The Province today announced $100,000 to the Michael Cuccione Foundation to support childhood cancer research and new treatments.
"As a father, I can imagine how frightening it would be to find out your child is very sick,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We are seeing proof on the ground from organizations like the Michael Cuccione Foundation that discoveries in health-care research give hope to those facing childhood with a cancer diagnosis.”
This funding adds to $2 million provided by the Province to the Michael Cuccione Foundation in 2012. The foundation will use the funds to support the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research program at BC Children's Hospital. The research program focuses on continuing clinical trials and childhood cancer research activities, including better understanding childhood cancers and seeking new therapies with lower side-effects for young patients.
“As we move forward with our comprehensive technology strategy, it’s clear that British Columbians continue to benefit from projects undertaken by the best and brightest cancer researchers,” said Linda Reimer, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam who attended the ‘Wishes Without Borders’ annual holiday toy drive for sick kids at BC Children’s Hospital on behalf of Lake. “We hope that one day, with help from Michael Cuccione’s legacy, no child diagnosed with cancer will have to face an uncertain future.”
Founded in 1997, the Michael Cuccione Foundation raises funds for childhood cancer research. The foundation also offers emotional support to cancer patients and their families, and conducts motivational speaking engagements across Canada and around the globe. The foundation was established by Michael Cuccione who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of nine. A singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and motivational speaker, Michael used his own experiences with cancer to challenge and inspire others to make a difference. Michael overcame cancer, but died in 2001 at age 16 years from respiratory failure related to his cancer treatments.
“Although researchers have made tremendous advances in the treatment of childhood cancer over the past 20 years, it still is the leading cause of death in disease of children. For that reason we must continue to do all we can to support childhood cancer research. The Michael Cuccione Foundation is grateful for the support from the Government of British Columbia and for the recognition that children battling cancer need our help,” said Gloria Cuccione, Michael’s mother and foundation executive director.
Ten thousand children are living with cancer in Canada today, and more than 130 children under of 17 years of age in British Columbia are diagnosed every year. Fortunately, children with cancer have a better chance of living a longer life than ever before, and there has been a steady decline in the mortality rate for childhood cancer over the last 20 years.
Advances in technology lead to much more personalized and effective health care. Through the #BCTECH Strategy and support for organizations like Genome BC, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the BC Cancer Foundation, BC Cancer Agency, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Michael Cuccione Foundation, the province continues to attract and retain talented researchers to work in B.C. to help improve care for patients and save lives.
The Michael Cuccione Foundation: www.childhoodcancerresearch.org/
The #BCTECH Strategy: bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/