Alexie Gray and her husband were blown away by the Child Life Specialists and other staff at BC Children’s Hospital, when their daughter Indigo was receiving care. Now they’re participating in the RBC Race for the Kids to raise funds for the hospital.

Alexie Gray and her husband were blown away by the Child Life Specialists and other staff at BC Children’s Hospital, when their daughter Indigo was receiving care. Now they’re participating in the RBC Race for the Kids to raise funds for the hospital.

Once sidelined by a rare and potentially fatal blood disease, this family is now giving back

For Indigo, the hospital was a magical place. Now she’s helping other kids have the same experience.

You wouldn’t expect a child to enjoy their frequent admissions to the hospital, but BC Children’s Hospital is no ordinary place.

Indigo was three when she was first admitted to BCCH with a rare blood disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia, which is fatal if left untreated. After a failed attempt at a first-line therapy called IST and months of frequent, extended admissions, the family moved forward with a bone marrow transplant in fall 2021.

They spent a total of 132 nights on the eighth floor, most of that time following strict isolation protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic and BMT isolation requirements. It was a stressful time for Indigo’s parents, but thanks to caring staff and child-centred services, Indigo still remembers the hospital fondly.

“She talks about it with only positivity,” says Indigo’s mom Alexie Gray. “My husband and I were so blown away by the Child Life Specialists. They were so incredible. But truthfully every nurse, doctor and staff person we met was fantastic — I know you hear that all the time, but there’s something special about the staff at BC Children’s Hospital.”

Thanks to this world-class care, Indigo is now doing extremely well. So well, in fact, that the whole family is preparing to take part in the RBC Race for the Kids fun run June 12. The event, which is Vancouver’s largest family fun run, has helped improve the lives of countless kids since it started in 1986, raising over $16 million for BC Children’s Hospital.

“We’re inviting our friends and family to participate, to help us thank all the doctors and nurses, and honour what was given to us,” Gray says.

“We are so grateful for the care we received and thankful to the previous donors and fundraising that allowed Indigo to be treated in a new, first-class facility,” she adds, referring to the recently-built Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children’s Hospital. “It’s a hospital like no other and our hope is that other kiddos get the same positive experience that we had.”

Indigo was three when she was first admitted to BC Children’s Hospital with a rare blood disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia, which is fatal if left untreated. After a failed attempt at a first-line therapy called IST and months of frequent, extended admissions, the family moved forward with a bone marrow transplant in fall 2021.

Indigo was three when she was first admitted to BC Children’s Hospital with a rare blood disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia, which is fatal if left untreated. After a failed attempt at a first-line therapy called IST and months of frequent, extended admissions, the family moved forward with a bone marrow transplant in fall 2021.

Go the distance for BC’s kids

Take part in the RBC Race for the Kids to raise funds for children like Indigo, who rely on the BC Children’s Hospital. After two successful years as a virtual race throughout the pandemic, the event is being held as a hybrid model for the first time.

  • Sunday, June 12 9 a.m.
  • Choose either a 2 k.m. or 5 k.m. fun run.
  • Join an in-person community event at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver or Tillicum Centre in Victoria, or take part in the race virtually. Learn more at raceforthekidsbc.ca.

Supporters will help advance care for kids across the province and support experts at BC Children’s Hospital in their quest to conquer childhood illnesses. As the only hospital in BC and the Yukon devoted exclusively to children, almost one million kids count on BC Children’s Hospital for specialized care they often can’t receive anywhere else.

Register for RBC Race for the Kids at raceforthekidsbc.ca.

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