Giving Back Memories

Hearing the acronym, “GBM”, from your doctor is frightening. We want it to have an alternate meaning.

The GBM album is about giving back memories to individuals and their families who have experienced life with a brain tumour by hearing their stories in song.  

The story

Andrew Szpecht loved listening to music. He would often go out of his way to find new artists, and would show them to his father, John. While Andrew received treatment for a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), his father, John Szpecht, began writing lyrics using Andrew’s words and experiences. After Andrew tragically passed away in 2012, John began to gather more stories and poems written by Canadian brain tumour patients and their families with the idea that the stories of those who have suffered from brain tumours would one day be shared.

He enlisted the help of Edmonton-based musician Chris Wiebe, who organized talented Albertan musicians to put these stories and poems to music. The result is a full-length album called Giving Back Memories, which expresses the realities of life with a brain tumour, be an inspiration to those currently fighting, and raise funds for brain tumour research.

Giving Back Memories features great up-and-coming Canadian acts such as Tasman Jude, Madi Allen, Big Ben, Brian Christensen, and others. To date over $3,500 has been raised from the sale of the CD and iTunes downloads.

To say thank you

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada has committed to creating the first Canadian Brain Tumour Registry to ensure that every brain tumour is counted. Currently there are no accurate statistics on how many Canadians are actually diagnosed with a brain tumour and what tumour types make up their diagnosis. Our researchers are at a disadvantage to see patterns or changes within Canadian patient groups and accurate data is needed to find the cause and cure for brain tumours.

Giving Back Memories exemplifies the uniqueness of every person with a brain tumour by giving them a voice through song – the Canadian Brain Tumour Registry project is giving every brain tumour patient a voice by being counted.

To say thank you we are now giving away songs from this CD.

Please check the link below to listen to or download this song "Warrior" at no charge.

This song is based on a patient named Colin and his battle with his tumour. 

Please check the link below to listen to or download this song "The Trees" at no charge.

When Birdy was beginning her radiation treatment, she longed to be like a tree. A tree prepares for winter by losing its leaves, gripping the earth and readying to withstand the harshness of winter. When spring arrives, the tree comes to life. She was determined to be like a tree and make it through winter (radiation treatments).

Please check the link below to listen to or download this song "Mario" at no charge.

Mario owned a gravel pit/quarry. He was tough - like a rock. Not even a tumour was going to change him. He never stopped loving and caring for his family.


Please check the link below to listen to or download this song "Beautiful People" at no charge.

This song is based on a girl named Sarah's fond retelling of her sister, Rachel's, fight with a brain tumour. It is a very personal and touching ode to a family member/ friend who has passed away. 

Please click the link below to listen to or download this song "Better Days" at no charge. 

This song is about a patient named Aaron and his wife, Donna, learning to make the most of their time. Aaron tries to keep it normal for his family (his two kids and wife -- his three stars). His favourite part of the day is getting home at the of the day and just being with them. His and Donna's mantra is "we can do this" and "remember to breathe". Enjoy.

Should you wish to say thank you for the songs, please text BRAINTUMOUR to 20222 to donate $10 to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada or you can donate online.

Thank you to those who made this project possible

A very special thank you to John Szpecht, Chris Wiebe and the amazing artists whose hard work have made this project possible. John raised all of the money through sponsorship to create the songs while Chris took on the responsibly of finding the artists and managing the recording, production and placement for the album.

The many artists who volunteered their help with song writing, singing, and playing instruments have brought the project to life.

Brain tumours steal lives; they steal jobs, families, relationships, personalities, hearing, speech and even driving. Help us remember and win back the lives of the folks honoured in these spectacular songs.

Thank you John and Chris and all the wonderful artists who volunteered their time and their extraordinary talents.

To find out more about the CD, please contact:

Suzanne Fratschko Elliott
Fundraising and Engagement Manager
1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755, ext. 227  



Thank you to the donors whose contributions make this website and all programs, services and research possible.

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