Janica’s Story

  August 29, 2019

Janica 2015 - Youth Education Award Recipient

Youth Education Award Recipient 2015

Janica Pickard (Fredericton, NB)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at the age of 14
Generously funded by Selectpath Benefits and Financial

“Being diagnosed with a brain tumour has had a huge impact on my life, and my journey has been filled with ups and downs. But what has helped me through is a quote by Viviane Green: ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’

This generous award will help me continue ‘dancing’ into university life with pride, confidence and determination. It means that some of the financial burden is lifted and I can focus on my dream. It means that others believe in me and that my diagnosis will not stand in the way. Being granted this award will simply be the big umbrella that will stop the storms from taking my dreams away!”


This my update since completing University: August 2019

Since being diagnosed with a brain tumour, life has not been easy for me; University was no exception. I had my fair share of struggles during my time in school. I failed some and struggled in most classes, but overall, I had a great experience.

I found myself taking on a new set of challenges, and changing my original plan of majoring in psychology, to double majoring in psychology and gerontology with a minor in French.

I learned to love university. It has been a great experience for me. I made new friends who shared the same passions as me, I learned a lot about myself, but most importantly, I found myself becoming so passionate about something I never thought I’d be interested in: gerontology.

Gerontology has inspired me in a way, that I will hold onto forever. It has changed my way of viewing the world, and without attending university at Saint Thomas University, I don’t think I would have ever found a real, true passion to care so deeply about in my studies.

With that being said, my future looks bright. I am a proud graduate (as of July 2019), and I am fortunate enough to have been accepted to Eastern College in the fall to study to become an Occupational Therapist Assistant. This is a career I have been dreaming about since grade 9.

I have been lucky enough, as a brain tumour survivor, to have gotten to experience such great care so close to home at the Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre here in Fredericton, and I must say, the centre may have influenced my career choice. Having worked with so many incredible therapists to better my care and life has influenced me greatly. I will forever be thankful and grateful to that centre for all they have done for me.

As I begin my journey to become an occupational therapist assistant, I will remain hopeful. Hopeful that others will be inspired by having me as their therapist; hopeful that others will regain strength in their activities of daily living, and hopeful that I can make a difference in our aging country.

Without this scholarship, I am not sure I could have obtained all of my goals, given myself all that I have, and pushed to do better in the world. I give many thanks to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, yet again, for this incredible opportunity. I hope I can someday return the favour.

Thank you so much,
Janica