2019 Volunteers of Distinction

The 2019 Volunteers of Distinction exemplify the wide range of individuals who devote their time and expertise to supporting the brain tumour community.

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Volunteer of Distinction Award is presented to those who embody the spirit of volunteerism. They are leaders and ambassadors who give freely of their time and energy to help reach every Canadian affected by a brain tumour through support, education, information and research.

Danielle Barclay

Danielle - Volunteer of Distinction 2019

Danielle Barclay began to volunteer with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in June of 2016 as the convenor of the Edmonton Support Group. A survivor herself, she recognized the importance of providing the brain tumour community with a place to go to share their stories and receive support. 

Danielle quickly settled into her convenor role and often found herself in the dual role of convenor and facilitator. She has attended and supported brain tumour education sessions for patient with malignant brain tumours, attends the Edmonton Brain Tumour Walk and is always increasing awareness about the foundation through her job as an Occupational Therapist. 

Recognizing the need to increase awareness in the medical community, she has made inroads with the medical students at the University of Alberta and has also connected us with the Alberta Pituitary Patient Society.

We are so pleased to thank Danielle and present her with the 2019 Volunteer of Distinction Award.

Arlette Boghonskhan

Arlette - Volunteer of Distinction 2019

Arlette Boghonskhan from Montreal, QC has been involved with the organization of the Montreal Brain Tumour Walk for over four years. 

She has been an essential part of the success of our past events and has always been an amazing ambassador of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. In addition to attending all the Montreal Brain Tumour Walk meetings, she has spent countless hours reaching out to potential sponsors. Her efforts have helped to save thousands of dollars in food, activities and raffle/gifts which are offered to our participants every year.

Remembering what it was like to be the new person on the committee, Arlette always has a kind word and a gentle, guiding hand for those who are helping with the event the very first time. Her sense of humour and easy going personality make it a joy for other volunteers to attend committee meetings.

While Arlette understands the importance of the Montreal Brain Tumour Walk, she also recognizes the need to increase awareness. She uses her knowledge of our programs and services to seek out sponsorships of other programs such as the foundation’s pediatric GoCervo program.

It is our sincerest pleasure to present Arlette with the 2019 Volunteer of Distinction Award.

Michele Bliss

Michele - Volunteer of Distinction 2019

Michele Bliss started volunteering as the facilitator of the Burlington Support Group in June of 2017 during a time of transition in the group’s leadership. Ensuring that group members continued to have a place to go to receive support, she often found herself in the dual role of facilitator and convenor. She has recently welcomed a new convenor to the group and has been key in their success.

A brain tumour survivor herself, Michele’s unique perspective has been instrumental in helping own mother deal with her own brain tumour diagnosis this past spring. 

Never one to take off her volunteer hat, Michele often joins her mother on her visits to her neurosurgeon and never passes up the opportunity to tell the medical team about Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and the programs and services that we provide.  

Michele’s passion to the brain tumour community knows no bounds and is so deserving of the 2019 Volunteer of Distinction award

Hazel Neely

Hazel - Volunteer of Distinction 2019

Personally affected by a brain tumour, Hazel started to volunteer in Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s London office in November of 2016. Having just recently retired, she wanted to give back.

If you have ever called the office for assistance, chances are you have heard Hazel’s warm and caring voice on the other end of the phone. On any given day Hazel can be found greeting guests as they come into the office, answering calls from patients and families, running through the office to ensure staff are at their desks so that callers aren’t put into a voicemail box and helping our wherever she is needed.

No task is too big or too small for Hazel. She has affixed safety pins to thousands of grey ribbons so our community can wear them proudly, joined the team at a retreat where we discussed the importance of providing quality service to brain tumour community and even filled in full time during a staffing transition period.

The staff have come to rely on Hazel not only for her help but for her kind smile, caring ways and her passion for the brain tumour community. It gives us great pleasure to award Hazel with the 2019 Volunteer of Distinction Award. 


We would like to thank all of our 700+ volunteers! We could not manage without you. Thank you!

If you want to nominate a volunteer for recognition or know about a volunteer award opportunity in your community, please contact:

Courtney McDonnell
Human Relations Associate
1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755, ext. 221       

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