Stories of the movement to end brain tumours

This collection of personal stories feature many inspiring people whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour. You will find stories about how patients and families find strength and hope, stories of perseverance and giving back to make an impact

We are honoured to be able to share these stories and say 'Thank You' to everyone who has shared and for everything you do to help the movement to end brain tumours.


Donna's Story - Skating through life with a brain tumour

Donna started skating as a child. Aged 15, she began to coach and continued to skate for 37 years. She had motor skills, she had balance. She also had a tumour growing in her brain. Donna’s brain tumour, a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, had probably been in her brain since she was eight years old. Due to a lack of symptoms, it wasn’t discovered until she was 44 years old. When it was discovered, it was almost fatal.

Donna’s Journey with “Evin”

Donna’s Journey with “Evin”

Donna hopes she’s at a curve in the road. It’s been a long road since the diagnosis of a non-malignant brain tumour that has been treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. “I never thought I would have to go through all this for a tumour that wasn’t cancerous” said Donna. This is her story.


Debbie's Story: “Don’t let the brain tumour stop you”

For any 50-year-old, looking back on a life that’s included solo travel, university, and even a stint working at a tropical resort chain, would be satisfying; but for Debbie Ackerman, what’s even more exceptional is she’s done all these things but is also a childhood brain cancer survivor.


Dustin's Story of Hope

It was just a toddler taking a tumble down a couple of stairs. The doctors tried to reassure Mom that all was probably okay. But Dustin’s Mom knew that something wasn’t right. Time would prove that her instincts were correct.


Denis' Story: “I live as positively as I can in the face of uncertainty”

For 28-year-old Denis Raymond, the past two years have been eye-opening. The young teacher was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), at just 26 years of age.

Doctors Face Off for Brain Tumours

Doctors Face Off for Brain Tumours

For doctors Andrew Leung and Rob Hammond, hockey is not only a favourite pastime, but it’s a chance to come together for Docs on Ice – the annual charitable hockey tournament for Ontario medical pros. In April 2015, Andrew and Rob are at the helm of the 900-player weekend event, volunteering their time to chair the fundraiser that will benefit Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.


Dave's Story of Strength

It was at a routine optometrist appointment that Dave first learned about his optic nerve's unusual appearance. It was enough to raise his doctor's attention and Dave was sent to an ophthalmologist. There he heard the shocking words he never expected: "You have a brain tumour." Today Dave focuses on the positive and gives back to the brain tumour community through fundraising and awareness efforts.


Deanna's Story of Strength

In 2005, while at work, Howard experienced a violent and frightening seizure. MRI and CT scans quickly followed. Soon, Howard and his family were told there was a large tumour behind his left eye that had likely been growing for many years. “He was really optimistic, but the rest of us were pretty scared,” Howard’s daughter, Deanna, recalls about first hearing the diagnosis.

Dr. Joe

Dr. Joe's Story

After spending his days, and many nights, with brain tumour patients at London Health Sciences Centre, neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Megyesi somehow finds the energy and passion to further contribute to the effort to overcome the disease. Since 1986, Joe, as he prefers to be called, has provided invaluable knowledge and leadership to the brain tumour community in London, Canada and internationally.


Debbie's Story: "It hasn't been just about me..."

2012 was a year of ups and downs for Victoria, BC’s Debbie McNeil. But what began with a startling diagnosis ended with a celebration of survivorship and strength. On January 31, 2012, Debbie was at her office, working as a legal assistant. It was a typical day for her, until she had a generalized (grand mal) seizure.

Daughter Honours Father’s Journey with a Brain Tumour

When Samantha Howes was a teenager, she lost her father to the brain tumour he had battled for many years. Today, she is a Brampton-based graphic designer and is continuing to honour her dad’s courage with inspiring and creative efforts. This May, she will take part in the David Bloom Memorial Brampton Spring Sprint.

Dedicated Volunteer is an Inspiring Survivor

The Kitchener-Waterloo brain tumour community has a gem in its midst with the dedication and inspiration regularly offered by Doug Bowden. Doug is a brain tumour survivor himself, overcoming the disease in February 2000.

Danielle Giffiths: 2010 Volunteer of Distinction

Danielle Giffiths: 2010 Volunteer of Distinction

Danielle began giving her time to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in 2007 following her husband Jay’s diagnosis with a brain tumour. Danielle explains, “I knew I couldn’t change this situation but I also knew I could do something to help improve things for the brain tumour community.”

Dave D

Dave D'Entremont

Volunteer Profile - Dave’s willingness to help and his compassionate nature make him one of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s most commendable volunteers.


Danielle Griffiths

Danielle Griffiths

Volunteer Profile - Her outgoing personality and willingness to help has certainly made Danielle deserving of this feature as the Volunteer Profile of the Month for December. Thank you for your outstanding commitment!


Share This

Featured Story

Roy and the Gamma Knife – A Happy Tale

I had headaches, almost daily, for 10 years or more. It was a rare day if I did not have a headache. I used to joke that I should own stock in headache remedy companies. I also had a lot of night sweats, non-restful sleep, and trouble regulating my body temperature. All these symptoms both my GP and I put off to stress.

Learn more


Courtney’s Story of Stability

Stability. It’s a strange concept when you have what it known to be a progressive, life long illness. You hear the words, “Your tumour...

Learn more

Stephen's Story: "I have faith that we will meet again"

Stephen and I chatted on what should have been his 32nd Wedding Anniversary. Stephen and Susan were married for 30 years and were best...

Learn more

Upcoming Events

  • 19/Mar/2018: Virtual Support Group for Caregivers: Virtual Support Group for Caregivers... Learn more >
  • 19/Mar/2018: Guelph Support Group: Meets at Hospice Wellington, Community Program Room, 795 Scottsdale Avenue,... Learn more >
  • 19/Mar/2018: Mississauga Support Group: Meets at Westminster United Church, 4094 Tomken Rd., Mississauga, ON... Learn more >
  • 19/Mar/2018: Edmonton Support Group: Meets at Wellspring Edmonton, 11306 65 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB ... Learn more >
View All Events >
Thank you to the donors whose contributions make this website and all programs, services and research possible.

Copyright © 2018 Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Charitable Registration #BN118816339RR0001