BC Children’s Hospital is home to Canada’s only institutional BioBank dedicated to children’s research and you can be a part of it!
The BioBank collects biological samples like blood or spit from consenting patients and their family members. Once the samples are de-identified, they are made available to researchers to help discover new treatments and therapies. And just one small sample can be used for many research projects that may lead to medical breakthroughs.
"Before I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) I didn't know much about BioBanks. After my diagnosis, along with all different tests that I had to do, there were some requests regarding donating my blood samples and tumor to the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank,” says Diba Sanatgar.
“I was informed about how the BioBank works. At that time I felt like maybe I could do something helpful for people like myself. I had seen many small kids battling cancer and other diseases and I'd always wished that I could do something to help my society so that less children would have to suffer from disease. I thought donating my samples to BioBank might be small, but might bring the doctors one step closer to finding new treatments and cures that can result in improving the lives of children.”
How the BioBank works
Children, teens and family members can donate samples as part of their scheduled routine appointment – no extra appointment or pokes required! All samples are collected in a way that respects the privacy and confidentiality of the donor.
Children and families can also donate at any time, even if they do not have another medical reason to come to the Hospital.
Diba says that even though she is in remission, she knows her samples can still contribute to research and she hopes other children and teens will do the same. “I try to increase awareness about the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank and let my family, friends and classmates know of how these small samples can make a big change. We wouldn't have treatments for life-threatening disease such as cancer if it wasn't for people who participated in research. The BioBank has allowed me to contribute as well.”
Like blood or organ donations, biobank samples have the potential to save lives. Research fueled by biobank samples helps develop new treatments and cures for diseases, improving the lives of children in BC and beyond.