Garry & Marianna Hope

Garry & Marianna Hope

Volunteer of the Month Profile

Family Works Together To Provide Hope and Support to the Brain Tumour Community

The Hope family from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia epitomizes the sentiment of optimism in the future. Marianna is a brain tumour survivor and her husband Garry and daughter Karina have been with her every step of her journey, including giving back to the brain tumour community.

Almost 14 years ago, Marianna was diagnosed with breast cancer and after her diagnosis she began attending a local breast cancer support group. Marianna explains, "Because I did not know what to expect, I told myself I would give the group one year. If it did not work, I would stop going." She continues attending today.

Then, eight years ago Marianna found herself facing the diagnosis of a benign meningioma brain tumour. Because of her positive experience with her breast cancer support group, Marianna began the search for additional brain tumour information and support following her craniotomy surgery. As a nurse, Marianna was able to easily find the post-operative information she needed but learned quickly that a brain tumour support group was not available. Knowing that many other people would find themselves in the same situation, with no medical background or experience, she took steps to offer a support group in New Glasgow.

Marianna contacted Linda Clark, a nurse in Halifax who started a brain tumour support group. "Linda put me in touch with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and Mary Sheehan and I started our support group here in September 2002," says Marianna. Today, Marianna continues to
embrace the opportunity to share her experiences and reach out to others during their journey with a brain tumour.

While Marianna has dedicated her time to running the support group, her husband Garry volunteers his time every year selling merchandise at the Halifax Information Day while daughter Karina gives whatever time she can to help the support group and Halifax Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk).

For Marianna, the journey has helped her realize that every day is a special day. "I'm aware that life is too short," she says, "so let's move on and enjoy it."

Thank you Marianne, Garry and Karina for your dedication care and kindness to everyone you meet through all your efforts in New Glasgow, Halifax and elsewhere. Together we are continuing to improve the quality of life for survivors in Nova Scotia and Canada.

If you are interested in donating your time and talent, please contact:

Jennifer McIntosh
Volunteer Services Specialist
jmcintosh@braintumour.ca
1-800-265-5106, ext. 231


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