Hamilton-Niagara Virtual Brain Tumour Walk 2020

Emme Strong

We are sharing Emme's story to help ensure others going through a similar journey know they are not alone.

The morning of July 6th, 2019 started as an ordinary morning however within 2 hours our world forever changed.

Emme started to complain of an extremely painful headache and within 30 mins she was unconscious. Later that morning while at the hospital, we found out she suffered from a severe brain hemorrhage. After undergoing emergency surgery, an MRI was done to see the cause the bleed. That’s when we heard the news “it looks like the hemorrhage was caused by a brain tumour”. At the moment you hear those words everything around you stops from shock. When the immediate shock pushes aside your mind is flooded with questions. Within 19 days of the diagnosis, Emme had an 8 hour surgery to remove her tumour. Due to the tumours location they could not remove it entirely without the risk of causing massive side effects. They successfully removed 90% of her tumour.

After 6 weeks in the hospital and 5 surgeries, we finally got to go home and Emme could start her long recovery. The hemorrhage caused many side effects that would take therapy to help Emme heal and recover.  There was damage to Emme's short-term memory so we had to work hard every day to find ways for her to remember what happened earlier in the day. The surgery to remove her tumour caused her to be extremely sensitive to noise. A car door slamming, walking through a mall food court, items dropping on a floor; were hard for her to endure. Before we went anywhere, we had to think about the things she could encounter. Our days also consisted of measuring all of her fluid intake and output; physio treatments to build up her strength and endurance. Throughout all of this Emme truly showcased her strength and courage as she was improving every day. Her tumour was also stable at the moment as we were not in treatment but a “watch and wait” mode.

In October of 2019, after her 3 month MRI, we found out the tumour started to grow again and Emme would need to start treatment. Within 2 weeks of the news, Emme started the long journey of weekly chemo treatments for the next 70 weeks.

During all of this we were fortunate to have the endless support of family and friends and we learned that we live in an amazing community and received so much support from them. Part of that community was the brain tumour foundation. They helped us understand more of the disease through webinars; how to be better caregivers but most importantly, they allowed us to meet others going through a similar journey - reminding us that we are not alone.

Before Emme’s diagnosis we heard about brain tumours but never really knew alot about them or knew anyone going through it. Now, we know that brain tumours are the leading cause of solid cancer death in children under the age of 20, surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They are also the 3rd leading cause of solid cancer death in young adults ages 20-39.

So, on June 27th we are walking with Emme to show her she is not walking alone. We will also BE WALKING for all the children and adults who are suffering from this disease and cannot be at the walk.  Thank you for your donation and getting us closer to our fundraising goal. We Invite you to join and the rest of Canada in a Virtual Walk to raise awareness. Join our team and video tape your walk!

All money raised through Brain Tumour Walk events strengthens the national movement to end this life-changing disease and brings hope to individuals and families across the country:

Hope for progress in discovering the cause of brain tumours.

Hope for better treatments for every child and adult diagnosed.

And most of all, the hope for a cure.

Thank you for supporting us, and more importantly, for helping the 55,000 Canadians who live with a brain tumour today.

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The current total amount raised for this city's Brain Tumour Walk is $47,366.83

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