Brain Tumour Awareness Events of 2015

Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours

This page is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of our international community of brain tumour organisations and individuals who took part in walks and events to raise global brain tumour awareness in 2015.

Throughout the year, distances covered by each walk were "donated" to the Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours annual target of circling the Earth at the Equator – equivalent to 24,901 miles / 40,075 km. The IBTA itself does not receive any money from these walks, and participating organisations and individuals donate the funds they raise to a local or national brain tumour support or research activity of their choice. Any organisation or individual is welcome to get involved – to find out more about the Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours initiative or to register your walk for 2016, click here.

International Brain Tumour Awareness Week

Each year in October, the International Brain Tumour Awareness Week is a special time when IBTA encourages organisations and individuals to run activities to create increased public awareness of brain tumours and the, often dire, consequences they have for patients and their families. In 2015, Awareness Week was Sunday 25th Oct to Saturday 31st Oct. The International Brain Tumour Awareness Week in 2016 will be Saturday, 22nd October to Saturday, 29th October. To find out more or to register an activity for Awareness Week, click here.

Below is a selection of just some of the Walks Around the World for Brain Tumours and Brain Tumour Awareness Week activities that took place in 2015.

Events taking place throughout 2015:

Spring Sprint Walks (Canada)

Every year The Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada organise their Spring Sprint, a series of walks  generating funds for brain tumour research, care, support and patient information. 18 walks took place across Canada, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. 5,100 participants walked 19,162.5 km, raising $1,185,245 (and counting!).

In the photos (right), those wearing dark blue t-shirts are brain tumour survivors; volunteers are wearing orange, and participants are in white. Some walkers chose to make and wear their own team t-shirts.

A full list of Spring Sprint events can be found at www.springsprint.ca.

BT5K Breakthrough for Brain Tumors Run & Walk (United States)

The BT5K Breakthrough for Brain Tumors Run & Walk is the American Brain Tumor Association's national signature fundraising event, which takes place every year in cities across the United States. Walks and runs were held in nine cities (Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Chicago, Michigan, Spokane, Columbus, Dallas, Twin Cities and New York City). Over 8,000 walkers took part, walking 25,011 miles and raising $2,088,903.

Funds raised are used to provide vital brain tumour resources for patients and their families, to support promising research, and for nationwide brain tumour educational programmes.

Starry Nights Walks (United States)

Starry Night 8.5K walks/runs took place in seven US cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Boston. Starting in the evening, each event shines a light on the 28,000 children and teens in the US who live with a brain tumour, and on the children sadly no longer with us. Participants light lanterns to symbolise hope for a cure and to honour the ‘Stars’ - the children with brain tumours.

Monies are raised go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, to fund family support programmes and for childhood brain tumour research projects.

Reports and photos from each event, including distances walked and funds raised, can be found on a special page here.

Head for the Cure 5K (United States)

Since 2003 The Head for the Cure Foundation has hosted annual 5km runs and walks in the United States. To date 25,000 donors have contributed, raising a staggering $6 million for the Foundation.

2015 saw the Foundation’s runs and walks held in Kansas City, Central Texas, North Texas, San Antonio, St Louis, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Chicago, Jackson, Omaha, Des Moines, Wichita, Mid-Missouri, Tulsa and New York. 7,555 walkers took part, donating 23,416 miles to Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours.

Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research Walk-a-thon (United States)

Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research held two walks, the first on 25 February, at Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, Arizona. 800 walkers took part in a 3 km walk under cloudy skies with intermittent rain, which forced several activities to be relocated indoors. On 5th December, 300 participants took part in a 5 km walk at Desert Vista High School, Phoenix, Arizona.

The total distance walked for the two events was 3,000 km and $160,000 was raised.

The Musella Foundation Walks (United States)

Musella Foundation LogoEight fundraising walks took place for the Musella Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping brain tumour patients with emotional and financial support, education, advocacy and raising money for brain tumour research. On 30 May, 150 people took part in The National Walk To End Brain Tumors in the historic town of New Egypt, New Jersey. The event raised $32,000.

Other walks took place in: Jensen Beach, Saint Paul, Devils Lake, Edison (see report below), Las Vegas, Salt Lake, and Long Branch, New Jersey. 2,406 people took part in the various events, collectively covering 12,030 km (7,475 miles).

Ellie's Fund Walks (United Kingdom)

Ellie's Fund logo

Heather Othick, Founder of Ellie’s Fund, began her Walk around the World for Brain Tumours in 2015 when training for a 26 mile charity trek in Peru. Over several months Heather and a friend ‘donated’ their training miles. In her final training session, Heather organised a group trek up Scafell Pike, England, with 22 people joining her in aid of Ellie’s Fund.

Having completed her 26 mile trek Heather   took part in the Snowdon walk in June (see report below and poster here). In September, she also organised a local walk in memory of her daughter, Ellie, who died from a brain tumour in 2010. Thirteen people each walked eight miles. Over the year 734 miles were covered and more than £9,000 was raised.

April 2015

Ed Evans Foundation 'Walk the Vale' Walk (United Kingdom)

On Easter Monday, 6th April, 278 walkers took part in this annual Ed Evans Foundation  event. With the sun shining, walkers chose either a short six mile walk or a long eleven mile walk, both of which allowed for taking in the stunning scenery of the Welsh Vale of Glamorgan.

1,983 miles were walked and over £2,000 raised for the charity. Volunteers deserving special thanks were Michelle, Alice and Ian, for helping to register and sign walkers in and whose efforts allowed the day to run successfully. Paula and her staff at The Plough and Harrow, Monknash hosted the returning walkers – who got to enjoy a well-deserved drink on finishing!

Gold Ribbon Walk (Japan)

Gold Ribbon Walk, Tokyo, 2015

On 14 April, Yuko Moue, Vice President of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Network in Japan, was joined by 42 paediatric brain tumour patients and caregivers for the Gold Ribbon Walk in Tokyo. Walking through Tokyo’s Hibiya Park and Palace Park to raise awareness for childhood cancer, the Network’s group collectively walked 210 km.

Brain Trekking (Hong Kong)

On a wonderful Saturday morning on 25 April, 416 trekkers and twelve dogs completed a 3.5 km-walk at The Peak in Hong Kong. “Brain Trekking 2015” is the eighth brain tumour awareness walkathon organised by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Otto Wong Brain Tumour Centre.

1498 km were walked and the event paid host to a special guest of honour - Deanna. She is the first guide dog in Hong Kong and her presence attracted 11 more dogs to join!  Brain Trekking continues to support and promote mileage ‘donations’ to the IBTA Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours.

May 2015

Race for Hope DC (United States)

The Race for Hope DC is the largest US annual fundraiser to benefit the brain tumour community, with the proceeds going to support Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure and the National Brain Tumor Society. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $24 million for brain tumour research and support. The 18th annual Race for Hope DC, held on 1 May, saw 8,000 participants walking 5 km each (40,000 km in all), raising $2.32 million.

The event included a 'Survivor Tribute', with more than 350 brain tumour survivors marching together towards the start line as a symbol of hope and strength in their battle against brain tumours (see photo). The Race was the culmination of a weekend of activities, including a benefit concert at Acre 121 by singer David Cook and many team-sponsored fundraising parties.

The Nick Gonzales Foundation Charity Golf Tournament (United States)

Nick Gonzales Foundation Logo

On 1 May, The Nick Gonzales Foundation for Brain Tumor Research held its 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament and Fundraising Dinner. 86 participants walked the course, in support of Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours, covering a distance of 387 miles.

The event was promoted on a local CBS TV channel and local CBS radio. $26,300 was raised from the event, which included a silent auction and evening dinner.

Meagan's Walk (Canada)

Meagan's Walk takes place annually in Toronto during Mother's Day weekend. This year it took place on Saturday 9 May, and the weather was glorious and warm! 3,750 - 4,000 participants of all ages and abilities came - some travelling from remote parts of Canada. Each person walked approximately 5 km, adding up to a total distance of 18,750 km.

The Walk’s planning committee's initial fundraising goal was $450,000 - but this was reached and then surpassed! Meagan's Walk is a community-based, volunteer-driven organisation that has, to date, directed more than $4.1 million to paediatric brain tumour research at the Brain Tumour Research Centre, Toronto.

This year’s Walk also followed the progress of Corey Alexander, who cycled across Canada to raise awareness about brain tumours and fundraise for research.  He rode in memory of his cousin, Maddie, who had participated in Meagan's Walk 2014.  A truly dedicated and determined effort!

Walk on Sunshine (United States)

Suzy Esstman's Walk on Sunshine, honouring Rob Levin logoThe 10th annual Walk on Sunshine, organised by The St. Louis Chapter of Hadassah, took place on 17 May, at Queeny Park, Saint Louis. Despite the forecast for rain, the event was attended by 150 participants and, as usual, was completely rain-free! All money raised from the one-mile walk went to support the Neuro-oncology department of Hadassah Hospital, which is actively researching treatment for brain tumours.

Central New Jersey Brain Tumour Support Group Walk (United States)

On 30 May 2015, the Central New Jersey Brain Tumor Support Group took part in an annual 3.2 mile fundraising walk in Edison, New Jersey, for the Musella Foundation. There were 152 walkers, who covered a distance of 486 miles – several of the more able walkers chose to walk further as a gesture toward those who struggled to cover the full distance.

$9,750 was raised for the Musella Foundation, for research projects. This year’s walk was notable for being the first in the event’s history to have good weather!

Northeast Florida Brain Tumor Support Group (United States)

Sontag IBTA Walking around the World - 2569 Miles

Members of The Sontag Foundation’s Brain Tumor Support Group of Northeast Florida took part in Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours throughout May, wearing pedometers and recording the distance covered. 2,569 miles was the group's total tally.

June 2015

Snowdon Trek (United Kingdom)

On Sunday 21 June, a party of twenty walkers, plus three large dogs, set off on the ‘easy’ Llanberis route of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, UK. IBTA’s Events and Activities Co-ordinator Kiki Connor walked alongside representatives from three Yorkshire-based brain tumour charities. With her on the climb were: Heather Othick (aka "Ellie's Mum" from Ellie's Fund Brain Tumour Trust), Rachel Finlay (Charity Manager for BT Research & Support across Yorkshire), Paula Holmes (The Katy Holmes Trust), IBTA supporter Marilyn Rankin, and Kiki's husband Andy.

Ignoring the train that was happily chuntering up and down all day, the trek turned out to be long but not too difficult. Conditions were cold, cloudy and windy all the way to the top but the climbers were rewarded with amazing views as the cloud cover lifted.

August 2015

Kortney's Challenge (United States)

On 10 August, The Kortney Rose Foundation held its 10th Annual Kortney’s Challenge – a 2-mile Fun Run/Walk to support paediatric brain tumour research. Kortney’s Challenge drew over 500 supporters to Monmouth Park, Oceanport, New Jersey. 264 people walked a total of 528 miles, raising over $64,000 to directly benefit The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s paediatric brain tumour research consortium.

Kristen Gillette, Founder and President of the Foundation, said: "We were delighted to have Ryan start the race and Brett sing the national anthem before the race. It's special when children who have been through a brain tumour diagnosis and their families participate in our event. Many join us and start their own fundraising teams to raise money for research. Together we can Help Get Brain Tumors Off Kids' Minds.”

October 2015

9th Annual Brains Together For a Cure Walk (United States)

Brains Together For a Cure logoSaturday 3 October saw 620 people attend the 9th annual Brains Together For a Cure Walk in Rochester, Minnesota.  As well as the 5 km walk, the event featured live music, a silent auction, raffle and activities for kids. At the time of writing, $45,000 has been raised for the Mayo Clinic for brain tumour research. A similar event held the week before in Spencer, Iowa, was attended by 225 people. 845 walkers across the two events walked 4,150 km.

Annual Caroline Fund 5K Race (United States)

On Saturday, 12 September the Caroline Fund held the Second Annual Caroline Fund 5K Race in Caldwell, New Jersey. 781 registered participants ran or walked the 3.2 mile (5 km) route, accompanied by 100 volunteers. $50,000 was raised with a total distance of 2,500 miles (4,000 km) travelled.

The Caroline Fund is a non-profit organisation established in 2013 in memory of Caroline Vandemark, who lost her life at 22 to a glioblastoma tumour. The funds and awareness generated from this race support the brain and spine tumour research at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey.

Find out more about the Caroline Fund at www.carolinefund.org.

The Caroline Fund Logo

19th Annual Race for Research (United States)

The Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation held its 16th Annual Race on 19 September in the neighbourhood of Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia. More than 1,400 people attended  the 5 km run and 2 km fun-run/walk with participants being given the option of contributing their miles toward the Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours.

Starting early at 6.30am, 211 Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation people took up the challenge, each averaging 5,086 steps; and by the time the sun had risen, they had proudly donated 536.5 miles.

Twilight Walks (United Kingdom)

In September and October, 1,038 walkers took to the streets of Windsor, Chester, York and Warwick, United Kingdom, as part of The Brain Tumour Charity’s four Twilight Walks. Supporters included those who had been personally affected by brain tumours, and their families.

The Brain Tumour Charity is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to fighting brain tumours. United in their battle, supporters collectively walked 10,380 km and raised the grand total of £211,967.96.

Grand Union Canal Walk (United Kingdom)

Brain Tumour Research's Annual Grand Union Canal Walk took place on 26 September and attracted more participants than ever, with over ninety people on the day.  Walkers of all ages and abilities took on the eleven mile route – and were even joined by a few four-legged friends!

Fun and laughs were had by all and children received special Brain Tumour Research medals for their achievement. A distance of 1,327 km was walked.

On 1 November, Brain Tumour Research also held a new event: the ‘Teigns and Turrets Walk’. Organised by Peter Jordan, Regional Fundraising Manager for the South West, he was joined by fifteen other walkers. Peter remarked: “Everybody said it was a fantastic walk with stunning views and was very well organised. The stops at Castle Drogo and the Fingle Bridge Inn were very much welcomed. We were blessed with a beautiful day and everyone said they would walk for us next year and tell their friends to come.” The distance walked was 217 km.

October 2015

Astro Brain Tumour Fund Walk (United Kingdom)

On Sunday 11 October, over 418 people (and  171 dogs!) walked over 2,500 miles around the beautiful estate of Holkham Hall,  Norfolk, raising over £8,000 for Astro Brain Tumour Fund, a UK-based charity dedicated to low-grade glioma research and care. Routes of one, three, six and ten miles were organised so all ages and abilities could take part. Children also enjoyed a treasure hunt. Now in its ninth year, regular walkers celebrated their success with a portion of fish and chips in Wells-next-the-sea!

Walk4BrainCancer China Trek (Australia)

On 11-15 October, Leigh Turner and eleven other walkers trekked 73 km along spectacular sections of the Great Wall of China to raise money for The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. Walkers came from across Australia (Tasmania, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide and Perth), each with different experiences of brain tumours. Walk organiser Leigh’s mother has had 22 brain tumours surgically removed since 2002 and is currently living with three meningiomas.

The trek was physically and mentally challenging but walkers supported each other throughout to achieve their goal,  emerging with amazing memories and  new lifelong friendships. An aim of the Walk4BrainCancer Trek was to produce a 2016 calendar, featuring photographs, inspirational quotes from people affected by brain tumours (including Leigh’s mother), poetry, and more. The ‘Calendar4BrainCancer’ was released during International Brain Tumour Awareness Week on 25 October, with proceeds going to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation to fund brain tumour research. AUS$128,872 has been raised to date.

3rd Brain Tumour Alliance Australia Summit (Australia)

BTAA logo

On 22 October for International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, The Brain Tumour Alliance Australia and Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ), with support from the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, hosted the 3rd Brain Tumour Alliance Australia Summit, a lunch, and special educational forum at the CCQ Brisbane offices, Queensland.

Among the speakers was the internationally-recognised Professor Martin van den Bent. Michelle Stewart from the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation presented news on clinical trials. Although unable to attend in person, Australia’s Federal Health Minister, Susan Ley, gave a welcome message for the Summit (video here).

Western Australia Walk and Picnic (Australia)

The Brain Tumour Association of Western Australia held their inaugural Walk and Picnic event on 25 October at South Perth Foreshore, Western Australia. Arranged to coincide with International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, funds were raised from donations and through selling Christmas cards, which were put towards Professor Anna Nowak’s research at the University of Western Australia. Even though the weather wasn’t great, the event was enjoyed by all and is planned to be an ongoing annual event. The distance walked was 106 km.

4th Brain Tumour Awareness Day (Argentina)

The fourth annual Argentina ‘Brain Tumour Awareness Day’ took place on 27 October  at the Argentine Medical Association, Buenos Aires. Results from a survey conducted throughout 2015 that examined “The accessibility to diagnostic methods and treatment of brain tumours in Argentina” were presented. This represents the first such survey of brain tumours ever undertaken in Argentina.

The event was attended by representatives from a broad range of specialties, including neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, pathology, radiation therapy, palliative care, psycho-oncology and public health. It is hoped that this meeting will be the initial step towards gaining academic support for quality management improvement in brain tumour care, leading to equitable neurosurgery practice in Argentina. The presented study is to be published in in the Revista Argentina de Cancerología (Argentina Journal of Cancer); the Revista Argentina de Neurocirugía (Argentina Journal of Neurosurgery) and on The Argentina Cancer Society website. The meeting was supported by The Argentine Association of Neurosurgery, the Section of Neuro-oncology of the Latin-American Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.

International Brain Tumour Awareness Lunch (Australia)

The sun shone brightly on Wednesday, 28 October, for an International Brain Tumour Awareness Lunch, at the newly opened Solaris Care Community Garden at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia.

The event was organised by the University of Western Australia and attended by over 50 people, including brain tumour patients and their families, representatives from the University of Western Australia and the community advocacy groups Brain Tumour Association of Western Australia and the James Crofts Hope Foundation. Professor Anna Nowak, Medical Oncologist, at the University of Western Australia, gave an inspiring speech about promoting awareness of brain tumours in the region and the progress of research. Musicians and singers from the Swan Valley Anglican Community School, Perth, played in the relaxing garden setting and a silent auction raised money for Professor Nowak’s brain tumour medical research.

Informal Information Evening Event (Ireland)

Irish BTSG logoTo mark International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, on 28 October the Irish Brain Tumour Support Group - Western Region held an Informal Information Evening in Galway. The Support Group regularly hold meetings for those affected by a brain tumour diagnosis to share their experiences, joys and fears. This Information Evening was targeted at anyone recently diagnosed or living with a brain tumour, with the message: “the flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

'Team Kings' Snowdon Walk (United Kingdom)

'Team Kings', from left to right: Stacey Seymour, Robyn Winter,Josh Harrison, and Harry Martin.

'Team Kings', from left to right: Stacey Seymour, Robyn Winter, Josh Harrison and Harry Martin.

On Thursday 29 October during International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, a team of walkers trekked up Mt. Snowdon, Wales for the charity Fighting Ependymoma. Called ‘Team Kings’, the walkers were staff from Sainsbury’s Supermarket, Kings Road, Harrogate and the trek was organised by store manager Stacey Seymour on learning of IBTA and its awareness raising events.

On the day, despite the weather being rainy across most of the UK, conditions were glorious on Snowdon! £650 was raised through the walk. Sara Wilson, Chairperson for Fighting Ependymoma, said: “We are thrilled that they chose such an appropriate challenge, as it accurately reflects the 'mountains' that brain tumour patients climb every day in a bid to beat the disease. We thank Sainsbury’s for their continuing support; and for IBTA for inspiring others to raise awareness of brain tumours.”

The Darren Baucom "Smashing Clays" Benefit Event (United States)

On 31 October, The Darren Baucom "Smashing Clays" Benefit Event was held at Alpine Shooting Range, Fort Worth, Texas. The competitive sporting clays tournament was in aid of brain tumour research, with four-person teams entering under a variety of registration / sponsorship options.

There was a raffle, a silent auction, food and drink, and the event turned out to be a huge success, raising $31,000 for the National Brain Tumor Society.

November 2015

5K / 10K Run and Family Walk (Ireland)

Brain Tumour Ireland’s annual 10K & 5K Run Fundraiser took place on Sunday, 1 November, at Corkagh Park, Dublin. Clear blue skies greeted the runners and walkers as they set out on a 10 km or 5 km route. Participants could either take part in a timed race or untimed walk.

A good day was had by all and Brain Tumour Ireland thanks all who took part for making the event a success. A total of 1,085 km was ‘donated’ to Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours and €3,285 was raised. Brain Tumour Ireland will use these funds to provide crucial support for brain tumour patients in Ireland, of which there are approximately 400-500 newly diagnosed in the country each year.

50 Shades of Grey Matter (Singapore)

The Brain Tumour Society Singapore  held its second annual Brain Tumour Awareness Day on 8 November. Themed ’50 Shades of Grey’, it was the culmination of a fifty-day awareness-raising campaign in hospitals and other welfare organisations around Singapore.

Fifty patients represented the brain tumour community on the Awareness Day, celebrating Singapore’s 50 years as a nation as they launched the ‘Brainy Car Rally’. After a rousing flag off, a convoy of 50 Lamborghini and Ferrari supercars carried brain tumour patients through a population-dense route to spread the campaign message of ‘50 Shades of Grey Matter’ – that brain tumours affect many Singaporeans regardless of age and background. They shared with the public the main mission of the Society: to connect brain tumour patients with each other and the larger community.

The event received extensive coverage in the local news (see video here) with a fundraising target of SGD$200,000 (US$140,000 / £100,000) for the Brain Tumour Society Singapore programmes and office operations.

Interested in getting involved?

To find out more about the IBTA Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours or to register your walk for 2016, click here.