2016 Volunteers of Distinction

The 2016 Volunteers of Distinction exemplify the wide range of individuals who devote their time and expertise to supporting the brain tumour community.

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Volunteer of Distinction Award is presented to those who embody the spirit of volunteerism. They are leaders and ambassadors who give freely of their time and energy to help reach every Canadian affected by a brain tumour through support, education, information and research.

Chris Wynder

Chris Wynder - Volunteer of Distinction 2016Chris Wynder has been an incredibly valuable asset to Brain Tumour Foundation’s Research committee. Though he joined the committee 5 years ago, over the past 12 months he has brought a significant and positive contribution, attitude and knowledge to the group.  

Chris has been involved in the application processes and overview of guidelines and applications for the Foundation’s research funding programs, helped with the logistics and development of the inaugural national conference’s Research Exhibit submissions, and assisted with the development of the organization’s first-ever Brain Tumour Research Student Competition, new to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in 2016.  

Chris also gives of his time outside of the committee, to assist staff and other volunteer groups when needed.

Thank you Chris.

Janet Hempler

Janet Hempler - Volunteer of Distinction 2016Janet Hempler has not only been the co-facilitator for the Edmonton-area brain tumour support group, she also took on the role as coordinator of the 2016 Edmonton Brain Tumour Walk.

In this new role, Janet managed to recruit 6 new members to the event organizing committee which really helped lessen the strain of planning such a massive fundraiser! She truly set this year’s Walk apart by adding more entertainment, an improved sound system and stage, and took part in more media coverage than previous occasions. Seven hundred people took part in the 2016 Edmonton Brain Tumour Walk – which was the target for attendance this year.

Beyond the fundraising walk, Janet had the High Level Bridge in Edmonton lit up in Grey in May during Brain Tumour Awareness Month and arranged to have an awareness display brought into the Cross Cancer Institute to help educate patients, passersby and even for hospital staff!

Thank you Janet.

Karen Metcalfe

Karen Metcalfe - Volunteer of Distinction 2016

After her young daughter McKenna was diagnosed with a non-malignant pilocytic astrocytoma in 2010, Karen and her family’s brain tumour journey began in many ways. Since then, Karen has volunteered as a reviewer for the Non-Malignant Brain Tumour Handbook – the first resource of its kind for individuals diagnosed with non-cancerous tumours – and the latest sixth edition of the Pediatric Brain Tumour Handbook. Karen has worked countless hours, volunteering with the Windsor Brain Tumour Walk, and in 2016, took on leading the planning of the city’s fundraising event, which has raised close to $75,000 to-date – a fifty per cent increase above their initial goal of $50,000!

Karen also wants to help bring awareness to the brain tumour cause, and makes a special point to hand out patient handbooks and information wherever and whenever possible, to this in need. She makes new connections within her local brain tumour community and we are proud to recognize Karen Metcalfe as a 2016 Volunteer of Distinction.

Thank you Karen.

Natalie Edwards

Natalie Edwards - Volunteer of Distinction 2016

Natalie Edwards has been involved with the London Brain Tumour Walk for several years, and in 2016, stepped up to chair the local planning committee. 

Natalie has also devoted countless hours to the BrainWAVE committee, the group of volunteers who plan and coordinate the amazing field trips and outings for children with brain tumours and their immediate families. She has also helped acquire a very special outing for the Ontario BrainWAVE chapter, obtaining Toronto Raptors tickets for the kids and families – something once thought totally out of reach! Personally touched by brain tumours, having lost two people close to her, Natalie’s commitment to educating the public and supporting those in need is immense. She is truly a wonderful ambassador for Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and we are proud to present this award to Natalie.

Thank you Natalie.


We would like to thank all of our 700+ volunteers! We could not manage without you. Thank you!

If you want to nominate a volunteer for recognition or know about a volunteer award opportunity in your community, please contact:

Jennifer McIntosh
Human Relations Manager
1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755, ext. 231


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