Hat Gallery

The Hats Tribute is a collection of personal stories by those affected by a brain tumour

McClellan, Rick

McClellan, Rick

McClellan, Rick

This is Rick's well worn hat. He had incredible courage, perseverence, good humour and 'joi de vivre' in spite of living with a brain tumour for 20 years.

In his early years, Rick was a person who shone academically and athletically, but took some time to settle down at UNB and find his 'niche'. He graduated with an Honours BA in History in 1977 and went to Queen's where he earned a BEd in 1978. He taught high school french and english in Saskatchewan, coached cross-country running, football and girls basketball. In 1982 he returned to UNB for graduate studies only to joke that he was more 'reproductive' than 'productive' when the twins were born in 1987 - giving him and his wife four kids under the age of 6! His sense of humour never faltered and he became 'Mr Mom'.

In March 1990, he started having seizure activity, never well controlled by medication and findal on his 39th birthday (Feb 5, 1991) he was told he had a malignant brain tumour (an Astrocytoma); that without treatment he had six months to two years to live. It was a shock for us; and then he was admitted to hospital a month later, seriously ill with blood clots only to realize he might not be lucky enough to live even six months more. He had successful brain surgery in May 1991 and radiation that summer, given a life expectancy of probably five years "long enought to get hit by a bus," he said. He carried on, nliving with the limitations ofpoor balance, memory deficits and seizure activity; never able to drive or work again, but really glad to be a part of his children's lives.

By 2005 he'd seen Annie graduate from UNB twice, BSc Kin '02 and MSc. Kin '05. Josh graduated from NBCC Honour's Roll 2005, and the twins Ethan and Martha from FHS '05 both with university scholarships. In 2007 he had the delightful task of walking Annie down the aisle on her wedding day. He appreciated the gift of time.

He gave in to the need for a walker the summer of 2008 and by December '08 was admitted to hospitcal with an aggressive cancer re-occurance. He embraced the opportunity for chemo, (which worked well for 18 months) because he still had lots to do on his 'bucket list'. The twins both graduated from university in 2009. Even as options were running out the summer of 2010, he defied the odds by living to see his granddaughter born on September 27 and then meeting on her in November 2010. It was a wonderful life in many respects.

The photo of Rick in his hat was taken in 2009 at the family's summer cottage on Chandos Lake in Ontario, where we journeyed every summer if possible.

Richard McClellan 1952 - 2010


Send us a photo of a Hat

Not just any hat, but one that pays tribute to someone diagnosed with a brain tumour. Share your story and share your experiences with others.

Learn More

Share This

Featured Story

Childhood Brain Tumour Signs & Symptoms

Earlier this year, you gave us your feedback in a survey on brain tumour signs and symptoms. One of the things we did with that survey was to compile a list of the most common signs & symptoms for children. Now, as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we are sharing compelling quotes from that survey and urging you to share them with this link to see the symptoms: www.braintumour.ca/symptoms. Thank you!

Learn more


Anthony's Story is Our Story

I would like to take the opportunity to share "our" story. It’s actually my best friend Anthony's story, but I use the term "our"...

Learn more

Kate's Mum's Story

"May 2006 is a month I will never forget. That was the moment that everything became before the cancer, and after the cancer. It was a...

Learn more

Upcoming Events

  • 16/Oct/2018: North Bay Support Group: Meets at St. Luke's Catholic Elementary School, 225 Milani Road, North Bay.... Learn more >
  • 16/Oct/2018: Groupe de soutien virtuel: Un groupe de soutien virtuel pour personnes touchées par une tumeur... Learn more >
  • 16/Oct/2018: New Glasgow Support Group: Meets at East Haven Manor, 695 East River Road in New Glasgow, NS ... Learn more >
  • 17/Oct/2018: Windsor Support Group: Meets at the United Way, Unit A1, 300 Giles Blvd. East... Learn more >
View All Events >
Thank you to the donors whose contributions make this website and all programs, services and research possible.

Copyright © 2018 Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Charitable Registration #BN118816339RR0001