Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Brain Tumour Awareness

One boy's tragedy, is another boy's hope

I want to say thank you to Evan Leversage and his family. 
As I write this, Evan is in palliative care with an inoperable brain tumour and his family preparing to say good-bye. 

But last month, a community, a region and a nation came together to bring one last Christmas to this amazing 7-year-old boy in his hometown of St. George, ON. 

His story has gripped the hearts of millions of people, and renewed faith in humanity. But Evan has also brought our family an early Christmas gift.

Evan has given us hope. His story has attracted media attention from networks across the province and with it bringing to light the much-needed awareness of paediatric brain tumours. 

This little boy's wish, his journey and his smile have ignited a flurry of media reports and the reality that more needs to be done to treat and cure brain tumours in our children. 

Because of that attention, I have hope the momentum will continue and attract more research dollars, more clinical trials and someday a cure. 

I have hope someday, sooner than later, my son and all the other children with brain cancer will benefit from a discovery. Someday, sooner than later, childhood cancer will be as talked about as much as breast cancer.

Who knew a boy and his last Christmas could mean so much to so many. His cause in the spotlight could be the start of something big! 

For being the second most diagnosed type of childhood cancer, treatment lags behind others. Survival rates for the No. 1 diagnosed childhood cancer - Leukemia - have significantly improved. Now, more than 90 per cent of children are cured, according to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

But there are still no cures for many brain cancers. Only invasive treatment options with high risks and severe long-term effects are available. Five-year survival rates for my son's cancer have not improved in years. Still a quarter of every child diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma dies within five years of diagnosis.

I know better treatments, a cure are out there, we just need to give this cause the attention it deserves!

My thoughts are with the Leverage's tonight and I pray that God gives them the strength they need during this difficult time.

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