Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation

Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation

August 04, 2005 16:23 ET

Toronto investment advisor goes to the extreme

Brian Culbert raising funds to help child burn victims in Cambodia Attention: Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 4, 2005) - Every year, children in developing nations are killed and disabled by serious burns. Cramped, inadequate living conditions make children vulnerable to injury. Many of these victims could be rehabilitated with relatively simple burn treatments, provided they have access to the right care at the right time.

CIBC Wood Gundy investment advisor Brian Culbert knows first-hand the value of access to acute care. His son Matthew was born with a severe skin condition, and is alive and thriving today because the family had timely access to the care he desperately needed here in Toronto.

Brian's experience has fuelled his desire to help other, less fortunate children. This year he is challenging himself in two grueling physical endurance tests, cycling in the "TransRockies Challenge" from August 7 - 13 and the "24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships" from September 3 - 4. His goal this year is to help burn victims in Cambodia by raising $250,000 to fund reconstructive surgery through the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), an NGO hospital at Kien Khleang in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Brian would like to challenge others to give.

Dr. Massey Beveridge, Director of the Office for International Surgery at the University of Toronto, based at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, has helped these children first-hand. "We can help young people who are disfigured lead productive lives and function in society," says Dr. Beveridge. "Many of these injuries are simple to fix if you are there at the right time. The key is to train local surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists to be able to care for victims."

Working in partnership with the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook & Women's, and CSC, Dr. Beveridge and other Canadian doctors, nurses, therapists and medical students have been training Cambodian personnel in burn care since October 2000. This has involved transfer of skills and information, and teaching has primarily been informal and practical, focusing on ward rounds, surgical techniques, dressings, splinting and physiotherapy. The partnership has provided onsite training for a total of seven Cambodian surgeons, five nurses, and two therapists and has exposed a variety of Canadians to the reality of burn care in a developing country

In the past five years, CSC has operated on 500 burn cases, the vast majority of which were advanced and disabling burn scar contractures. The cost of performing burn contracture release in this environment is between $50 and $100 (US) per case. Post-discharge follow-up of surgical patients in developing countries is difficult, but early measures of success such as graft take and improved range of motion have been satisfactory.

In addition to surgical relief, burn victims are also supported with outpatient physiotherapy. Recently an acid burn survivors group was started, giving comfort and support to victims who often rarely leave their homes, and they are starting to provide custom-made pressure garments that ease victims' suffering.

Dr. Beveridge and his colleagues are extremely grateful to supporters like Brian Culbert who are volunteering to raise money for young people far away. Funds will go toward capital, supplies and transportation costs for the volunteer trainers. "Supplies and capital are vital to our work," says Dr. Beveridge, "but it is really teaching other people how to use the supplies that is the most important aspect, because it lasts."

Funds raised for Children's Surgical Centre will be directed through the Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation, a registered national charitable foundation. Donations may be made via the Foundation's confidential and secure website, by navigating to "Ways to Give" or clicking on "Donate Now" in the top left-hand corner. Please designate that donations are for the Cambodia Children's Summit Ride. Alternatively, the Foundation can be contacted by mail, phone or e-mail:

Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room H332
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5
Telephone: 416.480.4483 or toll-free at 1-866-696-2008

To learn more about Brian's Cambodia Children's Summit Ride visit

Shawna Dennis
Senior Manager, National Marketing
CIBC Wood Gundy
Tel - 416-594-7204
Fax - 416-594-7664
/For further information: Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room H332
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5
Telephone: 416.480.4483 or toll-free at 1-866-696-2008 IN: FINANCE, HEALTH, SOCIAL, TRAVEL, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation
    Primary Phone: 416-480-4483