When devastation fell on one family, they banded together with one collective goal: to find a cure for brain cancer.
Tammy Farand and seven other siblings are getting ready to lace up their runners and walk in the annual Edmonton Brain Walk on May 26. The walk will be in memory of their late sister and father, who both died of glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer.
“I want people to know that our dad and sister were more than two people who were taken by brain tumours. They were loved by their family and friends and they will forever be missed,” she said. “Our team is just getting started with continuing ‘the fight’ they lost.”
In 2016 Farand’s sister, Pat Farand, died of the disease at 67 years old. It was the first year most of the family banded together and did the walk, hoping it would bring closure and healing.
Now the gang of seven is pulling together once again in memory of not just their sister, but their father who died from the disease in 1995, also at 67 years old.
Farand, who has 12 siblings in total, said it’s a milestone that sticks with the family. One of her sisters, Lisa, just celebrated her 67th birthday.
“This year there is a sense of victory that we are strong together,” Farand said.
In honour of the 67th, Farand said last year people were encouraged to donate $67.
This year they have 50 members on their team and have already beat their fundraising goal of $7,500. So far they’ve raised $10,723.
Trina Farand said this year will be different for her.
“I feel really good. Last year was almost like a memorial for Pat, because we had not had a funeral. So I think this year is going to be more happy, than happy/sad like it was last year,” she said.
In order to keep the fundraising goals fresh for the family, they decided to host a lemonade and bake sale on May 12.
Each glass of ice-cold lemonade crept them 50 cents closer to their fundraising goal. By end of day they had collected $839.65, which included drink sales, baked goods sales and $2 raffle tickets for a Mother’s Day basket.
All the items were sold by young people.
“Having the kids involved this year was extremely important,” Tammy said. “Brain tumours are the leading cause of death in children and adolescents under the age of 20. Most people don’t know that so I wanted to raise awareness about it.”
According to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour every day.
There are around 120 different types of tumours, making treatment difficult.
The most common primary malignant brain tumour is the type Tammy and Trina’s sister and father had, glioblastoma multiforme.
Regardless of treatment, the average survival rate is less than one year.
For more information or to make a donation to Farand's-"For the Fight" visit: http://www.braintumourevents.ca/site/TR/SpringSprint/General?team_id=5953&pg=team&fr_id=1518.