Cassie and Lianna: A tribute to their Mom

Cassie and Lianna: A tribute to their Mom

When Sunday, June 12 arrives this year, sisters Cassie and Lianna, along with members of “Team Mary,” will lace up their sneakers and join hundreds of supporters at Andrew Haydon Park for the 22nd annual Ottawa Brain Tumour Walk. While the day will be full of mixed emotions, the sisters say seeing other families in similar circumstances is comforting and inspirational. Cassie adds, “As hard as it is to do the Brain Tumour Walk, it’s also healing for us. I find it is hard to talk about our mom’s journey, but being able to share her story – and hopefully help other families – is amazing. Mom was so strong and our strength came from her!”

For most of their lives, the sisters watched their mom Mary face almost insurmountable health problems due to numerous brain tumours, but they say the disease never dampened Mary’s spirits. “We were the 3 Musketeers,” laughs Cassie, “Mom never let on when she wasn’t feeling her best, and she never complained.” For more than two decades, Mary struggled with not only six brain tumours, but also the serious side effects that come with treatment, as Lianna explains. “Mom went through radiation, chemo and many surgeries, even losing the ability to walk. “Through it all she would still stay positive and always had a smile on her face. Mom was a true survivor and she will always be an inspiration to us. She went through many tough obstacles over the years but ‘her girls’ as she would say and her husband Tim never left her side!”
Team Mary 2010Team Mary 2015For Cassie and Lianna, the annual Ottawa Brain Tumour Walk has become a tradition for their family. “We’ve done the Brain Tumour Walk for as long as we can remember and Mom always loved going. Even last year, she still wanted to join and she actually did the Walk in her wheelchair,” says Lianna. Cassie remembers the day fondly, adding, “The walk also happened to be on my birthday and it’s easily one of the best days I remember!”
This year’s Ottawa Brain Tumour Walk marks the first one since Mary passed away in August 2015, and the sisters say they will keep participating to not only honour their mom but also to help raise awareness for survivors and their families fighting this disease. “We gave Mom the best care possible but we definitely needed more support systems,” recalls Lianna. “We’d love to see more support out there for families who take care of others; but most of all, we want to see a cure for brain tumours.” 
Thank you Cassie and Lianna for paying tribute to your Mom by sharing her story.
The movement to end brain tumours is stronger because of you.

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