Young Mother Sprinting for Brain Tumours at Edmonton Spring Sprint

Young Mother Sprinting for Brain Tumours at Edmonton Spring Sprint

When Janet Hempler’s team the Tumour-nators lace up their runners on Saturday May 30th, 2015 at William Hawrelak Park, it will be a milestone morning for the young mother.

Diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma brain tumour in July 2014, while on a trip to Panama, Janet is an inspiration to those around her – and as a result, her loved ones are striving to have the biggest team in the Edmonton Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk). This annual fun-run event is part of the national movement to end brain tumours, spearheaded by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Janet’s diagnosis came after several months of what she now calls “my episodes.” These were10-20 second periods of time when she would experience twitching as well as visual and auditory disturbances. After initially dismissing these occurrences as related to having too much coffee or being overtired, Janet began seeing doctors. Then, while on a trip to Panama with a friend, she experienced a Grand Mal seizure.

Following the brain tumour diagnosis, Janet has undergone a biopsy, a craniotomy (brain surgery) to remove part of the tumour (because of its place in the brain, it’s not completely removable), radiation and now chemotherapy. Needless to say, it’s been quite the year.

During this time, Janet feels fortunate to have found Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada – and this is why she is supporting the annual Spring Sprint. “The storybook that is available was invaluable for when we had to tell our children,” Janet explains. “It gave us the words to use when sharing this news with our nine - and five-year-olds.”

When asked about her advice for someone new to the brain tumour journey, Janet talks about the local support group. “They are part of my family now. No one can truly understand what this experience is like and I am so thankful to have them to lean on.” And fighting back tears, she says, “You have to be patient with yourself. It takes a lot of time to get used to this new normal, and that’s okay.”

And now, Janet and her family are so looking forward to the Spring Sprint. “We’ve been waiting for spring,” she laughs. "and we can’t wait to see everyone at this great event.”

Thank you Janet for sharing your story and supporting the Edmonton Spring Sprint, the movement to end brain tumours is stronger thanks to you!
May 2017 update: Janet is now on the organizing commitee for Brain Tumour Walk Edmonton! Thank you, and the team of volunteers in Edmonton for all that you do!

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Story posted: March 2015

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