SickKids Foundation leads the fight for The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions. Founded in 1972, SickKids Foundation is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. As a national charity, SickKids Foundation also invests in national and international initiatives to benefit children in Canada and around the world.

Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids. Thanks to the generosity of the community, and as a result of a record-breaking year in fundraising, SickKids Foundation generated an unprecedented $187 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. 

In Canada, about 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. SickKids treats approx. 25% of all childhood cancer patients across Canada at its Garron Family Cancer Centre.

Garron Family Cancer Centre

The Garron Family Cancer Centre (GFCC) is one of the leading cancer programs in the world. The mission of the centre is to catalyze innovation through collaborative discovery and compassionate care in the name of better cancer outcomes for patients and their families. 

In 2013, SickKids opened The Garron Family MIBG Suite. It is the first paediatric MIBG centre in Ontario, second in Canada, and only one of 13 in North America. The MIBG suite offers a new treatment option for children from across Canada with relapsed neuroblastoma.

Today, over 83% of paediatric patients will survive their cancer. And every day the GFCC is coming closer to closing the gap between detection and treatment – between the ability to determine the genetic factors of cancer, and the ability to deliver faster, personalized, and more effective treatment options.

SickKids' major cancer/tumour achievements:

2022 - In a ground-breaking study led by Dr. Xi Huang, Senior Scientist in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology at SickKids, a team uncovered the mechanics of the blood-tumour barrier, one of the most significant obstacles to improving treatment efficacy and preventing the return of cancerous cells. This work lays the foundation for more effectively treating medulloblastoma, the most common malignant paediatric brain tumour. 

2021 – Research at SickKids, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto proves that inhibiting a key enzyme that controls a large network of proteins important in cell division and growth paves the way for a new class of drugs that could stop glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, from growing. 

2020 - Researchers at SickKids developed a novel anti-cancer drug protein, which could lead to the development of future therapies for what was previously considered an “undruggable” target.

2019 – SickKids research helps advance how individuals with a rare form of brain cancer are treated based on age group.

2018 – Dr. Sumit Gupta and team publish results suggesting that childhood cancer survivors are at a higher risk of mental health events.

2018 – Drs. Uri Tabori and Cynthia Hawkins build a database cataloguing low-grade gliomas in children over time. The team can now better predict the life expectancy and therapy protocols for future patients.

2017 – Dr. Michael Taylor helps discover 12 new subtypes of the most common, malignant brain tumours in children: medulloblastoma.

2017 – Drs. Eric Bouffet and Daniel Morgenstern lead the first immunotherapy clinical trial to treat an aggressive predisposition syndrome that result in hypermutant tumours.

2016 – Dr. Michael Taylor and his team discover major molecular differences between the metastases of medulloblastoma tumours and the primary tumour. These will inform what drugs to use for patients who relapse.

2016 The cancer surveillance approach called the ‘Toronto protocol’ dramatically improves survival rates in children at risk of cancer, a five-year follow up finds.

2015 – SickKids informs policy efforts to combat childhood cancer in low- and middle-income countries.

2015 – SickKids scientists discover how mutations depress platelet production and increase leukemia risk.

2014 – Research by SickKids scientist Dr. Michael Taylor is the first in the world to demonstrate why standard chemotherapies don’t work on ependymomas, a childhood brain tumour. 

2014 SickKids, in collaboration with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, performs North America’s first paediatric incisionless surgery to remove a bone tumour. 

2013 – A new pilot project at SickKids allows teens to receive portable cancer treatment through a backpack, reducing their time in hospital. 

2011 – Dr. David Malkin and his team develop a new approach for detecting cancer early in patients at high risk for the disease. This “Toronto protocol” is now being used by doctors around the world.

2010 – A transformational gift of $30 million, believed to be the single largest private gift to paediatric cancer in North America, establishes the Garron Family Cancer Centre at SickKids.

2008 – Dr. Michael Taylor discovers a family of eight gene mutations in fatal paediatric brain tumours. 

2005 – Dr. Sean Egan and Toronto colleagues identify two key genes linked to aggressive breast cancers; drugs in development to target the genetic pathway. 

2003 – Dr. Peter Dirks identifies cancer stem cells responsible for brain tumours. 

1997 – A $5 million gift from Arthur and Sonia Labatt helps establish the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre. At the time, this was the largest-ever gift made by a family to SickKids.

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