My mom died in 2001 from a grade III astrocytoma when I was just 6 years old and my sisters were 11, 9, and 3 years old. It's somewhat indescribable to understand the burden of losing one's personality, cognition, and motor and sensory abilities that can occur with different cancers of the brain. Becoming a part of the BBCW community is one of the most healing things I have done with my life after devastatingly losing my mom at an early age.
-Bonnie Sullivan, BBCW Chairperson 2016 & Co-chair 2017
"To all brain cancer patients and families: we love you, we honor you, and you are not forgotten."
-Sarah Jordan, Head of Logistics, 2016
It is a privilege to be a part of the Bellingham Brain Cancer Walks. As facilitator for the local Brain Tumor Support Group since 2011 (supported by PeaceHealth Cancer Center), I am constantly aware of the challenges facing local families when a loved one is diagnosed with brain cancer. Personally, my life has been affected by the loss of a dear friend in 2004 and then my husband in 2010, both due to glioblastoma, the most dangerous form of brain cancer. It is a disease overlooked until you are forced to face its devastating consequences. Until there is a cure, I will fight for families to receive the best of care and up-to-date resources. The Chris Elliott Fund (endbraincancer.org) is on the front lines supporting our families and is why we've chosen to support them. Hannah Dashiell started the vision of holding Bellingham Brain Cancer Walks for such a cause. We are fulfilling her dream as we share her passion and see it through.
-Marianne Brudwick, BBCW Chairperson 2015, and family
Janet was first impacted by brain cancer when her late brother-in-law, Chris Elliott was diagnosed in 2000. Through Chris and her sister Dellann's fight against the disease, she witnessed an incredible amount of bravery, love, and hope. When Janet realized there was a local event in her home town of Bellingham, she wanted to get involved! Janet joined BBCW in 2015 and served as the 2016 Sponsorship Chair. Janet serves now as the 2017 Sponsorship Chair and Co-Chairperson of the event. Justin provides consultation and valuable resources. In fact, it was Justin's idea to add a beer garden to the walk!
-Justin & Janet Shepard
I lost my dad, Chuck Topping, to brain cancer in February 2011. I remember when he was first diagnosed that I had a feeling of helplessness and a desire to do something, anything! By raising funds for brain cancer research and helping coordinate the walk I feel a little less helpless and hopeful that other families won't have to endure what ours did. I am helping with social media for the 2017 Walk and trying to help find some event sponsors.