Mining for Miracles, the BC mining industry’s longstanding fundraising campaign for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, is raising $3,580,000 to support BC Children’s Hospital’s Precision Health Initiative (PHI). Since 1988, Mining for Miracles has raised over $37 million to improve health care for kids throughout BC.

This initiative represents state-of-the-art medical research. It will improve BC Children’s Hospital’s ability to provide answers for children with previously undiagnosed conditions, offering new information and hope to children and families who have often been on a long diagnostic odyssey.

Through this program, Mining for Miracles can help transform the future for kids and their families through precision health research and care at BC Children’s.

What is the Precision Health Initiative (PHI)?

Rare diseases are, despite the name, quite common. One in 25 children born in British Columbia is affected by a rare disease, and these patients occupy one in every three hospital beds at BC Children’s Hospital. Roughly half of these cases remain unsolved, despite the families spending weeks, months or even years seeing specialists and enduring endless tests. Through the PHI, BC Children’s believes it can solve up to 25 per cent more of these mystery cases, pushing the diagnostic rate from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, and giving a renewed sense of hope to families benefitting from this program.

Precision health means studying a child’s unique set of characteristics, providing deep insight into their genetic, molecular, cellular, and environmental attributes. This allows researchers and clinicians to inform and implement the best care possible for each individual child, rather than using a one‐size‐fits‐all approach.

The PHI will enable clinicians and researchers across BC Children’s Hospital to consider each child’s unique needs, combining their world‐leading expertise with the most advanced precision health tools available.

The PHI will not only change the lives of hundreds—and ultimately, thousands—of kids, it will also solidify BC Children’s as an international leader in precision health. With a focus on training and knowledge translation, the PHI will help establish the next generation of precision health experts right here in BC. New researchers will learn from today’s leaders, creating an ongoing cycle of knowledge translation and innovation as they become the experts of tomorrow.

Why establishing the PHI is so important?

 Currently, many patients with rare and complex conditions go through ’diagnostic odysseys’ where they endure dozens, if not hundreds, of diagnostic tests and visit multiple specialists without finding answers—or getting the answers too late. The PHI will apply precision health technologies to increase the odds of providing quicker and more precise diagnoses, giving hope to patients and families.

This initiative provides BC Children’s Hospital’s clinicians, researchers, and medical experts with the means to study each child’s unique set of genetic, molecular, and cellular characteristics; partner with medical experts worldwide to help solve mystery cases; and provide the most advanced precision health tools available to help ensure the best care possible for each child, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.

How the PHI will build upon Mining for Miracles’ current legacy

The PHI will act as a guide to ensure each child is on the correct path to diagnosis using precision health technologies from already established programs. Mining for Miracles has supported many of these programs including: