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Every day an incredible day in operating rooms at VGH

Hundreds of patients from all parts of British Columbia have surgery performed by medical experts in the Operating Rooms at VGH every week; the hospital is a complex care centre where adults with the most traumatic and catastrophic medical situations are referred. Surgeries related to cancers, spine injury, serious burns and major accidents are just a few of the hospital’s many areas of specialties. Pictured below, Dr. Guy Fradet performs a delicate cardiac procedure.

When you pass the corner of Oak Street and 12th Avenue in Vancouver, you know you’re close to a hospital. But, do you have any idea of the depth and breadth of complex medical care that’s taking place there?

The Operating Rooms (ORs) at VGH are an incredibly intense, high-traffic zone. Every year, more than 17,000 seriously ill or injured men and women from across the province undergo desperately-needed surgeries in the 21 ORs on the second floor of the Jim Pattison Pavilion. Before each procedure can begin, specialized nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons and other OR team members must be in place, and essential equipment and medical instruments available. If you could look into the VGH ORs right now, here’s what you might see: • Neurosurgeon

Dr. Gary Redekop performing emergency surgery on a 52-year-old school teacher with a brain aneurysm; • General Surgeon Dr. Neely Panton or one

of the hospital’s 14 other General Surgeons conducting a complex “minimally invasive” procedure on a restaurateur with colon cancer. Each year, thousands of cancer surgeries are performed by these General Surgeons at our hospital. • Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Guy Fradet undertaking an aortic valve replacement to improve the life of a retired truck driver with heart disease; • Nearby, Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kelly Lefaivre, a trauma specialist is operating on a 27-year-old woman – a flag person hit by a careless driver; • Farther down the corridor, Spine Surgeons Dr. Marcel Dvorak and Dr. Brian Kwon are engaged in a complex spinal column procedure on a 41-year-old software designer. Many spine surgeries last between 12 - 24 hours; • Using a new surgical practice she recently encouraged all BC gynecologists to adopt, Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Sarah Finlayson performs a hysterectomy for a 56-year-old mother-of-three with ovarian cancer; • Vascular Surgeon Dr. Jerry Chen completing blood vessel surgery on a 72-year-old accountant; • Ophthalmologist, Dr. Patrick Ma, repairing a 56-year-old seamstress’ retinal detachment; • Plastic Surgeon Dr. Nick Carr reimplants a farm-worker’s amputated hand. Behind the scenes in all of these cases, members of the VGH Department of Anesthesia headed by Dr. Raymer Grant, provide patients with the specialized anesthetic care that’s needed.

These teams can only remain at the forefront when the facilities and equipment they need is available to them, so they can keep pace with the today’s and tomorrow’s best practices. A new technological discovery, or a sudden mechanical failure can shift equipment priorities for any one of these medical teams. That is where your donations to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation have an impact. Over the next few years an extensive fundraising campaign to upgrade the hospital’s ORs will get underway.

The need for donor support to help a variety of areas of our hospital, including the ORs is very real. By giving to the Best of Health Fund, you provide our hospitals with a flexible way to fund urgently-needed medical equipment and health care initiatives that are financially above and beyond what government can provide. If you live in BC, chances are that you or someone close to you has had or will have an experience in one of the Operating Rooms at VGH. If having world-class health care at VGH is important to you, and you’d like to make a donation to the Best of Health Fund, please contact VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Visit or call 604.875.4676.

Patients in BC who need complex medical care need VGH


Early detection and screening of ovarian cancer within grasp Ten years ago early detection of ovarian cancer was thought to be impossible. Based on what’s been learned and the discoveries made by the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) team at VGH and the BC Cancer Agency, that notion has been turned on its ear. For decades, medical communities around the world made little progress in the prevention and treatment of what they thought was one disease: ovarian cancer. Then, the BC-based OvCaRe group established that ovarian cancer is actually a number of distinct diseases, rather than one single condition. By tailoring their research and treatment efforts to each subtype, progress is being made in stopping ovarian cancer in its tracks. Right now, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is focusing fundraising efforts on OvCaRe’s “Precursors to Prevention: an Approach to the Early Detection of Ovarian Cancers.” This research project focuses on early detection and screening tools for three distinct types of ovarian cancer: early tubal carcinomas, clear cell carcinomas, and endemetrioid carcinomas. The team will develop new tools to identify and screen these ovarian cancer subtypes. Within three years, researchers expect to understand which early detection method will do this best.

business and community leader, former President of the BC Business Council and a VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Board Member, succumb to the disease after a punishing battle. Because ovarian cancer is usually found at a late stage of development, the current five-year survival rate is a mere 20 per cent; yet when caught early, the five-year survival rate is up to 90 per cent. Early detection is the key to winning this war. That’s why Virginia rallied to raise support for this important research to find early detection and screening tools. It’s a pursuit that can and should continue. A campaign to raise $3.5 million for this initiative is under way. There are two groups of partners who have been and will continue to be responsible for the successes of the OvCaRe team: the researchers who conduct the scientific studies, and the donors who invest in their research.

“This is a tipping point, a time of change. Not just for women of BC, but for women around the world,” said Virginia’s daughter Justine Greene, referring to the successes and the importance of the work of the OvCaRe team. The outcomes of this research initiative could be added to the significant successes already achieved by the OvCaRe team. The sooner funding is in place, the sooner this potentially life-saving research can begin.

Early detection and screening tools or techniques for ovarian cancer can help change the future for generations of women in Canada and around the world. This BC-based research is an initiative that the late Virginia Greene and her family felt strongly about.

What this kind of progress means was immeasurable to someone like the late Virginia Greene, who recently lost her battle with ovarian cancer. Virginia, a respected

The calibre of care...

With early detection and screening tools within grasp, hope is on the horizon. To make a donation to the Ovarian Cancer Precursors to Prevention Project, contact Barb McInnis at or 604.875.5193.

Welcome to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s 2010 Community Report. It’s a glimpse at the expertise available to all of us at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. These important institutions serve the entire province, providing highly specialized care for adults in the most serious and complex medical conditions. Patients are referred to VGH for the highest level of care in the province. If and when our health is compromised by disease or serious accident, we want the best possible outcome. The best of health; and that’s exactly what our specialists are trained to deliver. We are home to some of the world’s best medical minds. Our health care teams are able to deliver the complex services they do because of funding from governments, and also – importantly – significant extras made possible by generous donors. In the last two years, to create a seamless continuum of care, our Foundation has also begun to fundraise for our hospitals’ partner – Community Health Services in Vancouver, a network of community and home-based health care across the city. Providing every patient with the right care in the right place at the right time is the goal of an effective health care system. This ensures acute care beds are available for patients who are severely ill, while community care supports those who are better served outside a hospital setting. Please read these stories. Then, think about what it means to you and your family to have worldclass health care available right here. The Foundation fundraises on behalf of these medical treatment and research teams. These hospitals and services are here for all of us; they deserve our support. We ask for your serious consideration.

Share your story Have you or someone close to you been touched by the care at VGH, UBC Hospital or GF Strong Rehab Centre? Share your story by e-mailing


Medical teams ensure excellence at our hospitals

Michael Phelps Chair, Board of Directors VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation


VGH specialists on call 24/7 for BC stroke patients Stroke symptoms usually start suddenly. At that point the clock starts ticking, brain cells start dying. You have a few brief hours to get treatment. In that time, your life could change. Drastically. That’s the reality if you’ve had a stroke. It happens to 50,000 people in Canada every year. This sudden loss of brain function caused by interrupted blood flow is a medical emergency that can affect anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. The effects of stroke depend on where the brain is injured, and how much damage is done. It can impair a great variety of things including your movement, vision, ability to think, remember, understand, read or write. The medical care received immediately following a stroke determines your degree of recovery, and your future. Of every 100 people hospitalized for stroke, 10 recover completely, 10 require longterm care, 15 die, 25 recover with minor impacts on their abilities, and 40 are left with moderate to severe impairment. Stroke neurologists at VGH, such as Dr. Philip Teal, know better than most, the damage that a stoke can do. That’s why they, and all members of the hospital’s Stroke Team are committed to helping as many patients as they can.

• If a patient goes to any other hospital in BC and the treating doctor needs advice, that doctor can call the “Stroke Hot Line” pager service 24/7 and speak to a VGH stroke neurologist for advice and assistance; and • The newest method of helping patients at a distance is called Telestroke; a telemedicine “Receiving the right treatment quickly is so innovation that allows stroke neurologists at important,” says Dr. Philip Teal, BC Centre for VGH to diagnose and help treat patients in a Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases’ Director of the number of other BC hospitals. Says Dr. Teal, Stroke Prevention Clinic (VGH). He leads the Stroke “In a matter of minutes we can see patients’ Team at VGH in their drive to help stroke sufferers X-rays, and interact with them and their in all parts of British Columbia using a variety of doctors regardless of physical distance. We methods. If patients can’t get to stroke specialists at don’t lose time, and patients don’t lose brain our hospital, these specialists try to get to them in cells. With this tool, our ability to help remote timely and innovative ways. Here’s how: patients more quickly is greatly enhanced. This technology is now available in four community • If a patient suspected of having a stroke comes hospitals in BC. We hope to expand this to to VGH by ambulance, a stroke neurologist meets many more communities in the next two years.” them in the Emergency Department upon arrival;

In tandem with the excellent care delivered by the health care professionals on the multidisciplinary VGH Stroke Team, the Program’s research efforts are also being further expanded. World-leading stroke researcher Dr. Oscar Benavente was recently recruited from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio to increase knowledge and research for stroke prevention. Helping British Columbians avoid having a stroke is a high priority for the Stroke Team at VGH. The only thing they need now are stroke champions. To make a donation in their support, please contact VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation at or call 604.875.4676.

Combined efforts help equip our hospitals Sometimes in life, to get things accomplished, people band together and work towards a common purpose. The same thing can be said for philanthropy. The combined generosity of many donors recently helped VGH purchase an important new tool to diagnose lung cancers, infections and other diseases in the chest. The equipment, an EndoBronchial Ultrasound System (EBUS), gives the Thoracic Surgeons at VGH – Drs. Ken Evans, Richard Finley and John Yee – one more powerful piece of life-saving equipment. Said Dr. Evans, “We couldn’t be more excited about what this means for our patients. The EBUS system gives us the world’s best equipment to work with.” Many of the donors who played a role in this purchase responded to mailings for urgent hospital needs with one-time gifts such as $150. Monies from the Foundation’s monthly donors also

contributed. Yet others donated publicly tradedsecurities, asking that the proceeds benefit the work of the Thoracic Surgery team. The Kin family of Kin’s Farm Market, thought this was such an important piece of equipment for the Thoracic team that they generously donated $50,000 towards it, and encouraged donations from others by offering to match their gifts. All of these generous acts were important in making the EBUS purchase a reality. There are numerous opportunities for donors to contribute to urgently needed medical equipment and important research at VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre. A powerful way to help is to make a donation to the Best of Health Fund. This flexible funding source allows quick response to emerging priorities and needs, helping our hospitals stay on the leading edge of health care.

Kin Wah Leung, Queenie Chu and Kin Hun Leung (from left to right) are part of a family who knows what a difference the right medical equipment can make. Their father is alive today thanks to the expertise of VGH medical teams and a special piece of equipment that diagnosed his cancer at a very early stage.

To make a gift or for more information visit or call 604.875.4676


Joseph & Rosalie Segal Celebrated VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation presented our Leadership Award to Joseph and Rosalie at the Night of a Thousand Stars Gala on November 19th. The award is presented annually to an individual or family for their exemplary philanthropic leadership.

VGH stands out with specialized care

The Segals, both individually and together, have received many of Canada’s most distinguished accolades and citations in recognition of their decades of outstanding contributions to numerous humanitarian endeavours, educational institutions, health care organizations and cultural and religious groups. The Foundation proudly bestowed our highest honour on them. The Segals’ visionary support of excellence in research, patient care, and equipment for many areas of our hospitals including Cardiology, Spinal Cord Research, and the Men’s Health Initiative of BC is evidence of their longstanding commitment to world-class health care in British Columbia. Most recently, that support has extended to also include substantial support to improve care for people with mental health conditions.

Just days before being celebrated as VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Leadership Award winners, Rosalie and Joseph Segal (pictured above) added to their already-generous giving with a $12 million donation in support of a new Mental Health Pavilion at VGH.

True champions of social responsibility, they are greatly admired and respected members of the community, modeling the way for others.

New centre: a good news story for mental health care

There’s something special about VGH. Actually, there are many things that are special about it. At VGH, healthcare teams treat almost every imaginable illness and condition. VGH is the hospital doctors around the province consult with or refer patients to when treatment or surgery is needed for serious situations such as stroke, complex cancers, traumatic spine injuries, or major burns, to name a few. As a patient, your journey may start in Cranbrook, Prince George or Nanaimo, but it will lead to VGH if super-specialized medical treatment is required. Over 40 per cent of those cared for at VGH come from outside the Vancouver region.

The Northeast Mental Health Centre on Hastings, near Renfrew Street opened in 2009. The multidisciplinary healthcare teams based at the Centre help individuals and families every day.

“My name is Dylan and because of the help I got at the Northeast Mental Health Centre, I’ve got a good news story to tell. Until I was in Grade 11, I was an outgoing honour roll student. When school started the next year, I wasn’t sure why, but I changed; I checked out, started skipping class and even quit band, which I loved. I didn’t know what was happening to me. A school counselor referred me to experts at Northeast Mental Health. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and encouraged to attend the Early Psychosis Intervention Program. With medication and therapy, I returned to school and graduated with my friends. Now, my family and I have the information and support we need to help with my illness. I don’t know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t gone to the Centre.” A spectrum of programs is offered at Northeast Mental Health. The Centre’s team is comprised of nurses, doctors, social workers, occupational therapists, vocational counselors, peer support


Delivering the best of health to British Columbians

workers and more. They treat and assist multigenerations of families with illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. An average of 70 people of all ages visit daily.

One of the team’s goals is to decrease chronic tendencies associated with mental health issues through early care and intervention. This preventative approach identifies and treats illness before patients’ diseases progress to the point that they need acute psychiatric care. Because of the care that mental health experts there provide, it’s anticipated that at VGH-alone there will be 2,000 fewer visits to the hospital’s Emergency Department annually. The Centre is good news for the whole neighborhood, the city and the province.

VGH, and affiliates UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre, helps thousands of adult patients annually. And, Vancouver’s Community Health Services delivers exceptional health-care services outside hospital walls, complementing treatment provided there. People in British Columbia can take comfort in knowing that high-calibre care is available for them and their loved ones when needed. We hope the stories in the 2010 edition of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Community Report resonate with you. If they do, we encourage you to support our health care teams so they can continue to provide world-class health care. Thank you,

Ron Dumouchelle President and CEO VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation


New ways to treat debilitating kidney stone disease

The multidisciplinary experts at VGH who provide kidney stone disease care and perform research related to the condition believe that teamwork is the key to ensuring their patients achieve the healthiest possible outcomes. Pictured here: Dr. Ben Chew, Director of Research for the Stone Centre Research Programs (left) confers in the lab with Olga Arsovska, Research Coordinator and Dr. Dirk Lange, Director of Basic Science Research.

If you know anyone who’s had kidney stones, you know that they can lead to excruciating pain. The disease affects approximately 10 per cent of the population. In some cases, its progression is relatively slow and silent. In acute cases, patients arrive in hospitals in crisis and must be treated immediately. It’s estimated the disease costs the North American economy up to $2 billion per year in health care costs and time lost from work.

of kidney stone surgeries, a recovery suite, and a short-stay unit for Emergency Department patients in need of kidney stone care.

Sciences at UBC, Director of Clinical Research at the Vancouver Prostate Centre located at VGH. He is proud of the Stone Centre team, which falls under his purview.

Medical experts here ensure patients receive coordinated, efficient, one-stop, often same-day care. This Centre has an international reputation for care and treatment, and is an important hub for research.

Their current fundraising efforts are researchfocused. Five areas being pursued: • How can certain bacteria affect the compound that kidney stones are made of; • What are the causes of kidney stone formation; Are there better ways to treat patients? That is the The project was spearheaded by Dr. Jamie Wright; • Identification of links between certain urinary the multidisciplinary care and research team question West Vancouver residents Ray and Ruth compounds and kidney stone formation; includes his colleagues Drs. Ben Chew, Ryan Wesenberg asked about the multi-step process • Investigation of medical devices for use in the Paterson, Mark Nigro, Chris Nguan, Dirk Lange, that patients experiencing debilitating kidney urinary system; and Roger Sutton, William Taylor, Allan Rowley, stone-related pain had to go through when • Evaluation of new devices to break up Chuck Zwirewich, Jean Buckley, and research seeking treatment. kidney stones. coordinator Olga Arsovska. The answer was yes. The result: the creation of To move forward with this research – ultimately the Acute Kidney Stone Treatment Centre at VGH. “This team is made up of the best in the world, leading to better ways to treat kidney stone when it comes to kidney stone treatment and patients – philanthropic donations are needed. science. With the right support behind them, The Stone Centre was funded exclusively by Ray they will continue to do great things which will and Ruth Wesenberg. It’s a dedicated, state-ofTo make a donation in support of kidney only help kidney stone sufferers,” says Dr. Larry the-art facility consisting of a treatment room stone research at VGH, contact Jim O’Hara at Goldenberg, Head of the Department of Urologic with specialized equipment for the full breadth or 604.875.5100.

My doctors helped me; now I want to help them Helen Wilden of Port Coquitlam believes it’s the expert and compassionate care she received from doctors and nurses at VGH, support of family and friends, and her own determination that saw her through her battle with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. She’s one of the many people from all over the province who come to VGH for the most progressive treatment for blood diseases. While treatments for multiple myeloma have come a long way since Helen was diagnosed in 1993, there is no cure yet. Helen wants to do everything she can to help research progress, not for herself, but for other people who will face the same diagnosis in the future. It’s all smiles for Helen Wilden and her three great-nieces. Three things that are important to this past-patient at VGH: health, family and helping others.

“I decided to leave a gift in my will for this kind of research. I was inspired by the hard work and dedication of the doctors and nurses I met

at VGH,” she says. “I remember talking to one doctor whose own mother didn’t survive multiple myeloma. The doctor told me her mission was to find a cure. She said clinical research was key.” Helen continued, “My doctors helped me. Now I want to help them do the same for other blood cancer patients. It brings me peace of mind, knowing that I’ll be supporting others along the path. I’m hopeful that my gift will have a real impact on someone’s life one day, maybe many lives! I also hope other people will think about what VGH has done for them, or someone they love, and think about giving back through their own actions.” If you’re considering leaving a gift in your will to our hospitals, contact Charlene Taylor at or 604.875.4917.

To make a gift or for more information visit or call 604.875.4676


The importance of outfitting our medical experts

It takes an extraordinary amount of sophisticated equipment to deliver the care and rehabilitation that medical experts at VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre provide to patients. From the specialized, highly technical equipment used in the Intensive Care Unit, to the systems behind patient monitoring, to tools employed for surgery, treatment and rehabilitation; almost countless pieces of equipment are put into action in our hospitals every day.

As new medical devices and technologies are developed, and tried-and-true tools wear down and require replacement, equipment demands grow and change. Following are a few examples of existing needs: • A Neoprobe System used for the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers and related diseases. The system allows surgeons to reliably detect and remove cancerous cells while preserving healthy tissue. Cost: $105,000 • A Narrowband UVB Phototherapy Unit to be used at the Skin Care Centre at VGH, a provincial resource where many patients with the most difficult debilitating cases of skin diseases are treated. Cost: $25,000 • Arjo Walkers; a type of walking frame that greatly enhance caregivers’ ability to safely move mobility-challenged patients from sitting to walking position. Cost: $7,000 Every year, monies from the Best of Health Fund help enable the purchase of a number of pieces of urgently-required hospital equipment. Individual donations to the fund are pooled together to purchase often-costly equipment. The difference donors make through this kind of support is immeasurable.

BMO donation making a difference It’s estimated that, every year, the 200 health care professionals working out of this unique centre will provide services to 90,000 babies, teens, adults and seniors.

Representatives from BMO Financial Group including staff from the BMO Branch located at Broadway and Commercial, Community Health Services and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation gathered recently in the BMO Financial Group Atrium at the Grandview Woodlands Community Health Centre to mark the occasion of the atrium’s naming. Holding the cheque (from left to right) Rob Serraglio of BMO Bank of Montreal, Ron Dumouchelle and Barb McInnis, both of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

Health care doesn’t always start or end in hospitals. That’s why a partnership exists between VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Community Health Services in Vancouver – the services that link patients to the health care system beyond the hospitals’ doors. The recently-opened Grandview Woodlands Health Care Centre, at Commercial Drive and Broadway in Vancouver, is an important new initiative that’s changing the way people access care in their neighborhood. At Grandview Woodlands, primary care services are provided to those of all ages, dental services are available to young children, and mental health and addiction services, as well as other health-related programs offered to those in need.

As supporters of local initiatives that impact families, BMO Financial Group saw the difference it could make and is providing a $750,000 donation to the Centre. Said Rob Serraglio, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal, “We are committed to building strong communities and investing in programs that offer vital health care for diverse populations. Supporting this Centre, and improving access in this neighborhood was a natural fit for us.” Already, there are good news stories such as this one: a teenage mom brought her baby to the Centre for the Healthiest Babies Possible Program. While there, her behavior alerted a health care worker to the fact that the 17-yearold was experiencing suicidal tendencies. Because the Suicide Attempt Follow-up, Education and Research (SAFER) Program is also in the building, she was able to immediately speak to an expert about her situation and get counseling that helped both her and her young child. Donor generosity is making a difference in people’s lives today and will continue to do so in the future. More support, such as that demonstrated by BMO Financial Group, is needed.

Our privilege to thank VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre supporters Thank you. It’s something VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is privileged to say to those who have made donations to enhance patient care and research at VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre. Our sincere thanks also go to supporters of the services and programs provided by the teams at Community Health Services in Vancouver. Donor generosity is vital to our health care professionals’ ability to deliver the best of health care to all British Columbians. That’s why VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is pleased to recognize the hundreds of people and organizations who have made donations of $1,000 and more to the Foundation from April 2009 to March 2010. As an expression of our deepest gratitude, their names are posted in the lobbies of VGH’s Jim Pattison Pavilion and UBC Hospital’s Koerner Pavilion, and online at These generous individuals, along with the specialized doctors and highly-trained health care professionals, play an important role in ensuring excellence in care can be provided to patients from all over the province who come to these hospitals for life-changing, life-saving care. It’s donors that make the difference; if you’ve made a gift — no matter what the size, purchased Millionaire Lottery or Hometown Heroes lottery tickets, or attended our fundraising events, we are truly grateful for your support. On behalf of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, the many patients and families who have already benefitted from donor support, and the many more who will benefit in the years ahead, thank you!

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity that raises funds for medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for the many specialized areas of care at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Community Health Services across Vancouver.

To make a donation or for more information contact us at:

Consistent with our Foundation Board Policy, a contribution from all designated donations goes to the Best of Health Fund to supports the hospitals’ most urgent priorities and the work of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. 604.875.4676 or 1.877.875.4676 855 West 12th Avenue Vancouver BC V5Z 1M9

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