together to bring about positive change for our children. Clearly this opportunity to effect change is inspiring people to join us.

Mr. Donald Lindsay Mr. Graham MacLachlan Mr. Bjorn Moller

For the past five years, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation has essentially been engaged in two campaigns: our annual Miracle Weekend, which meets the annual and urgent funding priorities of the hospital and the Child & Family Research Institute, and our campaign to support the construction of the new hospital. Miracle Weekend ensures children receive excellent care today. The Campaign for BC Children, on the other hand, is aimed at addressing the needs of children tomorrow and those of future generations. Both campaigns are worthy and necessary, and they make your support all the more important. As we strive to complete the Campaign for BC Children, we are asking all British Columbians to give. We are looking to you, our friends and supporters, to help us spread the word of this great need and important cause. With your help we can achieve our goal and build a hospital we can be proud of. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a part of creating a new BC Children’s Hospital and a legacy for future generations. You hold the power to lead this change.

Mr. Geoff Parkin Dr. Erik Skarsgard Ms. Andrea Southcott Ms. Sandy So Mrs. Diane Zell

Foundation Executive Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW President & CEO

I look forward to celebrating the day when we meet our goal and to watching as the new hospital takes shape. Thank you,

Linda Muller, MBA Vice-President & Chief Philanthropy Officer

Knut Nordlie, CFRE Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer

Don Lindsay Chair, The Campaign for BC Children President & CEO, Teck Resources Limited

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Debora Sweeney, CFRE Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer

As medicine and technology evolve, we are seeing more and more changes in the way health care is delivered. But there is one thing that remains the same: our determination to ensure all of BC’s children get the absolute best care, whenever and wherever they need it. With the construction of a new BC Children’s Hospital in the near future, the landscape of the hospital site will be revitalized, as will the practices that take place within it. From the children and families who come to the hospital to the caregivers, donors and policy makers, we can all play a role in the coming transformation in child health care. In this issue of Speaking of Children, you will read about some of the people and programs that make BC Children’s Hospital great. Learn how children in the new hospital will benefit from revolutionary anesthetic care, enhanced pediatric kidney transplant and dialysis programs, and innovative standards for province-wide care. These are just a few of the many leading changes being made possible with your support.

spring 2013 speaking of children


feature story

The Tees-DeBeyer brothers.

For kids going into or coming out of surgery, having a private room can be the difference between having a traumatic experience and a positive one. by KERRY GOLD

6 speaking of children fall 2012

If there’s a moment when we crave privacy the most, it’s when we are sick. That fact isn’t lost on BC Children’s Hospital pediatric anesthesiologist, Dr. Eleanor Reimer (right). Dr. Reimer understands that family privacy is an essential part of treatment, which is why patients will have private rooms and bathrooms when the new BC Children’s Hospital is finished and ready for occupancy in 2018. “It shouldn’t be traumatic. That’s the goal of what we do,” says Dr. Reimer. “We make sure they wake up with familiar things around them, and as pain-free as we can make them. When they wake, it should be, ‘this is wonderful. I’m done.’” Dr. Reimer is the co-chair of the Integrated Project Delivery Team, so she was one of the physician representatives who spent nearly a year working with a life-size cardboard model of the new hospital floor plan, determining the best flow of its rooms, floor by floor. In the new Anesthetic care Unit, the same nurses will provide pre-operative and post-operative care. When patients currently go in for surgery, they are transferred between staff and along hallways to different departments. They go from surgical day care to the first-stage recovery room, then either to the ward, or back to the day care area to be discharged, depending on how they are doing. “We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if kids came in for surgery and into the same unit they would return to after surgery, and not be moved around?’” says Dr. Reimer. Dr. Reimer is especially empathetic to kids’ privacy because she was treated for a chronic bone infection as a child. She recalls the indignity of being examined in corridors. “I remember being very humiliated. People don’t recognize that children need privacy and respect. We forget it.” The added privacy and streamlined care will improve the lives of the Tees-DeBeyer brothers, Malcolm, 12, William, 8, and James, 4, who have been frequent visitors to BC Children’s Hospital since they were born. Dr. Reimer is one of the doctors who has watched the boys’ progress as they’ve undergone regular surgeries to treat congenital scoliosis, which has caused their spines to curve. In order to help with breathing and allow the boys to lead a normal life, each

boy has had a titanium rib implanted to straighten the spine and expand the ribs. First used in the United States, Malcolm was the first to have the procedure in BC. The implant, called a vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR), is adjusted by their orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Reilly, every six months or so, as the boys grow. Each adjustment requires day surgery, and about two or three days of home recovery, says their father, Dan DeBeyer. Although the boys usually go home the same day, they sometimes resist having to go to the hospital yet again. To help ease their anxiety, their parents are allowed to be in the operating room and one of them will hold their son until the general anesthesia takes effect. “It’s not easy,” says Dan. “Privacy will be a nice feature because in pre-op everyone is anxious and different people and children react differently to surgeries,” he says. “And parents are waiting anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. And it’s difficult. As much as you trust what is going on, you are worrying about things.” Dr. Reimer was there for Malcolm’s first procedure, when he was just a baby. All boys were born with the condition, which would be fatal without treatment due to pulmonary infections, she says. “They are all in it together,” she says. “The kids do really well. It’s so great for me to see them through it. And believe it or not, they don’t have huge amounts of pain because we know what pain medication to give them ahead of time. And we’re just making tiny incisions to adjust the internal hardware and stretch the ribs further.” Without the VEPTR implants, Dan says his eldest son, Malcolm, would probably be in a wheelchair. Instead, he’s on his school’s basketball team. His second son, William, has run the annual five-kilometre ChildRun. “A good outcome for us was to have sons who have a long life ahead of them and essentially are normal,” says Dan. “And that is what we feel has been achieved for the boys, through working with the hospital, and having these procedures done.”

spring 2013 speaking of children


feature story

The gift of a kidney from his grandmother has changed the course of seven-year-old Nathan Mitchell’s life. by REBECCA KEILLOR

For Tina Mitchell, hearing her seven-year-old son, Nathan, say he’s hungry and ask for food still feels like something of a miracle. In his short life he has undergone seven surgeries, but one in particular has made all the difference. Diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome just before he turned three – a condition in which damaged kidneys leak abnormal amounts of protein into the urine –Nathan’s body was painfully swollen with fluid. After he was referred to BC Children’s Hospital’s Nephrology Program, doctors found that a genetic condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis was the cause of his kidney problems. Within a year he was so sick he had to be tube-fed. “With the genetic condition they know that there’s no treatment,” says Tina. “There’s no medicine that works and so the disease just continually breaks down the kidneys until they don’t work anymore, and at that point you need either dialysis or transplant.” Fortunately for Nathan, transplant was an option, and his grandmother offered to donate a kidney.

8 speaking of children spring 2013

The difference Nathan’s transplant has made to his quality of life is indescribable, says his mother. “I remember he was always so tired and exhausted. And after transplant this little ball of energy would bounce into our bed and use his fingers to pry open my eyes. He’d say ‘wake up mum,’ and it was just so weird for me to see him up so early and have all this energy. It was just such an absolute joy.”

Nathan with his parents Jason and Tina Mitchell.

“I think maybe the right word for how we felt when we heard my mom was a suitable donor is overjoyed,” says Tina. “It was really hard as parents to know we were not suitable donors because we are carriers of the gene that caused Nathan’s kidney disease. And the fact that she could give him what we couldn’t – a second chance at life – we are just so grateful.” The primary care providers for children with complex kidney disease in BC, and the second largest pediatric renal program in Canada, BC Children’s Nephrology Program is the only one in the hospital that regularly provides solid organ transplants. Doctors perform an average of 10 per year, and maintain an active transplant program with over 50 children. The renal team includes physicians, nurses, child life specialists, dieticians, psychologists, pharmacists and social workers. “I think the full team support is what sets BC Children’s apart from other hospitals,” says Tina. “Because it’s not just about treating the child, it’s about helping the parents understand and including them as part of the health-care team. They recognize that they’re dealing with parents who are scared for their children.” Transplants like Nathan’s are on the rise in Canada. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information the number of living kidney donors for pediatric transplantation has quadrupled over the last 25 years. At least 90 per cent of young patients are receiving organs from parents or other relatives.

These days, Nathan can attend school, ride a bike, do gymnastics or dance if he wishes. “I feel like I’m getting to see the kid he would have been had he not gone through all of this,” says Tina. Transplants are not a complete cure. At some stage in the future, Nathan will need another one and potentially dialysis too. Referred to as “life-sustaining therapy” by BC Children’s director of dialysis, Dr. Colin White, dialysis does the job of the kidneys when they are no longer able to manage the salts, water and poisons that build up in the bloodstream. For children who are too sick to undergo transplant surgery or awaiting a kidney donor, the Nephrology Program’s Renal Dialysis Unit is vital. When the new hospital opens in 2018, families will benefit from better safety measures and a more comfortable environment for both the children having dialysis and their parents, who spend up to 20 hours a week in the unit. The number of children requiring dialysis in Canada is rising. “I’d like to say we won’t need to dialyze any child in BC by 2020, but that’s not going to happen,” says Dr. White. “I think the numbers may be going up over time because we’re getting so good at taking care of very sick children.”

Read more about the Renal Dialysis Unit in the new BC Children’s Hospital at

spring 2013 speaking of children


feature story

Child Health BC raises the bar in caring for kids with cerebral palsy. by MONA BHULLAR

Nine-year-old Kai Gotro is healing well and, if all goes according to plan, the rods and pins that are keeping his thighs aligned with his hips will be taken out in September. His grandparents Jean and Paul Gotro, who adopted Kai as a toddler, receive this good news from pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kishore Mulpuri during a follow-up visit at the Orthopedic Clinic at BC Children’s. Kai has cerebral palsy (CP) and underwent surgery twice in 2012 to repair his dislocated hips. “We could tell that Kai was in a lot of pain and were convinced that his quality of life would be better after surgery,” says Paul. Dr. Mulpuri has particular expertise in hip-related disorders and, in recent years, has set his sights on ensuring that British Columbian children with CP, who commonly experience hip problems, benefit from early detection and care – avoiding unnecessary pain and long-term problems. “Because most children with CP have difficulty with muscle tone and coordination, they’re at an increased risk of developing hip displacement,” says Dr. Mulpuri. “Progressive Dr. Mulpuri shows Paul Gotro an X-ray of Kai’s hips.

Kai Gotro during a visit to BC Children’s Hospital.

hip displacement can eventually lead to hip dislocation and this can affect a child immensely. They experience severe pain and discomfort, have a reduced ability to move their hip joint, have difficulty with personal care, poor balance when sitting and sores.” Hip displacement occurs when the top of the thigh bone, or femur, gradually moves out from under the socket. Hip dislocation occurs when the bone has moved right out of the socket. “Kai never developed proper hip sockets so both of his hips became dislocated,” says Jean. Surgery was necessary to relieve the pain and to alleviate Kai’s muscle spasticity. Kai has faced a long recovery, but both grandparents feel the surgery was worthwhile. “He was in so much pain afterward, too, but we knew it would get better, and it did,” says Paul. “We’ve spent a lot of time at Children’s and Sunny Hill for Kai’s rehab. The level of care is exceptional and the level of support for the family is amazing.” Kai was diagnosed with CP shortly after birth. He makes regular visits to BC Children’s Hospital and also receives care at home in Kamloops from his community health-care team. “A multidisciplinary team approach is essential in treating children with complex conditions,” says Dr. Mulpuri. “I’m grateful to the hospital’s administration for its funding and also to physiotherapist Stacey Miller for her work in building the multidisciplinary team at BC Children’s Orthopedic Cerebral Palsy Clinic.”

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caring for the future

To reduce and prevent the incidence of hip dislocation, Dr. Mulpuri is taking the lead in creating a province-wide hip surveillance program for children with CP. Child Health BC – a Children’s Hospital initiative aimed at improving access to child and youth health services in all BC communities – has been instrumental in helping to facilitate discussions among multidisciplinary stakeholders across the province. These stakeholders include staff at BC Children’s and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, parents, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, family physicians, policy makers and health administrators. The group has examined similar hip surveillance programs in Australia and Sweden. The incidence of hip dislocation in children with CP has virtually been eliminated in Sweden. “I’m pleased that we’ve reached consensus on our desire to move toward a hip surveillance program in BC,” says Dr. Mulpuri. “We’ve developed a framework on the standards of care that includes the frequency of surveillance, elements of the radiographic and clinical exam, physiotherapy assessment and discharge criteria. Our goal is to improve a child’s quality of life and reduce the need for complex surgical intervention.” It’s anticipated that Child Health BC will facilitate the rollout of the program provincewide sometime this year, creating the first formal North American hip surveillance program. Kai still has a long recovery ahead, but Jean and Paul look forward to seeing that recovery broaden Kai’s horizons. “We’re hoping to get Kai back on a horse as soon as we can. It’s such good therapy,” says Jean.

Read more of Kai’s story at

Top five things to consider before writing your will More than half of British Columbians who die each year do not have a will. This means provincial legislation decides who gets what and who takes responsibility for underage children. Procrastination and being overwhelmed are the most common reasons for not having a will. Here are the top five things to help you in your estate planning: 1. Who’s in charge? Appoint an executor or executrix to look after your estate. He or she should be your age or younger and aware of this role. Choose a family member, friend or – if your family or estate are complicated – consider a trust corporation or lawyer. 2. Minor children. For children under the age of 19 you must appoint a guardian in case both parents die. Though unlikely, this is the most important reason to have a will. A guardian should be the best person to care for your children other than you. Remember that a will can always be revised as your lives change. 3. Don’t worry about your stuff. Don’t get bogged down thinking about who gets your personal/household items. Often the best solution is to include a short list of beneficiaries for meaningful items (jewelry, art, car etc.) and let the executor do the rest. 4. Who gets what? If you’re married or common law it’s simple – everything can go to your spouse; when you’re both gone, everything goes to your children or family, equally. If your situation is more complicated with a second marriage or an estranged child, for example, a lawyer experienced in estate planning can explain your options. 5. Giving back. Leaving a gift to charity is a meaningful way to give back and can be a practical way to limit taxes on your estate. Including a bequest or residual gift requires planning and starts with knowing what is important to you. The bottom line: A will reduces future complications. Seek legal and/or financial advice from professionals to avoid headaches for your executor and family. Your will doesn’t have to be perfect – you can always change it – but having a will is always better than the alternative!

To request our Guide to Giving booklet or learn more about BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, please contact the Gift & Estate Planning Team at or 604-875-2444 or 1-888-663-3303.

spring 2013 speaking of children


speaking of people 3


1 CRYSTAL BALL The 26th annual Crystal Ball, presented by The Radcliffe Foundation, raised over $1.1 million for the Campaign for BC Children. The Crystal Ball committee, led by chair Diane Norton, treated guests to the culinary creations of the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver’s executive chef Ned Bell, perfectly paired with wines from Painted Rock Estate Winery. The event was made possible by Crystal sponsors Canaccord Financial, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, New Gold Inc. and Universal Packaging Inc., as well as Crystal InKind sponsor the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Visit

A NIGHT OF MIRACLES The fourth annual A Night of Miracles, co-presented by Fasken Martineau and RBC, raised over $350,000 toward the South Asian community’s five-year pledge to raise $3 million to build an interventional radiology room in the new Children’s Hospital. Guests enjoyed the culinary delights of Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown’s executive chef Frank Gort in collaboration with Vikram Vij of Vij’s Restaurant. The event was made possible by VIP sponsor Faronics, Auction sponsor Odys12 speaking of children spring 2013

2 sey International, Entertainment sponsor KTL Transport and Evening sponsors Ampri Group, Beedie Development Group, HSBC, KPMG, Lawson Lundell, Nature’s Path, Smythe Ratcliffe and Twin Brook Developments Ltd. A Night of Miracles has raised over $1 million for the Campaign for BC Children.

FESTIVAL OF TREES Festival of Trees Vancouver had another successful year, raising more than $125,000. Congratulations to “Kids 4 Kids” – the Delf Family for winning both the Best Rookie and People’s Choice awards, and thanks to Presenting sponsor Karen Wolverton / LUSH Handmade Cosmetics, our tree sponsors and donors.

5 Festival of Trees on Vancouver Island raised over $144,000 this year. Victoria brought in $122,000, Port Alberni raised $19,200 and Sooke raised $3,000. Thanks to all participants for a successful season and congratulations to the People’s Choice award winners: Super Nurses for Superheroes (Victoria), West Coast General Hospital Staff (Port Alberni) and Sooke Montessori (Sooke).

ASHLEY’S COMFORT BAGS In memory of her daughter, Ashley, Lori Lowey and family are helping to make unexpected hospital stays a little easier for families. “Ashley’s Comfort Bags” are kits for parents who find themselves at BC Children’s without a tooth-

Photos (from left): 1 Casey Wright and Aaron McArthur surrounded by guests at the Crystal Ball; 2 Ashley Lowey; 3 Macquarie Group cheque presentation with Mr. and Mrs. Philip and Maggie Francis, Dr. Caron Strahlendorf, Mrs. Linda Chrystal, Mrs. Betty Kronier, Mrs. Lorraine Palmer, Mrs. Michele Cupit, Mrs. Lisa Roberts, Ms. Lani Schultz and Mr. Mike Brow; 4 Surtek Industries cheque presentation with Vijay Tharmarajah, Ian Lodewyke, Saranya Tharmarajah, Gautam Hariharan, Shamini Tharmarajah, Ravinder Khun Khun, Neel Sidhu, Tanya Linau, Suresh Absalom, Bijendra Naidu and Simi Sihota; 5 Nico and Kaitlyn Morovic celebrate with TD staff; 6 Teri Nicholas (far left) and president of BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill, Larry Gold (far right) with the Auxiliary to BC Children’s Hospital president Helen Roelofsen and past presidents Phyllis Abbott, Carol Miller, Susie Isman, Marilyn Pomfret, Judy Walkey, Dee Sutherland and Daphne Cole at an event honouring the Auxiliary, which has raised over $5 million for the hospital; 7 Paul Bassan and Will Westeringh of A Night of Miracles co-presenting sponsors, RBC and Fasken Martineau respectively, with BC Children’s Hospital Foundation president & CEO Teri Nicholas, A Night of Miracles chair Robin Dhir and the Foundation’s board chair Kevin Bent; 8 Kids 4 Kids - The Delf Family tree at the Vancouver Festival of Trees.

what’s on



This spring marks the 11th annual AuctionMart online auction – the largest online auction in North America. Hosted by The Province and the Vancouver Sun newspapers. AuctionMart runs from April 10-15 and partial proceeds from items sold will be donated to the Campaign for BC Children. Register as a bidder today at



brush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant and other essentials. The family has been distributing the bags since 2009 and have been raising funds since 2008 when then 15-year-old Ashley was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Named to honour Ashley’s life, the comfort bags offer families a few simple comforts to help them through trying times.




Kaitlyn and Nico Morovic of Richmond helped TD staff at Coppersmith Plaza celebrate TD’s $50million milestone for funds raised for children’s hospitals across Canada. The Morovic family is grateful for the $9.2 million that has been directed to BC Children’s Hospital where Kaitlyn has been treated since birth.

MACQUARIE GROUP On December 7, Mike Brow and Philip Francis from Macquarie Private Wealth held a luncheon to support BC Children’s Hospital. Thanks to generous support from the Kronier and Greczmiel families and a matching grant from the Macquarie Group Foundation, $50,000 was raised for childhood cancer research. BC Children’s is one of 1,300 charitable causes the Macquarie Group Foundation supports.

Surtek Industries has proudly supported BC Children’s Hospital Foundation since 2000. Last December, to help celebrate the Surrey-based company’s 25th year of business, Surtek Industries generously presented a $25,000 cheque to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

BATS FOR A CAUSE The fifth annual Bats for a Cause softball tournament will take place in Kelowna at the Mission Sports Fields on July 27 and 28. This tournament has raised over $121,000 for BC Children’s Hospital to date and is always a blast! For more information and to register visit

After four years of dedicated service, Peter Green, vice-president Small and Medium Business, TELUS, has resigned from the board. Peter did a remarkable job of representing the TELUS philosophy of “giving where you live.” The Foundation is grateful for Peter’s participation on the board as a representative of TELUS, and for his personal commitment. Bjorn Moller joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors in January. Bjorn is the former president and CEO of Teekay Corporation where he served for more than 25 years in Denmark, England, the USA and Canada – as president and CEO for the last 13 years – before retiring in 2011. He serves on the board of the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Institute, the advisory board of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria and is the vice-chair of Mulgrave School Foundation. spring 2013 speaking of children


miracle miracle weekendweekend

Tune in Saturday, June 1, at 7 pm through Sunday, June 2, at 6 pm

2013 BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Join people across the province and wear your jeans on April 25 for the 23rd annual Jeans Day™. Show your support by buying a button or lapel pin and whatever you do – do it in denim! This year, you’ll see past and present heroes from the Vancouver Canucks wearing their jeans, on and off the ice, for BC’s kids. For more information, visit

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR Many of the children seen at the hospital, like our Champion Child Luca Piccolo, will require care at BC Children’s Hospital until they reach adulthood. Miracle Weekend fundraising has been supporting him since he was a young child, and will continue to support him for several years to come. Luca is a perfect example of why we have been coming together to raise urgently needed funds for the hospital for more than 25 years. The amazing team that works together to make Miracle Weekend happen every year helps us maintain our strong connection to the families, caregivers and donors in our community. It’s this strong community connection and your ongoing support that enables the hospital to provide children with the specialized care they require, whenever they need it. As the province’s children grow, and as the practice of medicine evolves, we must continue to adapt to the changes in care that are making surgeries safer, treatments better and, ultimately, enabling caregivers to save more lives. To allow BC Children’s to keep pace with this change, we have to continue to ask the community for support. This is what we achieve through Miracle Weekend. There are so many ways you can support Children’s Hospital – through buying a Jeans Day™ button, running in ChildRun, joining a Slo-Pitch team, or supporting your local bank or retailer with their fundraising. Everyone’s participation is counted when the final total is revealed on Sunday, June 2. I hope we can count on your support this spring. Thank you for being a part of Miracle Weekend. Raymond Li, RBC Chair, 2013 Miracle Weekend

14 speaking of children spring 2013

Join a team on May 24 to 26 at Softball City in South Surrey and go to bat for BC’s kids. With support from more than 1,000 participants, donors, volunteers and sponsors, Slo-Pitch raises over $450,000 each year to help fund BC Children’s Hospital’s most urgent needs. Recreational games and industrydesignated tournaments are filling up quickly – sign up your team today at and get ready to play ball! Register today for the 28th annual ChildRun presented by the Wilson Family. As the largest family fun run in Vancouver, ChildRun inspires participants to raise funds for childhood cancer research and treatment areas at BC Children’s Hospital. On Sunday, June 2, ChildRun will host runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. Participants can choose between a scenic five-kilometre route through Queen Elizabeth Park or the Thrifty Foods 1-km Fun Run, followed by a carnival celebration. Register for this don’t-miss event at On Sunday, May 26, join BC’s South Asian community as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the A World of Smiles telethon benefiting BC Children’s Hospital on Shaw Multicultural Channel (cable 119), Shaw Direct (channel 299) and your local Shaw TV channel. The event, the result of a longstanding partnership between Shaw and the South Asian community, has raised over $3.6 million for BC’s kids. Contact Tanya Linau at or 604-875-2345 ext. 4643 for more information. Going into its 25th year, the Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend has more than a million reasons to celebrate – the event has grown to raise over $1 million annually for BC Children’s Hospital. Funds are raised year-round through myriad events within the Chinese-Canadian community. This year, these fundraising initiatives culminate on June 1 with a three-hour telethon on Fairchild Television and two radiothons on Fairchild Radio AM1470 and CHMB AM1320, featuring patient stories, live interviews, sponsor recognition segments, and community fundraising highlights. This year, proceeds from the event will support the Campaign for BC Children.


Weekend on Global BC

Chair Raymond Li, International Banking, RBC Vice-Chair Allen Bordeleau, Overwaitea Food Group Physician Chair Dr. Jennifer Druker, BC Children’s Hospital


Above: Calgary’s Aiden Campbell and Luca in Ottawa; Left: Luca in Disney World.

met 52 Champions from the United States. The trip was amazing and I have so many great memories, including receiving a Champions medal. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to meet so many nice people and for receiving so much support from everyone. Having fun in Disney World wasn’t bad either.

Banks Rob Wilkins, Scotiabank, Chair; Todd Shewfelt, RBC, Vice-Chair ChildRun Roshanac Heed, Chair: Connie Baechler, Vice-Chair Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend Venita Kwan, Care Plus Cleaning Services & Stella Chan, Primerica Financial Services, Co-Chairs; Rebecca Chan, Modern Beauty Centre, Vice-Chair Credit Unions, Insurance & Financial Services Susan Byrom, Envision Financial, Chair Hospital Liason Committee Terry Ho, BC Children’s Hospital, Chair; Debbie Cain, BC Children’s Hospital, Vice-Chair Hospitality & Restaurants TBC Jeans Day™ Cynthia Curll, BC Hydro, Chair; Scott Corbett, Acting Vice-Chair Mining Jason Weber, Kiska Metals Corp, Chair Real Estate & Development George Crowhurst, Chair; Roger Steers, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Vice-Chair Retail & Wholesale Bruce Shepherd, The Vancouver Sun & Province, Chair; Claude Gauthier, National Importers, Co-Vice-Chair Slo-Pitch Cam Rathwell, HSBC, Chair South Asian Community Suky Cheema, BDO, Chair; Akash Sablok, Sablok & Sablok Notaries Public, Vice-Chair


I am Luca Piccolo, and I am so proud and honoured to have been chosen as the 2012-13 Champion Child as part of the Champions presented by Walmart Canada Program. As BC Children’s Hospital’s ambassador, I am happy to share my story as a cystic fibrosis patient and at the same time educate people about how important the care at BC Children’s Hospital is for kids like me. In September 2012, my family and I travelled to Ottawa and met 11 other Canadian Champions. I met so many cool people and became really good friends with Aiden, Calgary’s Champion. In fact, we still keep in touch. We then travelled from Ottawa to Walt Disney World in Florida and

I am excited to be part of the live Miracle Weekend broadcast on Global BC in June. I look forward to seeing the hundreds of people who come to Miracle Weekend to proudly display how much money they have raised for BC Children’s Hospital. You, too, can join in by buying a Jeans Day™ button, coming out to ChildRun, or making a donation on Miracle Weekend. I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was two years old, and I visit Children’s Hospital several times a year. My family is grateful for the care I receive there – it keeps me healthy, and we know that ongoing donations from people across BC have helped me stay healthy as well. Thanks for your support, and we’ll see you on Miracle Weekend! To watch Luca’s story, go to

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 & Louise Schmiing, Co-Chairs

COMMUNITIES FOR KIDS Port Alberni Barbara-Anne Kalugin & Steve Kalugin, Co-Chairs Prince George Rick Mintz & John Abbott, Co-Chairs Upper Fraser Valley Casey Hillton, Chair Vanderhoof Corleen McNolty & Michelle Roberge, Co-Chairs

spring 2013 speaking of children


healthy habits

Nurse practitioners: helping children, youth and their families develop healthy habits If your child is ill and you don’t have a family doctor, a nurse practitioner at the hospital’s Nurse Practitioner Child & Youth Primary Care Clinic may be able to help. by Susan Shumay, MN, NP(F); Minna Miller, DNP (ABD), NP(F); Chantel Canessa, MN-NP, NP(F); and Alissa Collingridge, MN, NP(P)

16 speaking of children spring 2013

According to the BC Medical Association, more than 250,000 British Columbians do not have a strong attachment to a primary care provider such as a family doctor. To help fill this gap, the Nurse Practitioner Child & Youth Primary Care Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital provides a range of health services for kids, from infancy to adolescence.

WHO ARE NURSE PRACTITIONERS AND WHAT DO THEY DO? Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice nurses with a Master’s degree in a specialized field such as pediatric or family health. According to the BC Nurse Practitioner Association, NPs practise autonomously and collaboratively to provide health-care services that contribute to the health and well-being of British Columbians across the lifespan. Family and pediatric NPs at the Child & Youth Primary Care Clinic provide access to health care for infants, children and youth up to 19 years of age who do not already have a primary care provider such as a family doctor. NPs can assess, order tests, diagnose, treat and follow up on most common medical conditions. For example, if a child comes to the clinic with an ear infection, an NP can diagnose the problem and prescribe medications.

HOW CAN NPs HELP AT THE CHILD & YOUTH PRIMARY CARE CLINIC? NPs at BC Children’s provide comprehensive health care that extends throughout childhood. Here are some examples of what services are available at the clinic.

Well child visits: These include screening for developmental milestones and conditions like autism or speech delays; comprehensive physical exams; addressing parental concerns and answering questions; providing counselling and health education for families; and referrals to other health service providers such as speech language pathologists, cardiologists or ophthalmologists. Adolescent health care: This involves assessment of behaviour, lifestyle, sexual development and sexuality, and may include episodic counselling and referrals to other health-care providers. Care for common illnesses: This may include ordering diagnostic tests and management of illnesses like the flu, strep throat, rashes, acne and migraines. Care of chronic conditions: NPs may manage or co-manage kids with more complex health needs such as a genetic disorder, Down’s syndrome, fetal-alcohol-spectrum disorders or a chronic illness such as asthma. Outreach: NPs at the Child & Youth Primary Care Clinic improve access to care for children and teens in the community by having off-site clinics for hard-to-reach populations. Appointments with NPs allow for multiple concerns to be addressed at one visit. This helps families to get timely screening, early intervention and continuity of care for their children. If you’re seeking a health-care practice with a focus on health promotion, education, counselling, and injury and disease prevention, a visit to the Child & Youth Primary Care Clinic may be an option.

Test your



1. What is the typical expected vocabulary of a two-year-old? a) 10 words b) 30 words c) 50+ words 2. What is the expected daily weight gain for a newborn? a) 30 grams / day b) 20 grams / day c) 10 grams / day 3. What are the consequences of not enough sleep for adolescents? a) Limits to their ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems b) May lead to aggressive or inappropriate behaviour such as yelling at their friends or being impatient with their teachers or family members c) Contributes to illness and causes them to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods like sweets and fried foods that lead to weight gain d) All of the above

For more information:

Answers: 1c; 2a; 3d

The Nurse Practitioner Child & Youth Primary Care Clinic is located in BC Children’s Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Building. For directions or further information about the clinic go to To book an appointment please call 604-875-3039.

spring 2013 speaking of children


what’s up, doc?

Dr. Jacob Rozmus MEDICAL TRAINING I went to medical school at the University of Alberta and completed my pediatric residency training and fellowship training in pediatric hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplantation in Vancouver at BC Children’s Hospital.

FAMILY PICTURE I am married to a wonderful teacher and have a three-year old boy and an 18-month-old girl. They are a constant source of happiness and humour.

WHY I BECAME A DOCTOR The opportunities for new discoveries.

WHAT YOU’D NEVER KNOW ABOUT ME I performed in musical theatre in high school.

HOBBIES Reading, travelling, watching movies, hiking and downhill skiing.



I have a dual role as a pediatrician and a research trainee. I work as a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at BC Children’s Hospital taking care of children with cancer and blood disorders. I am also a graduate student in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine completing my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Kirk Schultz studying immune deficiencies and the complications of bone marrow transplantation.

To have my own pirate radio show where I could say anything and play whatever music I wanted to.

IF I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORK I would build rocket ships, toy cities and read stories with my children all day. I definitely want to learn to cook.

PHILOSOPHY The world is full of wonderful things waiting to be found.

WHAT I’M READING NOW Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, again.

18 speaking of children spring 2013

children speak

Andrew Hromyk (dad), Kai, Chase and Linda Getz (mom) present their birthday proceeds.

JOIN THE SUNNY BEAR BIRTHDAY CLUB Kai and Chase Hromyk know what it means to give back. Over the past three years, they have donated more than $10,000 to BC Children’s Hospital – money that they collected by requesting donations instead of gifts for their birthdays. And when you’re four and five years old, that’s a big deal! Kai and Chase’s mom, Linda, says sharing the boys’ birthday celebrations with BC Children’s Hospital is a way to teach them the values of compassion and generosity. Through the Sunny Bear Birthday Club – the Foundation’s birthday giving program – many more aspiring young fundraisers are also choosing to forgo their presents and are collecting donations for the hospital. With support from kids like Kai and Chase, BC Children’s Hospital is giving children across the province an even brighter future. For more information about how to host a party in support of BC Children’s Hospital call 604-875-2444 or email

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

spring 2013 speaking of children


PM 40659514

Speaking of Children, Spring 2013  

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

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