Left to right: Mary Ackenhusen, President & CEO, VCH; Dr. Mark Fitzgerald, Director, Centre for Heart and Lung Health, VCH Research Institute; Barbara Grantham, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation; Noordin Nanji, Chair, Board of Directors, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

$29-million gift means British Columbians will breathe easier

Thanks to an unprecedented gift to our VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma will have a better chance of recovery in BC.

An anonymous donor has given $29 million for research and treatment of COPD and asthma. This is the largest estate gift ever given to the Foundation.

The funds will go toward three key areas that will help move research from lab to bedside in the most impactful way:

  • effective infrastructure
  • leading experts and clinical researchers
  • innovative equipment and resources.

This gift will not only save lives, it will also improve the quality of life for people living with lung diseases.

“It’s an unprecedented opportunity to look at helping the many people with these respiratory problems,” says Dr. Mark Fitzgerald, VCH respirologist. “It will give us a chance to recruit and retain world-class investigators of COPD and asthma. This is also an opportunity to reach out to our partners at other hospitals, foundations and others for an even bigger impact.”

COPD is a leading cause of death in Canada. Asthma has increased two-and-a-half times in the past 30 years – it affects more than seven per cent of British Columbians. Health care for COPD currently costs $1.5 billion a year.

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