Funds raised will go towards transforming the future of care for childhood cancers

Vancouver, BC: BC Children’s Hospital Foundation today announced the 36th Annual Crystal Ball Gala, presented by Nicola Wealth, raised over $4.52 million and counting for life-saving research for hard-to-cure cancers. The annual event returned to its traditional in-person format at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on Saturday, November 5.

“The support that we received from donors at this year’s Crystal Ball was absolutely incredible,” said Malcolm Berry, President and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The quest to conquer childhood cancers requires long-term vision and focus. With the commitment and success of events like this year’s Crystal Ball, we are getting closer to finding a cure for this devasting childhood disease. The support of this community is the engine that drives us forward, helping to fuel new research and treatment options that provide renewed hope for families.”

Today, over 80 per cent of kids in BC diagnosed with cancer will survive. The remaining 20 per cent who battle hard-to-cure cancers still don’t make it and many of those who do survive face serious side effects, some of which can last a lifetime. Through the support of the Crystal Ball community, researchers in the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at BC Children’s continue to explore new, innovative treatment possibilities for childhood cancers. Funds raised at Crystal Ball have helped to power initiatives like the Precision Oncology For Young People (PROFYLE), a nationwide program aimed at finding new, targeted treatments for kids who don’t respond to standard therapies by profiling their tumours. Led by pediatric oncologists and Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program investigators Dr. Rebecca Deyell and Dr. Rod Rassekh, this program is helping to transform care for children with cancer and is generously funded by donors.

“Every single child I look after, their tumor is slightly different from another child with the exact same tumor. That’s the mystery we can solve with research—how do we best treat each child’s tumor. That’s what I love about the science we’re doing now, it is directly benefiting an individual, not just the population,” said Dr. Rod Rassekh, pediatric oncologist and investigator, Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

The evening’s energy was heightened with the announcement of multiple significant gifts—an incredible $1 million commitment made by The Ilich Family; $250,000 commitments made by Concord Pacific, The Dilawri Foundation and The Stober Foundation and; $100,000 commitments made by The Hudson Family, Darcy and Manjit Johal and Family and The Wesik Family Foundation.

“This year’s Crystal Ball was made possible by the visionary leadership, hard work and dedication of the 2022 Crystal Ball committee, led by co-chairs Helen Rivero and Timothy Cuffe,” said Berry. “More than 350 guests at this year’s Crystal Ball enjoyed a series of passive and interactive art installations. Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s event such a success.”

The art installations showcased at the gala included a blown glass sculpture depicting cancer on a cellular level, 3D messaging reflecting the event’s purpose, a woven blanket of beads depicting children’s cancer journeys and a collage of artfully augmented radiation masks depicting strength and resilience. Master of Ceremonies Chris Gailus of Global TV and the always entertaining auctioneer Fred Lee inspired guests with heartwarming messages from patient families throughout the night.

Since Crystal Ball’s inception in 1986, it has raised more than $40 million for BC Children’s Hospital.

About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children and youth. It’s one of the few pediatric medical and teaching facilities in Canada with an acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and rehabilitation centre all in one place. BC Children’s provides specialized care, innovative therapies and pediatric expertise for BC’s kids, including the sickest and most seriously injured. At BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, we raise funds to provide kids with excellence in healthcare by continuously driving advancements provincially and globally. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to conquer childhood diseases, prevent illness and injury, and prioritize the unique needs of kids in every aspect of their care. Follow us at @bcchf or visit bcchf.ca for more information.