Premier Christy Clark joined staff of the Pacific Autism Family Network to cut the ribbon on the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub Wednesday afternoon.

VIDEO: State-of-the-art autism facility opens in Richmond

60,000-square-foot space aims to be a one-stop shop for families looking for help.




A new centre in Richmond is providing first-of-its-kind support for families affected by autism spectrum disorder and other related disorders.

Premier Christy Clark joined staff of the Pacific Autism Family Network to cut the ribbon on the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub Wednesday afternoon.

Hundreds of donors, and family and friends of network co-founders Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia got a look inside the new facility that supports those living with a disorder that effects up to 69,000 people in B.C.

The 60,000-square-foot space includes clinics, labs, classrooms, observation rooms, and information kiosks, and is home to the Variety Children’s Treatment Centre.

“Families need one phone number, one website, one place to start,” Wendy told the crowd.

Construction crews broke ground two years ago, after Wendy and Sergio created the network to raise money.

Large donations include $20 million from the province, $5 million from GoodLife Fitness, and $100,000 from LifeLabs to support an easier blood collection program. Those with autism often find it traumatic to draw blood.

Members of the Mayday Club Youth Choir for Autism Advocacy were on hand to sing the national anthem in the centre’s auditorium.

Nicole Provost, who directs the Abbotsford-based group made up of youth on the autism spectrum, calls the new facility “special.”

“(It will) fulfill a need in B.C. that hasn’t been filled previously,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Torched-SUV victim ‘had the purest heart,’ says sister

Family of teen found in burned SUV in Surrey appeals for justice

North Delta woman hopes to inspire others in trades

Chelsea Barron knows it’s difficult to be a minority, but hopes others can follow their dreams

Family of South Surrey torched-SUV victim to make public appeal

Still no arrests or charges in homicide of Bhavkiran Dhesi: IHIT

White Rock sandcastle competition on the rocks

Backers of the proposal – the White Rock Events Society – plan to call it quits

In Surrey panto show, ‘quite the departure’ for key players

Royal Canadian company brings ‘Hansel, Gretel and the Strolling Players’ to stage

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Most Read