2017 Volunteers of Distinction

The 2017 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.

Rachel Brown

Rachel - Volunteer of Distinction 2017The mother of a brain tumour survivor, Rachel is a key volunteer in the Fredericton community. She is a long standing member of the Fredericton Brain Tumour Walk committee, oversees the entire silent auction and most recently was the media ambassador for the event. As if this wasn’t enough, she also organized a booth at the screening of the final Tragically Hip concert in Fredericton, for which she got media attention from CTV, CBC and the Daily Gleaner, the local newspaper.

During Brain Tumour Awareness Month she organized a delegation (so many attended that more seats needed to be brought in) to present to City Hall and had them light City Hall up for the entire month of May.

Recognizing a need in the local brain tumour community, she obtained permission in 2016 to set up a closed Facebook Group for the Fredericton area where she shares links, local activities and fundraising opportunities and asks for good thoughts if someone is having surgery. In an effort to support her local brain tumour community even more, Rachel has recently become the convenor of the Fredericton Brain Tumour Support Group.

Thank you Rachel for your unwavering support and dedication to the brain tumour community. 

Claire Synman

Claire - Volunteer of Distinction 2017Claire started volunteering with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada 3 years ago as a member of the BrainWAVE Committee in British Columbia. Since then she has touched the lives of so many BrainWAVE families through her role on the committee and is now the Chair. 

A brain tumour survivor, she is incredibly supportive of the Foundation and is committed to raising awareness by generously sharing her own story. During Brain Tumour Awareness Month she faithfully wears grey and for the last three years has contributed a video which has been widely shared on social media to help raise awareness of the cause and our organization.

Claire produces videos with tips for other patients, participates in Twitter Chats and has been a key part of a Patient Navigator subcommittee through the Supportive Care Advisory Group to help identify resources for Health Care Professionals to share with Young Adults and Caregivers. As if that wasn’t enough, she has also shared her story at the Vancouver Health Care Professional Symposium and at the 2017 Volunteer Workshop. 

Thank you Claire for your passion for our BrainWAVE families and for so generously sharing your story to raise awareness.

Diane McFarlane

Diane McFarlane - Volunteer of Distinction 2016

Diane joined the brain tumour family as the facilitator for the Sudbury Brain Tumour Support Group in 2012. For the last five years she has given people affected by a brain tumour in the Sudbury community a place to go to share their story, receive support and most importantly, a place to go where they know they are not alone.

As is in many communities across the country, Sudbury holds a Brain Tumour Walk. Knowing the potential the walk could have in her community, she also took on the coordination of Sudbury Brain Tumour Walk in 2017. Under her leadership the walk saw more than a 50% increase in community support through the relationships she built with local businesses to help support the event.

She was also instrumental in helping to spread awareness and represented the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada at the reading of the mayoral proclamation during Brain Tumour Awareness Month.   

Thank you Diane, so very much, for your leadership and your support of the brain tumour community.

Rick Bradt

Rick Bradt - Volunteer of Distinction 2017

Rick Bradt is a key member of the Fundraising Committee of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and is actively engaged in advancing the mission and vision of our organization by supporting the overall fundraising program.

When Rick was diagnosed with his brain tumour in 2000, he developed a Cause Marketing relationship with the Foundation. A.M.A Plastics contributes a portion of the sale of each specially printed Al's Flower Pouch® to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Each year, thousands of the Al’s Flower Pouches sold in Canada are printed with the organization's logo and contact information to help patients and their families find information about their condition, a struggle encountered by Rick, following his brain tumour diagnosis.  Since the partnership began in 2002, more than 1,000,000 flower pouches have been printed with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada's logo and A.M.A. Plastics has donated over $90,000 unrestricted dollars to support the work of the Foundation.

Additionally Rick and his wife Connie are loyal supporters of the Windsor Brain Tumour Walk

Thank you Rick, for your generosity and especially for helping to increase the awareness of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada across the country.


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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