Volunteer Inspired By Her Mother to Take Brain Tumour Fight Online

Volunteer Inspired By Her Mother to Take Brain Tumour Fight Online

We each have special gifts that can be used to help others in our community. For Stephanie Schappert, her ability to write and connect with other people on a personal level has allowed her to raise awareness of the extent of brain tumours and to honour her mother’s memory at the same time.

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Stephanie attended Laura Secord Secondary School before graduating from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She originally wanted to become a teacher, but instead moved into a professional career in Toronto’s commercial real estate industry. "Both of my parents were teachers and I looked up to them," Stephanie says, "especially my mother."

Stephanie was in grade six when her mother’s journey with a brain tumour began with emergency surgery. Fortunately her treatment was successful and she was able to return to teaching. Several years later, after she retired and Stephanie started university, the family was shocked to find that the brain tumour reoccurred. This discovery led to a second surgery. Sadly, Stephanie’s mother passed away in November 2000. Throughout her life, her mother believed in the importance of helping others in your community and had been involved with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada through the Spring Sprint program. Likewise, Stephanie believes that it is important to give back.

"I like to donate my time and talent to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada because it is a great organization that helped my mother so much," Stephanie comments. "I wanted to honour her memory and I think by volunteering my time to help other brain tumour patients that she would be very proud of me." As a result, Stephanie became involved in helping to raise awareness for brain tumours. Through social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and by writing articles online and for the BrainStorm newsletter, Stephanie has helped to reach out to others during their brain tumour journey. Her efforts provide her with comfort and a feeling of satisfaction.

Like so many Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada volunteers, Stephanie leads a very busy life. Between working full-time and pursuing her interests of reading, writing poetry, cooking, playing pool and visiting art galleries, Stephanie still finds time to make a difference. It is through talented people like her that so many of the 55,000 brain tumour patients across Canada are able to receive the help they so desperately need.

As Stephanie mentions, volunteering can be its own reward: "I feel very happy and blessed that I can help raise awareness about Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada through the work that I have been doing on their social networking initiative."

Photo: Stephanie Schappert

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