New Michael Coss Brain Injury Fund aims to benefit children

Sunday, April 7, 2013

COQUITLAM – The Coquitlam Foundation and the Michael Coss Foundation have announced the establishment of a new fund, to be managed by the Coquitlam Foundation, to help brain-injured children.

The Michael Coss Brain Injury Fund is named in honour of Coquitlam resident Michael Coss who, having suffered a severe brain injury in a car accident in 2006, revived from a six-month coma after receiving Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy, a treatment that is not covered by the provincial medical-insurance program.

“Without these treatments, Michael would not be here today, I guarantee you,” says Michael’s father, Bob Coss who, with his wife, moved to Coquitlam from Quebec City after his son’s accident.

The new fund’s purpose will be to provide financial support to a broad range of treatment options that may otherwise be unavailable to a child suffering from brain injury. Priority will be given to support for a child determined to be most likely to benefit from alternate therapies, whose family or support team do not have the means for such treatments. The fund will be seeded with an initial donation of $6,000.

Bob Coss explains that the family decided to establish the fund with the Coquitlam Foundation to enable donors to take advantage of the Coquitlam Foundation’s official charitable status. “I really appreciate the support,” he says. “We will certainly be able to help children, and that’s really the main reason. There are so many families who can benefit from that.”

He says he has first-hand knowledge that some children with autism respond positively to treatment in a hyperbaric chamber. “It was amazing to see the results,” Mr. Coss says. “It was almost like a miracle, to see that same child six months later, acting normally, like any other child.”

Dale Clarke, Executive Director of the foundation, explains that a child from the City of Coquitlam, or from the Tri-Cities, will be given preference for support. An individual who is not a local resident may be supported if a local resident is not identified as in need of, or eligible for support.

Foundation Chair Julie Fisher says the foundation manages a portfolio worth $2.3 million, comprising 20 donor-advised and nine foundation-directed funds. Its annual Awards Night will take place June 4 at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. Last year, the foundation distributed more than $90,000 in grants, scholarships and bursaries.

The Coquitlam Foundation is pleased to accept donations to the Michael Coss Brain Injury Fund or any of its other funds, c/o P.O. Box 2, 1207 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, V3B 7Y3, or through its website. The Coquitlam Foundation is registered with Canada Revenue as a charitable organization, No. 890762347 RR0001.