Gene Chiarello Helps to ‘Shut Out’ Brain Tumours

Gene Chiarello Helps to ‘Shut Out’ Brain Tumours


July, 2006 - Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is celebrating an unprecedented $750,000 raised through participants, volunteers and sponsors at 18 Spring Sprint walk-a-thons (now Brain Tumour Walk) this year. This year Spring Sprints were held in 18 communities and 8 provinces from Halifax to Vancouver from April to June. Spring Sprints celebrate life and hope, and remembers those who have lost their battle with a brain tumour.

Gene Chiarello, former OHL and University of New Brunswick goalie, brain tumour survivor and National Spokesperson for Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada says, "It has been so gratifying to meet people right across the country who care. Thousand of volunteers had the drive to not only reach but also exceed our $600,000 fundraising goal. $750,000 is proof of their dedication and hard work to help those affected by brain tumours and our collective goal to 'shut out' brain tumours."

Gene understands the need to continue the search for a cure and to support those affected by brain tumours. Not only is Gene a brain tumour survivor but he is also a dynamic motivational speaker that is in public demand. As the National Spring Sprint Spokesperson for Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, Gene loves the opportunity to share his message of hope with all Canadians.

Gene had a successful career with the London Knights and then moved on to the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. Gene was a promising university student and talented hockey goalie when he was given the devastating news that he had a cancerous brain tumour and would probably not survive. From that moment, Gene started living what would become his personal motto: “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

The tough times began one morning in July 2003 when he awoke with blurred vision. At the young age of 24, Gene was diagnosed with a tumour on his brain stem. Despite his six months of chemo and two brain tumour surgeries, Gene was always in good spirits and full of tenacity.

Gene’s tough side was evident when two months after surgery, Gene laced up his skates and joined his UNB Varsity Reds team on the ice. One month later he played his first game since beginning his battle with a brain tumour. To close his university career he was named UNB’s best all-around athlete for excelling in academics, athletics and community involvement.

Today, Gene is inspiring audiences young and old as he travels across Canada to raise awareness about Spring Sprints and brain tumours with his message of hope, humour and humility. “You are not what happens to you but what you do about it. I look forward to the little things in life and I celebrate each day,” says Gene.

It is the brain tumour survivors, Spring Sprint Coordinators, sponsors, volunteers, friends and families who rallied their enthusiasm to organize and support the Spring Sprints, who are our real heroes. Their efforts will ensure that those affected by brain tumours will continue to have the support, education and information to help them cope with this devastating disease. The work of everyone ensures that we can continue to fund cutting edge research for better treatments and ultimately find a cure.

2012 Update: Gene has completed university and law school and is a practicing lawyer.

Check out additional 30 Years of Hope content here.


Watch Gene's Video

Gene shares his story in this 8 minute video.

Thank you to EMAC Recording Studios and 3M Canada for their generosity in donating recording and studio time for Mr. Chiarello.

You can visit Gene's website here:

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