When you meet Maiya Bull, the first thing that will strike you is her smile. The second thing that will strike you is just how close she and her mother came to not making it through the pregnancy.
Maiya was diagnosed in-utero with complete heart block, a disorder of the cardiac rhythm. Without intervention, she would have died. She and her mother, Rosa, were treated by Lisa Hornberger, a UAlberta professor of pediatric medicine and the Stollery Children’s Hospital’s director of fetal and neonatal cardiology. Now Rosa is healthy and Maiya is a happy baby who just happens to have a pacemaker. We don’t know yet the things Maiya will accomplish as she grows up but we do know that her future is wide open thanks to research that happened well before she was conceived.
Two of our Edmonton-based community partners have chosen to support Hornberger’s work and the other remarkable research advanced by the Women & Children’s Health Research Institute. This past June they invested in WCHRI’s future discoveries with a combined $54.5-million donation — $14.5 million from the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and $40 million from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the largest single gift in the university’s history.
This investment has a direct impact today for families everywhere while also creating ripples that will reach generations into the future.
This is the real power of the university and our partners — we work together to improve the lives of the people around us today but we also tackle the intractable problems that can’t be solved in a year, or two, or even decades. We understand that the work we support now will create a future that is wide open for the next generation.
David H. Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta