Stu Rawlings is an active member of the brain tumour community and now helps to facilitate one of our virtual support groups. Read about his journey to becoming a volunteer in his story below.
“I joined a Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada online support group as a survivor/member in early 2018 from my home in remote Northern Ontario near Sault Ste. Marie.
Following my craniectomy in December 2016, I was unable to work or engage socially outside of my immediate family. Post-op found me with several permanent challenges including difficulty with speaking. For nearly a year, I was nearly unintelligible, except to my wife. After 2017, a year of recovery, my health team suggested that I look into BTFC’s support groups as one way to re-engage with people. Upon registering as a support group member, I was added to Virtual East, for Canadians living in the eastern half of Canada. By the end of 2018 I had regained much confidence engaging with people in conversations, largely due to the open acceptance of my new friends in Virtual East, one of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s survivor online support groups. Through Virtual East there appeared an opportunity to take a next step in re-engagement: volunteering!
There are so many good things about volunteering with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. I value the friendships I’ve made, and enjoy sharing laughter even within our serious journeys, and perhaps most of all I have regained confidence in outreach to others through my volunteer experience.
I would encourage anyone with time to donate to volunteer, whether it is volunteering with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, or at a local library or hospital, volunteering connects you to others and brings fun and fulfillment to your life.”
For more on Stu’s story, you can also read a piece he did for the National Cancer Institute here: https://www.cancer.gov/rare-brain-spine-tumor/blog/2020/side-effects