When Illumina began supporting Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2009, it was more than a generous donation; it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship inspired by the drive and passion of its employees to make a difference for San Diego patients and their families.

In 2011, Illumina sponsored the phone bank for the Holiday of Miracles Radiothon on KyXy 96.5, benefiting Rady Children’s, and has returned every year since.  A dedicated group of employees answers the phones for the call-in donations.  Over the years, both Illumina’s employee involvement and impact have grown.  In 2014, the Radiothon raised more than $284,000.

Through the Holiday of Miracles Radiothon sponsorship, Illumina has also donated more than $16,000 to the FACES for the Future Program, a collaboration between Rady Children’s Center for Healthier Communities and Hoover High School. The program helps students in four key ways: Health Careers Exploration, Academic Support and Enrichment, Wellness Support and Psycho-Social Intervention, and Youth Leadership Development. Students participate in the program during their sophomore, junior and senior years. Often times, these students have been considered “at risk,” but become the first in their families to go to college.

Taking generosity one step further, Illumina hosted two field trips for the FACES students to visit its San Diego campus to learn about its technologies and partnership with Rady Children’s, talk to a panel of employees for career advice, and participate in a hands-on lab experience. “FACES made me realize what I want for my future and choosing a career. . . My favorite FACES memory was when I went to Illumina,” recalls one of the 2014 FACES graduates.

Illumina also hosted a day for Summer Medical Academy students to participate in a similar experience. The Summer Medical Academy, a partnership between Rady Children’s, the UCSD School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, and is a summer program for motivated teens interested in a career in medicine or pharmaceuticals.

In 2014, Illumina added sponsorship of AJ’s Kids Crane. Each year, disc jockey AJ Machado of ENERGY 103.7 takes up residence on an 8’ x 10’ platform elevated 60 feet above the ground, eating and sleeping there until he collects 100,000 toys for Rady Children’s. Illumina employees collected 2,000 toys and donated more than $12,000. The toys are donated throughout the year to the more than 196,000 individual patients who visit the Hospital and its satellite locations.

Illumina has also contributed more than $7,000 to the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s and other areas at Hospital. 

Illumina applies innovative technologies for studying genetic variation and function, enabling rapid advances in disease research, drug development, and the development of molecular tests in the clinic.