THE BLOG
05/08/2014 12:17 EDT | Updated 07/08/2014 05:59 EDT

When it Comes to Brain Tumours, There Is Strength in Numbers

When it comes to fighting brain tumours, having a strong and supportive team is the greatest weapon. I've been a social worker on the neurosurgery floor of a hospital for over 26 years. As one of the first people to have contact with a newly diagnosed brain tumour patient, I can attest that a strong network, a resilient team, is one of the greatest assets a patient, and their families, can equip themselves with as they begin this new chapter of their lives.

When it comes to fighting brain tumours, having a strong and supportive team is the greatest weapon. I've been a social worker on the neurosurgery floor of a hospital for over 26 years. As one of the first people to have contact with a newly diagnosed brain tumour patient, I can attest that a strong network, a resilient team, is one of the greatest assets a patient, and their families, can equip themselves with as they begin this new chapter of their lives.

Every day, 27 people in Canada hear the words, "you have a brain tumour." As you can imagine, getting that diagnosis is inevitably life changing. Each person has a different reaction. Some people need time to process the diagnosis, while others are information seekers and immediately want an intellectual understanding of the prognosis.

Either way, my job is to start where the patient is at and address their needs and their family's needs accordingly. The one thing that remains constant however is that all patients and families need to be able to lean on others as no one can go through this experience alone.

I too rely on my team at the hospital immensely and have developed a strong support system outside of work. It takes a special group of people to work in neurosurgery. The fabulous team of doctors and nurses that I am fortunate enough to call my peers, work with me to make sure that we are effective and collaborative. Together, we are stronger and able to deliver better care.

The role of team goes well beyond the patient and their network. Every year people come together across Canada to raise national support and awareness for those living with a brain tumour. Each individual effort contributes to a much bigger outcome: to increase awareness and raise funds so we can ultimately understand the cause of and develop a cure for brain tumours.

I go beyond my work at the hospital to contribute to a brighter future for those who will be diagnosed with a brain tumour by working with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to advance research. Every year there are a series of Spring Sprints across Canada. Check out your local Spring Sprint this year, there's always room for one more on the team.

For more information on the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and the Spring Sprint visit: www.braintumour.ca