Acclaimed Aboriginal Singer's Story

Acclaimed Aboriginal Singer's Story

Hearing loss that started out as an aggravation for acclaimed Aboriginal singer Rhonda Head, eventually revealed something she never expected to be the root cause: a large non-malignant brain tumour. Today, Rhonda manages the repercussions of the disease and its treatments, which left her with partial paralysis and deafness in her right ear – a significant challenge for someone who relies on hearing to perform. That’s why she takes part in the Winnipeg Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk) – to ensure others who face a brain tumour diagnosis can find the support and services they need to feel knowledgeable about the disease. 

Rhonda’s first diagnosis was in 1993, and a recurrence of the brain tumour was discovered in 1999. Due to the position of the masses, both near Rhonda’s brainstem, surgery couldn’t completely remove the tumours. After her first 11.5-hour brain operation in the early 90s, which required more than one year to recover from, Rhonda chose to undergo focused radiation to treat the second tumour. 
It’s been a challenging 20 years for Rhonda, who says she wishes she’d had access then to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada resources she does today. “All the information on is so good. To have that around for my first diagnosis would have made a huge difference – for me and my family. I want to help make sure that anyone else with a brain tumour can find the same resources.” 

The 2015 Winnipeg Spring Sprint will be the first for Rhonda and she’s excited to walk among a community of other brain tumour patients, survivors and supporters. “I know how scary it is, the brain tumour experience, and it’s so important to reach out to others who have been there. You do not have to give up on life, your hopes or your dreams. Those can all still happen for you!”

Thank you Rhonda for sharing your story and supporting Spring Sprint, the movement to end brain tumours is stronger thanks to you!

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Story posted: April 2015

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