BHBB Feature Article

“Hope, family, friends, and faith”

Brain tumour. These two words can give you shivers, but the reality is any one of us could have to face these words. On Sunday June 2, 2013, Andrew Haydon Park will be taken over by those running in aid of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. A five kilometre run, walk, stroll, to raise money and awareness.

Gord Smith (or Gordo) is an Ottawa resident and will be taking part in this year’s event. After experiencing severe pain in his head in 2011, is wife Wendy insisted on bringing him to the emergency room. That same day Gordo had a CT scan that revealed a large mass growing on his brain.

His diagnosis? Glioblastoma multiforme, a Grade IV cancerous brain tumour. He then proceeded to have his first surgery. With such devastating news, Gord was grateful that he was able to received surgery as he mentions that many people aren’t so lucky. When asked what gets you through a brain tumour, Gord simply replies, “hope, family, friends, and faith”.

Radiation treatments and oral chemotherapy followed for Gord and in July of 2012, his regular post-surgery MRIs showed potential re-growth of the tumour, which meant another operation. Just a few weeks before the second surgery, Gord took part in the Ottawa Spring Sprint, as part of the Allstream Dream Team.

“I did it for the friends, fellow Allsream employees and family who had supported me all along. Additionally, I wanted to prove to myself that I was strong enough to get through the second craniotomy as smoothly and quickly as I had the first,” Gord says on what gave him the strength and encouragement to run the race just before his surgery.

Fundraisers such as the Spring Sprint are important for those who need the support of the foundation. He says: “If anybody can say the money raised goes to a good cause it’s me. I have a brain tumour and know first hand that the work the foundation does to support the 70,000 Canadians with brain tumours and their families is critical. When I got diagnosed I went to the internet for information. Most of it is crap. Some sites say you’ll be dead in a week, others say it’s no biggie and you’ll live until you are 100. The truth is somewhere in the middle. My wife and I found the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada website to be accurate, relevant and reliable, and their survivor stories inspire me to keep up the fight.”

For Gord this event is a chance for him to talk. “It’s quite a social event. sure people run hard but mostly, it’s a walk and talk event, at least for me. I get a chance to catch up with everyone and let them see that June 2 is a good day in the fight.”

Gord has just received his latest MRI results and the tumour is currently stable with no growth since January.

Want to support Gord and the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada?
What: Ottawa Spring Sprint, 5km (you do not have to sprint!)
When: Sunday June 2, 9am registration, 10am start
Where: Andrew Haydon Park, gazebo at Carling Avenue and Holly Acres Road
Registration: Race is for donations. You are encouraged to sign up prior to the event. You can register at the event at 9am also.


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