This is our message to you…
You have been in our thoughts and hearts as together we have careened down this unchartered road that COVID-19 has taken us.
Many times during the last few weeks I have been reminded of the 18 months of Connor’s illness with brain cancer, 7 years ago. A time that was devastating and stressful, in many ways familiar to how many of us are feeling now. Although it was a dark and terrible time, there were moments of pure joy and love.
Connor, stricken by a cruel disease, was holding us together. Although brain cancer took many things from him during his illness (his ability to move his right side, to read and remember) it couldn’t take the very essence of him-his humour, wisdom and love of his family, friends and music were very much intact. Throughout his illness he would play Bob Marley’s ‘3 Little Birds’ song, especially when we were sad and stressed.
Reminding us that even though nothing felt OK, we would be OK. In hindsight he gave us a beautiful and generous gift. It’s why we have 3 little birds on our logo and why we sing this song before every start of Connor’s Run. We hope it gives you some comfort too.
We have been incredibly busy the last few weeks- adjusting to this new, stay-at-home, virtual world we all find ourselves in and how we can best adapt during this time. Our priorities have been: ensuring we can meet all of our funding commitments (I’m pleased to say yes, we can); supporting our brain cancer community; keeping our small staff employed and productive and looking at our 2020 events through this new COVID-19 lens.
We are as passionate as ever about changing the odds for young people with brain cancer and have every intention of being here long term. I’d like to personally thank our Board. Their stewardship and governance has meant we are in a good position- looking ahead at months of uncertainty. I’d also like to thank our talented and dedicated staff. The word ‘pivot’ is being used a lot and I am in awe of our team’s creativity, resourcefulness and speed in doing so.
We know this will be a challenging year for everyone. We are looking at our events with this understanding. We hope you can stay involved with us as best you can. Paediatric brain cancer has not stopped because of COVID-19, and is still the #1 cancer and disease killer of young people. In many ways children and families affected and the research we fund need our support now, more than ever.
The International Brain Tumour Alliance (ITBA) has put together a list of useful links for the global brain cancer community.