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Immunodeficiency Canada

Immunodeficiency Canada provides patient support, education, and research for a cure for Primary Immunodeficiency (PI).

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Secured newborn screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) in Ontario.
  • Supported training for 28 fellows/residents in Immunology.
  • Funded research at SickKids, CHU Sainte-Justine, B.C. Children’s Hospital, and Montreal Children’s Hospital, along with the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Israel.
  • Supported 16 diagnostic and treatment centres across Canada.
  • Hosted the 4th SCID Symposium at the CSACI annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Provided emergency financial support to families with a hospitalized child at six different centres.
  • 69 cents of every dollar is spent directly on programs (2016 Audited Financial Statements).
  • Recognized for effective communications and exemplary engagement with an audience by Constant Contact with a 2016 All Star Award.
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10 Warning Signs Video

Immunodeficiency Canada brings the 10 Warning Signs that every parent should know to life with the help of families affected by PI

We are very grateful to Fred and Vicki Modell of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation who shared these 10 Warning Signs with us to help Canadians learn about Primary Immunodeficiency.… Read more

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Our team raised $15,031 at the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

2016 Team

Our team has participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge since 2012 and has raised funds to help families living with PI. The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a special event because it brings together staff, individuals living with PI, families, and healthcare professionals for one day as they walk/run together to raise money.

Join the 2018 team today. 100% of your donation will go to helping improve the lives of people with PI, in thanks to our corporate sponsorship which covers administration costs.

To join the team, download and fill out the registration form and email it to:

STWM Registration Form 2017

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Healthcare Professionals Event Calendar

Learn about Primary Immunodeficiency scientific events.

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Press Release – April 22, 2016

Immunodeficiency Canada brings 10 Warning Signs every parent should know to life

TORONTO, April 21, 2016 /CNW/ – Immunodeficiency Canada is honoured to have the generous support of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in bringing the 10 Warning Signs to Canada.

“Our first project, in the early 1990’s was to develop the 10 Warning Signs of Primary Immunodeficiency with the American Red Cross and our newly established Medical Advisory Board. Since then, the 10 Warning Signs have been translated into more than 50 languages and have been distributed throughout the world.”  Says Vicki Modell, Jeffrey Modell Foundation

Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) occurs in people with immune systems that are either broken or missing at birth. PI can appear in the form of “common infections”, sometimes leading physicians to treat the infection while missing the underlying cause. Infections can reoccur, leading to vital organ damage, physical disability, or even death.

“Something as simple as awareness can save lives and reduce suffering,” says Richard Thompson, CEO of Immunodeficiency Canada.

There are more than 250 different genetic defects of the immune system recognized by the World Health Organization as a Primary Immunodeficiency. One in 1200 people are affected. Approximately 29,000 Canadians suffer from PI and over 70% are undiagnosed. With early diagnosis, proper care and optimal treatment, individuals can live full and rewarding lives.

Immunodeficiency Canada was founded in 1999 by Dr. Chaim Roifman and John Perl to provides patient support, education, and research into a cure for PI.

During World PI Week,  April 22nd – 29th, Public Service Announcements will be screened outdoors at Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto. Cieslok Media is generously supporting this endeavor to generate awareness with screenings at 3:00 and 4:00 pm on Saturday April 23rd. A pre-screening reception for the families involved in the making of the video will be held at the Hard Rock Café.

“It is a privilege to be able to make a positive difference for Immunodeficiency Canada by reaching the masses and creating awareness through our digital displays at Yonge-Dundas Square”, says Jörg Cieslok, President & CEO of Cieslok Media. “At Cieslok Media, we are committed to being a good corporate citizen by leveraging our network of digital displays to assist organizations doing good for the public and community.”

Image with caption: “10 Warning Signs of Primary Immunodeficiency (CNW Group/Immunodeficiency Canada)”. Image available at:

Image with caption: “What is Primary Immunodeficiency (CNW Group/Immunodeficiency Canada)”. Image available at:

Image with caption: “DNA molecule (CNW Group/Immunodeficiency Canada)”. Image available at:

Image with caption: “Immunodeficiency Canada Logo (CNW Group/Immunodeficiency Canada)”. Image available at:

SOURCE Immunodeficiency Canada

For further information:
Dana Ewachow, Immunodeficiency Canada, Community Relations Media, Tel 416-964-3434,

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Ontario—first province to screen newborns for SCID

Implementation of newborn screening for SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency), a major accomplishment for Immunodeficiency Canada.

 “This is a monumental triumph to children born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and their families. Newborn screening will detect this problem early before complications develop, and allow for prompt life-saving interventions such as bone marrow transplantation.Read more

Immunodeficiency Canada – Events Slideshow

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Family Support

Julian and his Family’s Trial with P.I.

By: Dana Ewachow

julianGina  shows me a scrapbook she’s made of her son Julian when he was two years old. This scrapbook is different from the average family album; the photos are adjacent to long lists of medications. In the photos, Julian is smiling sweetly, his cheeks puffy from a reaction to the drugs. The scrapbook was made to commemorate his battle with primary immunodeficiency. Gina admits that she did it for Julian, who is now eight years old. “He has the right to know,” she says. “Look at where he’s been. Look at where he’s at now.”… Read more

A Small Charity With A Big Impact

A Look at RN Brenda Reid and The Alastair Fund

By: Dana Ewachow

BrendaBrenda Reid is the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Immunology and Allergy clinic at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. She’s also considered an official champion by the Immunodeficiency Canada for her work with patients with PI (primary immunodeficiency). Reid admits that her PI patient relationships span across her career. She’s currently on her second generation of patients; she currently sees the sons and nephews of men she had taken care of when they were teenagers. “It’s a privilege to be a part of these peoples’ lives,” she says.… Read more

The Luck of the Draw

Everyone Wins at Toronto’s Capital Connection’s Raffle

By Dana Ewachow

The reception for ACG’s (The Association for Corporate Growth) Capital Connection event took place in Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto on Tuesday November 11th. Capital Connection, where the best business leaders in North America mingle, sponsors one charitable organization each year; this year, Immunodeficiency Canada was the fortunate beneficiary. As a member of Immunodeficiency Canada, I helped set up our tables – one stacked with informative pamphlets for our cause, the other advertising the prizes for our raffle – on the bottom floor next to the Dangerous Lagoon. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see sharks circling in their tanks. In the other corner, I watched the business elite circle the reception, slick in grey and navy suits. I couldn’t help but be intimidated.… Read more

With Joy and Art

Remembering Their Cousin Japreet

By: Dana Ewachow

JoyArt“She was a happy child. She loved art,” says Gagan Grewal, gesturing towards a framed picture of a feather that her young cousin, Japreet, had made.

I sit across from Gagan on a couch in her livingroom. Japreet’s parents live next door. “Her room is still her room,” she says, admitting they haven’t changed a thing. She describes the family’s current life as incomplete. I can sense this on the couch. It’s in the way that Gagan talks. It’s in the photographs that sit on the tables. This home aches. “You can’t make a puzzle with a missing piece,” she tells me.… Read more