Sunday, December 11, 2016

Annual Update 2016

The Birdsell Family & Friends Brain Cancer Research Fund has a lot to be grateful for in 2016. Past the halfway mark in our five year commitment, we're happy to report the fund is ahead of pace. This comes as a relief to the organizers but also represents an achievement the whole family can all be proud of this Christmas season. In September I held a successful DJ fundraiser in Calgary and my Mom supported the fund throughout the year by parting with many beautiful Chigiri-e pictures in exchange for donations (Chigiri-e is a Japanese art that my Mom does which uses high-quality paper to create images). Aunt Judy and Uncle Terry did yeoman's work raising awareness of the fund within their circle of friends and we wish to extend a warm thanks to all who contributed.

Donations to the BFFBCRF support the Impact Grant Program established by the Canadian Cancer Society which targets brain cancer research in Canada with a high probability of significant progress in the near future. As my knowledge of cancer research grows, it's intimidating how complex the challenge is: Post-graduate students hunch over lab benches investigating the most minute interactions of cancer and the brain; the interconnectedness of the human body is a constant source of mystery as to whether scientists are seeing a cause-and-effect relationship or simply a correlation in their data. But even if such challenges lay ahead it's time such attention was paid: firstly, survivorship rates of brain cancer continue to lag behind that of other types of cancer; and secondly, the late-term effects of brain cancer tend to be more severe and can include psychological or social problems, learning disabilities, growth and developmental issues, and hearing difficulties.

But here is the great thing if readers should wish to honour the BFFBCRF with a donation: Brain Canada, a national non-profit, will match our family's contribution meaning we as a group have the power to affect brain cancer research in Canada to a tune of $50 000! Amazing! We hope family and friends have a great 2017 and begin to fortify themselves against the final push to reach our goal in 2018 – a goal which now appears increasingly doable! 

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