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.

Bloom Family

Bloom Family's Story: Finding hope amid the grief

When you look back at Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s history, it’s clear that at the heart of the organization are the patients, survivors and loved ones who care for those diagnosed. It’s this amazing community of supporters – even amidst what is often a life-changing journey – who volunteer their time, host fundraising events and donate in memory of those they’ve lost to the disease.


Brian's Story: “I’m fighting this cancer inside and out”

“I look better than ever!” – it’s a statement you might hear when someone is newly retired and finally has the time to workout and eat properly. But for Brian Cole, it’s what comes after that exclamation that sets him apart. “I look better than ever!” he says, continuing, “but I have terminal brain cancer and might not see my retirement now.”


Benoit's Story: "There’s no tempting Lucky Number 7!”

For 30-year-old Benoit Poudrier, the past three years have been a journey to say the least. But despite six brain surgeries, meningitis, and blood clots in his legs due to hospital stays, this brain tumour survivor has kept his sense of humour. “I had six brain surgeries total by April 2015, and I certainly don’t want anymore. For me, there’s no tempting Lucky Number 7!”


Barb's Story: "We can all make a difference"

Twenty years ago, in 1995, Barb Clark was keeping busy with two growing children, a loving husband and the day-to-day responsibilities of a job and home. That’s when a major seizure stopped everything in its tracks.

Bearduary Canada - Raising Funds and Awareness for the Cause

Bearduary Canada - Raising Funds and Awareness for the Cause

For Michael Lombardi’s friends, their undergraduate years at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, were about more than the typical concerns. Six years ago, during their first year, this tightknit group decided to do something to give back to the community. At the same as this desire to “do something bigger than us,” one of their good friends’ Aunts was diagnosed with a brain tumour.


Brandon's Story: "And keep fighting I will..."

Brandon was the type of person you only had to meet once to remember. His bright smile, kind heart, positive attitude and love of life made him impossible to forget. Five-and-a-half months into my pregnancy, I developed complications and doctors told me I was going to lose him. But he fooled everyone and was born full term weighing in at a healthy eight pounds. From that point on I considered him my miracle baby and always felt he was put on this earth for a reason.

Brad and Jeff

Brad and Jeff's Story of Strength

"Let's just say that everyone has been for a scan," says Jeff DeBoer. Jeff is one of two brothers who were each diagnosed with a brain tumour, six months apart. This video story showcases the strength of one family in the face of the strange twist of fate that saw two brain tumour diagnosis' within just six months. The brothers finds strength in humour, which you will feel the moment the video opens.

Brittney’s Story: “I hope that one day there will be a cure ..."

Brittney’s Story: “I hope that one day there will be a cure ..."

When Sudbury student Brittney Rouleau’s father Andre was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer at the end of April in 2012, she knew she needed to ‘do something’ to help. Today, Brittney is sharing her story in support of the effort to raise awareness and funds for research and patient programs.

Big Joe's Story: Living with a Glioblastoma Multiforme

In December 2011, Joe Spaziani’s life changed completely when he was diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour. Today Joe has been living with his tumour for nearly 17 months, outpacing the life expectancy he first heard from his doctor.


Ben's Story: Survivor Laces Up to Honour All Canadians with a Brain Tumour

For survivor Ben Seewald, it’s been over 15 years since he heard the startling words, “you have a brain tumour.” And since that day, it’s been a priority for him to not let that diagnosis direct his outlook on life.


Brian's Story: A Volunteer of Distinction

A father of two, Brian was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1999. Brian and his family were enjoying the warm August long weekend at the cottage. He was running around outside with his kids when he felt a tingling in his calf. While Brian had experienced the sensation many times before he thought it was the consequence of a high school football injury. Within seconds, the pain shot up to his arm and then he fell to the ground.


Bekki's Story of Strength

Less than one year ago, 31-year-old childcare worker Bekki Rahal’s life changed in a way she had never imagined that it could. In the middle of the night, on January 29, 2012, she found herself awake with a leg cramp. “I thought that it was a ‘charlie horse’ and that I would just go back to sleep,” she remembers. But then, she started yelling in pain, waking her husband Steve and before they knew it, she was having a seizure.

Blogging, Volunteering Motivates Brain Tumour Survivor

In the fall of 2008, Sarah Ramsden was busy adjusting to married life after a July wedding and the changes brought on by a new job and home after a move to Toronto from Alberta. Then the Christmas honeymoon trip to Paris, France was delayed when the subtle symptoms she had been experiencing were diagnosed as a Meningioma brain tumour. Today, Sarah is back at work as a Freelance Art Director and is a passionate volunteer raising awareness and funds for brain tumour research in Canada.

Burlington Family Rallies around Teen with Brain Tumour

For Paula Skowronski’s teenage son Jacob, it all began with a headache that just wouldn’t go away. “Our doctor prescribed two Advils, twice a day,” the Burlington Mom remembers. When that didn’t help, the doctor suspected the busy high school student’s symptoms were caused by stress.

Bringing Hope for over 25 Years

Bringing Hope for over 25 Years

2007 marks Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s 25th anniversary of bringing hope to those affected by brain tumours.


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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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