All Minds Matter: Advocating for Brain Tumour Awareness Week

by Lauren Armstrong

30 October 2023
There are countless causes worth supporting within the nonprofit industry, with each one carrying its own set of unique challenges and stories. The battle against brain tumours is a cause which frequently goes unnoticed, however it is of immense importance. International Brain Tumour Awareness Week is an annual event that shines a spotlight on this critical issue. It’s a condition that not only affects patients but their families, friends, and communities. The lives affected often face silence, stigma, and a shortage of understanding. This week is not only about raising awareness but also a call to action for the entire nonprofit industry. This article will explore the significance of International Brain Tumour Awareness Week within the third sector, the impact it has had, and how you can get involved to make a difference.
A Doctor Holding an MRI Result of the Brain

Understanding Brain Tumours: The Silent Crisis

Raising Awareness and Breaking Stigmas

Brain tumours affect millions of lives worldwide, yet remain predominantly in the shadows of public consciousness. Many individuals and families facing a diagnosis encounter stigma, misconceptions, and a lack of understanding. This is where International Brain Tumour Awareness Week plays an essential role.

During this week, numerous nonprofits and groups come together to share stories, distribute information, and eliminate myths surrounding brain tumours. They work tirelessly to raise awareness, highlight the challenges faced by patients and their loved ones, and the urgent need for more research and support. 

The Crucial Role of Charities

The nonprofit industry plays a pivotal role in addressing the challenges of brain tumours. These organisations provide critical support for patients and their families, fund cutting-edge research, and advocate for policy changes. They are often a lifeline for patients and their families. Small charities are renowned for their persistent commitment to improving lives, and play a critical role in addressing the challenges posed by brain tumours. Through their unwavering support, funding groundbreaking research, and advocating changes, they are leading the battle against this condition.

How Can You Contribute?

Donate to Nonprofit Organisations:

Numerous nonprofit organisations dedicated to brain tumour awareness and research rely on donations to fund their initiatives. You may want to consider contributing to these organisations to help make a difference. This can be done through platforms like Givey, which allow for easy and secure transactions.

Volunteer The Gift of Time:

Volunteering is a powerful way to support the cause. Nonprofits often need volunteers for various tasks, from organising events to providing emotional support to patients and their families. Your time and skills can have a significant impact and can have a significant role in driving their missions forward. By doing this, you will likely make valuable connections, develop new skills or simply a sense of accomplishment. 

Spread the Word for Brain Tumour Awareness:

Aside from making financial contributions, remember you have influence, so use this and social media platforms to your advantage to amplify the message. You could share stories, facts, and information about International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, encouraging your network to get involved. Education and recognition are crucial in the fight against brain tumours.

The International Brain Tumour Alliance have suggested some ideas that may be valuable for you, your friends and family to help increase awareness:

  • Contact your local media and tell them your story
  • Share your story with local groups/schools/churches
  • Write a blog about your story / brain tumours
  • Post awareness messages on Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram and other social media channels (see below)
  • Have a Zoom tea party or quiz with friends and family to raise funds for vital brain tumour research
  • Organise a fund-raising walk, run or other activity for a brain tumour charity in your country.
  • Organise an educational webinar about brain tumours
  • Launch educational resources online
Label Cut Out Papers on the Cardboard

My Story

At six years old, I was a relatively normal child from the outside despite being shy and having occasional hospital appointments. I had a curvature of the spine called Congenital Kyphosis, which was quickly picked up on when I was born and my family knew I would likely one day need surgery to correct this. It didn’t cause me any pain and I still had good mobility, which meant my early childhood was a happy time with many adventures. 

In 2008, during a six monthly MRI scan to monitor my spine, an alert radiographer noticed something wasn’t right. There was an abnormality at the top of my spine where it meets the base of my skull (close to the cortex). Understandably in shock, my parents were told that it was cancer by a kind and brave paediatric consultant. I was immediately referred to a consultant oncologist at Newcastle General Hospital. Throughout the previous months, I had experienced severe headaches that left me shrieking in pain, being sick and with dizziness and blurred vision. These alarming symptoms disappeared after a while but reappeared in the time before I went for the MRI scan. 

All of our lives flashed before our eyes and within days, I was being prepared for major brain surgery to remove what we found out was a low grade glioma – a benign tumour. My parents have said that this was the most terrifying time of their lives, however the speed of events meant they had little time to feel sorry for themselves and had to be strong for me. The surgery was a success and we were extremely grateful to have had the most excellent surgeon to undertake it. With this happening at such a young age, I don’t remember a lot about it or even how I felt, but it was undeniably a frightening experience. 

Conclusion For Brain Tumour Awareness

International Brain Tumour Awareness Week is a call to unite, advocate, and illuminate. It serves as a reminder that within the nonprofit sector, the causes we promote extend far beyond individual missions – they are a collective effort to make the world a better place for all. Let this week inspire us to converge to support those in their fight, and never forget that every small effort counts. Brain tumours affect people every day, so by continuing to support nonprofit organisations and creating understanding, we can make an enduring impact.

Join us in recognising this by visiting the Givey website, where you can make a donation, and explore more about nonprofit initiatives on our blog. Your support can truly change lives and bring us one step closer to a cure.

If you liked this article, check out some of our related posts. 

2 Responses

  1. Daniel Pitt says:

    Congratulations Lauren on your article, as I read your post and came across your story I was filled with emotions. As a father myself I can only imagine the trauma your family faced . You are an inspiration to others and I will continue to support you and your family and raise awareness for brain tumours .

  2. Alison Donovan says:

    Lauren’s story is frightening for one of such a young age and I agree, there should be more awareness about this awful disease. I am signing up.

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