Go Gray in May for Brain Cancer Awareness Month
It’s April and spring is evident everywhere. The world is exploding with color… red robins, purple hyacinths, yellow daffodils, green grass. It’s all so hopeful… the budding trees evidence of new life and the knowledge that summer is coming. And that’s what we have to hold onto as April winds into May, Brain Cancer Awareness Month.
The color of the brain cancer ribbon and the theme color for Brain Cancer Awareness month is gray. Gray like the way the world turns from technicolor and hope to gray and bleak when you hear the words, “It’s brain cancer.”
Gift from a Child (GFAC) works as a force against the gray, bleak diagnosis of brain cancer. At the worst time imaginable we offer families the opportunity to do some good, to do something hopeful for future families. Tissue donation fuels research that will lead to the cures we lack today.
The need for innovative and effective treatments for pediatric brain cancer is more critical than ever. Pediatric brain cancer is chronically overlooked and underfunded. Although thousands of families are affected, the disease is relatively rare and development of new treatments is not considered profitable by pharmaceutical companies. Pediatric cancer receives only 8% of government funding for cancer research.
Even when funding is available, without tissue the hands of medical researchers are tied. Researchers need to study both the diseased and healthy brain tissue of those children who do not survive their disease. Lack of tissue remains a barrier to finding a cure, and we are determined to remove this barrier.
It’s not rainbows and unicorns for families that donate, but finding a glimmer of meaning and some hope after such a loss sheds some light on the darkness of that loss. Julian Roque’s father spoke about donating his son’s tissue after he passed from brain cancer at just six years old. “Julian knew that his donation was going to be meaningful. It made him happy. He knew that by donating his tumor that his “friends” might be saved someday.”
We know Julian’s and Michael’s tissue, and the tissue of the hundreds of children who have donated post-mortem tissue through GFAC are fueling tomorrow’s cures.