Farewell to Grace McCarthy

In a statement issued by her family, former Social Credit cabinet minister in British Columbia Grace McCarthy died peacefully at her Vancouver home surrounded by her family on May 24, 2017 after a lengthy battle with a brain tumour.

Grace McCarthy blazed a trail for women in politics and business; she was 89 at the time of her death.

In 1995, Ms. McCarthy started the CH.I.L.D Foundation, the first Canadian charity focused on finding a cure for children suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and liver disorders. Since then the foundation has raised millions of dollars in research funds, supporting laboratories and researchers housed at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, as well as the Canadian Children Inflammatory Bowel Disease Network, linking all the major Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease centres in Canada towards a combined research effort.

According to Dr. Kevan Jacobson, Division Head, Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition at UBC, “Grace’s efforts were instrumental in the expansion of the inflammatory bowel disease and liver research programs at BC Children’s Hospital and in the upgrading of the Division’s procedural suite. Further, researchers from our department such as Dr. Laura Sly, Dr. Bruce Vallance, Dr. Richard Schreiber, and myself included have been impacted by the work of Ms.McCarthy. Hundreds of patients and families across BC and the rest of the country owe their thanks to the tireless work of Ms. McCarthy who was inspired to help other sick children when her own grand-daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. ”

Ms. McCarthy was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1992, and was appointed to the Order of British Columbia in 2004.