To our Community,
We hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy as we enter the second wave of the pandemic. Together, we are all learning how best to navigate the evolving circumstances relating to COVID-19. Brain Matters Brain Cancer Charity is no exception.
Brain Cancer Awareness Day
Today is Brain Cancer Awareness Day, a day to advocate and educate Canadians about the urgent need for brain cancer research. Malignant primary brain tumours such as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) are the most aggressive type of brain cancer, with an average life expectancy of 15-18 months.
This is a critical time for brain cancer support. While the world may have slowed down, brain cancer has not. This malevolent cancer is insidious and yet, it remains one of the most underfunded types of cancer.
Brain Cancer is Underfunded
In 2017-2018 The Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, invested $182 million in cancer research, of which $5.4 million specifically supported research on cancers affecting the brain and other parts of the central nervous system. This represents only 3%.
Perhaps lack of funding is one of the reasons that explains why the last breakthrough in brain cancer was in 2005, which saw the introduction of the chemotherapy drug temozolomide.
All Hope is Not Lost
Despite being one of the most underfunded types of cancers, we are fortunate to have brilliant doctors like Dr. Michael Cusimano (St. Michael’s Hospital) and Dr. James Perry (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) who have committed their life’s work to advancing treatments and finding ways to improve prognosis.
In recent years for example, scientists have sounded some notes of optimism with developments in gene therapy, highly focused radiation therapy, immunotherapy, MRI-guided focused ultrasound (FUS), and mechanical robots improving surgical outcomes.
Your donations have helped make this progress possible.
Thanks to donor support, our charity has been instrumental in facilitating the latest innovations in neurosurgical care and promising treatments. Your impact is helping change the landscape for people diagnosed with brain cancer. With continued support we can pioneer what could be the next breakthrough in curing and/or managing this disease.
During this unusual time, like many charities, we have had to rethink how to pivot from our regular fundraising events so that we can ensure our donor recipients continue to receive much needed funds to continue to advance brain cancer research, technology and treatments. With the onset and unpredictability of COVID-19, our team has identified alternate donation streams. We have a lot of exciting work in the pipeline, but for now we wanted to tell you about our online store as well as future website plans.
I am happy to announce the official launch of our online store. The first item available for purchase is our limited edition artwork BASECAMP, which was photographed by our Board Member, Carlos Pimentel. On February 22, 2018, Carlos climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in honour of his late brother’s life and memory. Inspired by his brother’s courageous and fearless life, Carlos’ difficult and arduous trek to reach the summit required physical, mental and spiritual strength. Carlos’ climb is dedicated to everyone that has been affected by brain cancer. 100% of all proceeds from Basecamp will be directed to groundbreaking brain cancer treatment and technology that will change the landscape for people diagnosed with brain cancer.
New Year, New Site
We are working on a new site, scheduled to be completed in Spring 2021. The improved site will include additional features such as different ways to donate, how to get involved, your impact, your voice, financial reporting as well as added items to our store. In the meantime, please visit our site for updated content such as how your 2019 donations made an impact in brain cancer treatment and technology.
At this time, we want to thank each and every one of you for your support and understanding. We continue to be guided by our charity’s vision and commitment to filling the gap between breakthrough technology and treatments, with the hope that brain cancer patients will one day soon have a more optimistic prognosis.
With the generous support of our donors, sponsors, members, ambassadors, volunteers and recipient donors, a future without brain cancer remains possible, even amidst a pandemic.
Be safe and stay well, and if you can, please donate.