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.


Max's Story: Beating Expectations

A simple task at work that he had once taught to his assistant, he couldn’t remember. A stumble. Nothing as serious as when he rolled over in bed and threw up, falling. Scary for Max. Twice as scary for his new wife, a recent immigrant to Canada for whom English was not her first language. Especially when he didn’t even understand why she was asking him to go to a doctor. He didn’t remember passing out, just dizziness and headaches.


Mckenna's Volunteer Profile

At only 14 years old, Mckenna is one of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s youngest volunteers. When asked about her role with us this is what she shared. “I started volunteering because I am a brain tumour survivor and realized that by sharing my story, I could make a difference and contribute to one day finding a cure."


Margaret's Story of Hope

Margaret shared her story of hope at the Brain Tumour National Conference on Saturday, October 20, 2018, and it is our pleasure to share this video story of her dad's diagnosis, treatment and recovery from a brain tumour, followed by her own diagnosis, treatment and recovery.


Michael's Story: Jacko’s Journey

In a few short days, the Jackowitz family will take part in the annual Hamilton-Niagara Brain Tumour Walk – it’s the first time the family can do this all together, as in 2015, son and brain tumour survivor Michael wasn’t able to participate due to radiation treatments. As team Jacko’s Journey, the family walks in tribute to Michael, 37, and the immense journey he’s been on since 2010.


Marjory's Story: Positive force

Marjory Buttrum is an amazing example of how strength and positivity can come from a negative life experience. In 2008, Marjory’s husband Steve was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After the initial shock of the diagnosis, the family rallied as he began treatment that would include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Early in this process, the Buttrums were introduced to the resources available through Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, which were an invaluable support during a difficult time.

Marie-Chantal’s Story

Marie-Chantal’s Story

At the young age of 10, Marie-Chantal had major brain surgery that would save her life. That experience has had a lasting impact on Marie-Chantal to this day: She now shares her journey growing up a pediatric brain tumour survivor to encourage others navigating a diagnosis to access the services to which they are entitled to, and to help them heal globally, not just physically.

Melissa and Joe

Melissa and Joe's Story: We Can Never Give Up

January 2014 started off as an exciting time for the Martelli family. Towards the end of that month, Melissa and Joe welcomed a new addition to their growing family – a little sister for their young son. It was just three short weeks after the happy arrival of their daughter that the Martellis faced another challenge: Joe was diagnosed with a brain tumour.


Mya's Story "Just try to relax and be brave"

Eight-year-old Mya is a courageous brain tumour survivor. The Williamsons, a family from Moncton, New Brunswick, share their story of strength as a way to cope and heal, and in hopes of helping other children and families going through similar struggles on the brain tumour journey.


Micah's Story: In Honour of Jonah

In 2011 Micah Nepon’s brother Jonah was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, at the age of 29. Sadly, Micah lost her brother to the disease on March 3rd 2013. Now, just a few months later, Micah is channeling her energy into the upcoming Winnipeg Spring Sprint fundraising event.

Madonna’s Story: The Long Journey with a Non-Malignant Brain Tumour

Madonna’s Story: The Long Journey with a Non-Malignant Brain Tumour

In 2003, much to the shock of her family and friends, sixteen-year-old Madonna Nixon was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour. Since that frightening day, she has endured four surgeries and more than 30 rounds of radiation to try to eliminate the tumour and cope with symptoms.


Marianne's Story: Making Change for Patients and Families

“It’s all about the patients,” explains neurosurgery social worker and Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada volunteer Marianne Lee. This focus is what drives Marianne to take part in several volunteer roles and work to make change for brain tumour patients and their families, all across Canada.


Karen's Story of Strength - Update on McKenna

It’s been almost three years since the Lumley-Metcalfe family was shaken by their four-year-old daughter’s brain tumour diagnosis. Looking back on those challenging times, Mom Karen says their two children, McKenna, now seven, and her younger brother Blake, “don’t really remember the negatives, but they do remember the amazing people they met along the way.”


Murray's Story: 30 Years of Hope

A lot can happen over the course of 30 years: marriages, new homes, job changes and children. For Murray Cass, the past three decades have brought all of these things, plus something more: the journey with a brain tumour. Murray is a three-time brain tumour survivor, with 1982 marking his first diagnosis.


Michelle's Story

Life can be demanding and full of surprises at every corner. For Michelle Chang, this cliché became reality when she started having double vision in January 2008. She did not realize that this single symptom would soon change the rest of her life, and that of her family. The symptoms eventually led to the diagnosis of a brain tumour and despite this, Michelle is now thriving.

Mike Kennedy: 2010 Volunteer of Distinction

Mike Kennedy: 2010 Volunteer of Distinction

Mike Kennedy epitomizes a talented leadership volunteer with the very best interests of and commitment to success for our organization and the people we serve. Mike took on the role of Halifax Spring Sprint Coordinator in 2009.

Montreal-based Scientist Takes on Research Fellowship

Research into promising brain tumour therapies began in Montreal in the summer of 2010 when Dr. Tommy Alain became the first awardee of the William Donald Nash Brain Tumour Research Fellowship...

Marjorie Brezina

Marjorie Brezina

Thank you Marj for your dedication, care and kindness to everyone you have met during your 25 years as the facilitator for the Kitchener-Waterloo Brain Tumour Support Group. Your encouragement and dedication have helped many who have faced a brain tumour diagnosis.

Mike Kennedy

Mike Kennedy

Volunteer Profile - Mike’s dedication to raising awareness and the initiative he has shown towards the Halifax Spring Sprint has undoubtedly earned him the title of Volunteer of the Month.


Marianna Hope - Support Activities in Nova Scotia

Marianna Hope - Support Activities in Nova Scotia

Marianna Hope is a survivor with a very positive outlook on life. A breast cancer survivor for almost 11 years now, she was diagnosed with a benign meningioma brain tumour five years ago, she underwent a craniotomy to have it removed.

Mama Rosa

Mama Rosa

Receiving the news that a loved one has a brain tumour is devastating. My family was the recipient of such news.


Many Faces of Brain Tumours

A Personal Story by Vero Martinez-Ennett - September 3rd, 2006 was the day in which I experienced all the emotions a human can feel...

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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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