Stories of the movement to end brain tumours

This collection of personal stories feature many inspiring people whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour. You will find stories about how patients and families find strength and hope, stories of perseverance and giving back to make an impact

We are honoured to be able to share these stories and say 'Thank You' to everyone who has shared and for everything you do to help the movement to end brain tumours.


Andy's Volunteer Profile

Andy is a doctor in Calgary who saw an opportunity through volunteering to support patients and his community. He was grateful to express what that meant to him. “Presently, I hold the volunteer position of co-lead coordinator in Calgary for the Brain Tumour Walk. This is my first year at this position and before that I was the volunteer coordinator. I just love Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, period. We are a strong set of determined individuals who serve one cause...

Andrew’s Story of being tough

Andrew’s Story of being tough

What do you see when you look in the mirror? When Andrew’s friend looked at him, he saw an immensely tough person and wanted to let Andrew know. Andrew wanted to see those words when he looked in the mirror, as his own private message. Andrew has since dedicated his time and energy into setting up a charity to help other cancer patients, incredible for someone battling brain cancer since 2011.


Alexandre's Story: Research Studentship Recipient

Working with Dr. Pier Jr. Morin and the research team at Université de Moncton, Alexandre’s studentship project spanned two summers and sought to answer an important question for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients: is it possible to improve the current standard of care for GBM patients by identifying a genetic signature in treatment-resistant tumours?


Ashley's Story for Advocacy

Ashley was newly married, working in a new job as an Accountant, and newly pregnant, when doctors became concerned that her morning sickness could be something more serious. Ashley shares her experience in this compelling video and explains why she is now determined to take her life back and to advocate for brain cancer.

Acclaimed Aboriginal Singer

Acclaimed Aboriginal Singer's Story

Hearing loss that started out as an aggravation for acclaimed Aboriginal singer Rhonda Head, eventually revealed something she never expected to be the root cause: a large non-malignant brain tumour. Today, Rhonda manages the repercussions of the disease and its treatments, which left her with partial paralysis and deafness in her right ear – a significant challenge for someone who relies on hearing to perform.

A Daughter’s Dream for the Future

A Daughter’s Dream for the Future

Like many little girls, when Stephanie Armstrong was a child, she dreamed of her wedding day. Now that this day is approaching however, Stephanie finds herself feeling both the excitement of this next phase of her life, but also sadness because her father won’t be there.


Ann's Story: "We really needed this special day"

For Ann, the mother of a young brain tumour survivor and two other children, a Caregiver Retreat was the chance to connect with other parents and take some time for herself - something so easily overlooked when caring for a loved one. Ann shares her story in support of Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

A hole-in-one for brain tumours – A tribute to Kathrine Turek

A hole-in-one for brain tumours – A tribute to Kathrine Turek

In July 2014, the annual Kathrine Turek Memorial Golf Tournament took place just outside of London, Ontario. For Kathrine’s daughter, Vicki Turek-Rawski, and the tightknit Turek family, it was a perfect day to commemorate their mother and wife. Over the past three years, the tournament and dinner event has raised over $50,000 for the brain tumour community.

Advocating for Change: Cara’s Story of Support

Advocating for Change: Cara’s Story of Support

For Western University student Cara Grobbecker, a long-term goal to improve patient care through a future career in medicine and a spring 2013 work-study partnership with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada has led to uncovering a personal passion for making impact for the brain tumour community. And, after finishing the work-study partnership with her Global Health Promotion class, Cara has committed her volunteer time to help develop the organization’s advocacy program.

An Author

An Author's Hope for the Future

When Nhung Tran-Davies' 19-year-old nephew was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in October 2011, she knew she wanted to do something. Being a doctor, Nhung understood the realities of the disease but says she was hit hard by the news of her nephew's health. "It took on a very different meaning having a family member stricken by this type of diagnosis. You want to do more, to see a cure."

Andy and Carol’s Story: “We are looking to the future”

Andy and Carol’s Story: “We are looking to the future”

When Carol Kovosi talks about her husband Andy’s November 2010 diagnosis of a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, one comes away with an incredible sense of warmth, peace and the importance of family. For Andy, his brain tumour diagnosis came fast and furious after a “wicked headache” that lasted for almost six days.

A Thank You from Susan Marshall

A Thank You from Susan Marshall

It is hard to believe that more than 10 years have passed since I accepted the role of Executive Director with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Twelve years earlier, in 1990, I had heard that devastating news, “your son has a brain tumour”. Soon after I started volunteering, joined the Board of Directors, and later took on the role as President. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada had become my volunteer passion.


Amber's Story of Strength

Toronto mother Amber Madore is spending October 2012 in a much different way than she would have imagined a year ago. This year she is focused on taking part in the Making “Cents” of Brain Tumours campaign, raising funds and awareness to help the cross-country fight against brain tumours. Amber’s connection to the cause began in March 2012...


Anitta's Story of Strength

For almost two decades, Anitta Hamming has battled an uncommon tumour that, when she was first diagnosed, came with a poor prognosis. Considered by her family and friends to be a statistical anomaly, Anitta lives with a cavernous sinus meningioma, and in 1993 was only the 37th case to be diagnosed in North America. Looking back on her diagnosis, Anitta says it was a conscious decision to not let the tumour dictate how she was going to live. “The stats weren’t in my favour and I knew it..."


Adrian's Story: Lacing Up For A Cure

February 28, 2012 is a day that Adrian Nadeau may not remember well, but it was one that changed his life. It was that day that Adrian learned he had a brain tumour. And now this newly-diagnosed brain tumour patient wants to share his story in support of the May 26 Fredericton Spring Sprint.


Andrew's Story: Overcoming Obstacles

Andrew remembers the day clearly – it was Friday, June 3, 1977 when he, at just ten years of age, and his parents received the news from his doctor. Andrew had a brain tumour. Diagnosed with a large Medulloblastoma, Andrew was treated through surgery, 6.5 weeks of radiation and over one year of chemotherapy. “I was told by my neurologist that I would have side-effects for the rest of my life, but what they would be and when they would occur was anyone’s guess.”


Amy's Story: Always Maintaining Hope

The “perfect blend of shy and outgoing,” pharmacy technician Amy Olsson was proud to be the mother of baby Evan and wife to her husband of seven years, Lars. The summer of 2010 was full of balancing the care of a one-year old and work while enduring headaches, numbness in her fingers and some vision problems.


Aaron's Story of Beating the Odds

At just 28, Aaron Ramler has already been through a lifetime of hospital visits, tests and treatments and today he is a brain tumour survivor that doctors call a medical miracle. A photographer and apprentice electrician, Aaron was diagnosed with an advanced brain tumour in 2007. Today, Aaron has beaten the odds ...

A Volunteer with Critical Expertise

Many health care professionals from across Canada, such as physicians, nurses, and social workers, take time out of their busy lives to help ensure brain tumour survivors, caregivers and family have access to the best brain tumour information. One of these important volunteers is Dr. David Eisenstat, a Pediatric and Adult Neuro-Oncologist in Winnipeg, Manitoba...

A Unique Board Member and a Unique Gift

A Unique Board Member and a Unique Gift

Dr. Joseph Megyesi, Neurosurgeon at London Health Sciences Centre, joined the Board of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in 2002 and has accepted the position of Vice Chair of the Board.


Alberta Survivor, Deryck Reade, Gives Back

Alberta Survivor, Deryck Reade, Gives Back

Alberta resident, Deryck Reade is a young man in his twenties who has overcome a brain tumour several times and is now committed wholeheartedly to helping anyone who has been affected by the same disease.


A Maritime Miracle

A Maritime Miracle

The only words more difficult to hear than that you’ve been diagnosed with a brain tumour are hearing the same words spoken about your child. The earliest months for all parents can seem overwhelming and demanding but are at the same time the most precious.


Angels of Hope

Angels of Hope

Certain individuals have the ability to inspire others and help turn times of sorrow into a celebration of hope. Mark de Gruchy is one such person.


A Uniform Idea

A Uniform Idea

Sometimes making a big difference originates from small decisions to help and from simple yet original ideas.

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Featured Story

Youth Education Award recipient update

This my update since completing University: Since being diagnosed with a brain tumour, life has not been easy for me; University was no exception. I had my fair share of struggles during my time in school. I failed some and struggled in most classes, but overall, I had a great experience. I found myself taking on a new set of challenges, and changing my original plan of majoring in psychology, to double majoring in psychology and gerontology with a minor in French.

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Make every brain tumour count

Stephanie, a 38-year-old mother of twins has been diagnosed with an extremely rare and inoperable brain tumour - a rosette-forming...

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Piper's Story: a dream more precious than Olympic gold

Hi, I am Piper Gilles. You may know me as a world-famous ice dancer. I competed in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. I am a 7...

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