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Memory of Much Loved Aunt Motivates Montreal Brain Tumour Researcher

May 30, 2011

Dr. Tommy Alain,Ph.D. is a Post Doctoral Researcher at McGill brain tumour researcher is doubly motivated to be successful because he lost his Aunt Gatne Roy to a brain tumour. On June 4, Dr. Alain is taking this support to Parc Angrignon for the annual Spring Sprint for brain tumour research and patient support.

As a child Dr. Alain he spent many summer days with his Aunt and he cherishes the connected family she built and whom still get together to honour her memory. While I was working on my PhD research on brain cancers at the University of Calgary, Gatane was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma, Dr. Alain remembers. Her journey put my research into perspective and was the inspiration for my continuing work in brain tumour research in Montreal. She made the reason for my research very real, and very important.

Dr. Alain explains his support for the upcoming Spring Sprint, My research project was generously funded through Brain Tumour Foundation of Canadas William Donald Nash Brain Tumour Research Fellowship and Spring Sprint raises funds to help ensure that more novel and exciting research projects can begin.

Im looking forward to attending the Spring Sprint in Montreal, he says. I participated in last years event. Now Im trying to convince my brothers, my family, and my fellow researchers to participate. I think this year Ill also have my kids with me.

Dr. Alain thinks about his aunts last days often: I saw my aunt during the last week of her life and the quality of life wasnt very good. It was tough to see this on the family. This is why research for treatments with fewer side effects is important.

As nephew, father, and husband he remains optimistic and encourages other to remain positive as well. Theres always hope. People say the more you know about your disease the better youll be able to fight it so the more research and knowledge the better fight and the better research and treatments options, explains Dr. Alain.

While many in attendance of the Spring Sprint have lost family members like Dr. Alain, there are also many positives. I found this is fun because you get to interact with patients and I get a chance to talk to parents of children who have had brain tumours and I find this useful to put the research into perspective to see people and how they are feeling. Some people have lost family but they still attend to support research for others in the future, he says.

The Montreal Spring Sprint, part of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canadas national fundraising walkathon program, features 2.5 and 5km routes for walkers, joggers and runners at Parc Agrignon (near Fort Agrignon). The event is run by a dedicated group of local volunteers who are determined to improve the lives of those affected by a brain tumour.

The national goal this year is to raise $1.5 million to fund research into the cause and better treatments for brain tumours. This includes research being conducted across Canada such as Dr. Alains. The prospect for all of the research that will be conducted as a result of the funds raised is very exciting, says Susan Marshall, Executive Director of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Our vision is to find a cure for brain tumours and to improve the quality of life for those affected and we all move closer to this reality with the efforts of Spring Sprint.

Donations also lead to important education, information, and support for the estimated 55,000 Canadians affected by brain tumours such as: one-on-one support available via telephone or email, resources for adult and pediatric patients (available in both official languages) and education opportunities for patients, caregivers and health care professionals.

Event: Spring Sprint for Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
2.5km & 5km walk and run for walkers, joggers and runners.
Dates: Saturday, June 4, 2011: Check-in: 9:00 a.m. & Start: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Parc Agrignon (near Fort Agrignon), Montral, QC
Register: or 1-800-265-5106

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About Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
There are an estimated 55,000 people in this country living with a brain tumour and 10,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, many of those are children. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada provides information through a free, comprehensive Patient Resource Handbook, live and web-based annual education events, and support through a Canada-wide, toll-free 1-800 line, website (, and 23 support groups that meet monthly across Canada. Brain tumour research is also supported through an annual grants-in-aid program. To date $2.75 million has been directed to brain tumour research. Please visit Brain Tumour Foundation of Canadas website at

For more information contact:
Megan Winkler
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
Phone: 1-800-265-5106 x 232
Cell: 519-494-7076

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Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada


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