Remembering Joan Shackleton

Remembering Joan Shackleton

If you ask anyone fortunate to have known Joan Shackleton, you can bet they would tell you she was compassionate, brave, determined, and had a “heart of gold.” Joan holds a special place in the lives of those she touched over the years, especially those of the Algoma District Brain Tumour Support Group members.

Diagnosed with multiple meningiomas in the spring of 1999, Joan had brain surgery on June 7 (her 55th birthday) to remove 13 of the non-malignant tumours. Another seven were taken out during an operation the following year, with many smaller meningiomas remaining.

Joan’s faith sustained her throughout her life, but she still felt scared and alone on her journey, not knowing whether what she was experiencing and feeling was normal.

Joan contacted Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to find support resources near her, only to discover that no group existed in her community – at the time, a group in Sudbury was the closest. Resolute in her willpower to develop something people like her could turn to, Joan set about connecting with other local brain tumour survivors and launching the Algoma District Brain Tumour Support Group. Eventually, 10 patients and survivors would gather for their first-ever meeting.

Today, the group holds strong and is grateful for all of the time and care Joan gave to her local brain tumour community. “Joan knew how scary it was to have brain tumours and she knew a support group was an important part of treatment and recovery,” they explain.

Sadly, in May 2014, almost 15 years since her initial push for a support group, Joan passed away. She is fondly remembered and for the members of the support group, her incomparable strength will never be forgotten. “As our journey continues on, so will Joan’s memory. She is forever in our hearts.”

Our heartfelt condolences are extended to Joan's loving family and to the Algoma District Support Group.
We also send our thoughts to everyone affected by a brain tumour, whether you are newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, in recovery or coping with the loss of a loved one. If you or someone you know has been affected by a brain tumour, you can lean on us

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Story posted: October 2014

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