What to Know about Brain Tumor Awareness Month 2020
What is Brain Tumor Awareness Month?
Brain Tumor Awareness Month aims at bringing together the brain tumor community to help raise awareness and shine a light on a patient population that is often overlooked.
Although brain cancer is not as common as breast or lung cancer, the need for new and innovative ways to treat brain tumor patients has never been more critical.
Research suggests that 1.4 million patients worldwide are struggling with malignant brain tumors and that by the end of the year, another 256,000 will be diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
When is brain tumor awareness Month?
Brain Tumor Awareness Month is nationally recognized in the United States during the month of May. At the time of publishing this post, there is still plenty of time to get involved and generate awareness.
Why is Brain Tumor Awareness Month so important?
As the current global health crisis continues to shift with the impact of COVID-19, the importance of understanding the impacts of patient care, education and cancer research is becoming more apparent than ever.
Patients, families and caretakers will need to learn how to treat their loved ones in the midst of a pandemic, while doctors, nurses and researchers will have to change their protocol to ensure the safety of their patients and each other.
As we look to the future, there is still much more groundwork to be done in discovering new and effective drugs for brain tumor patients, as well as a dire need for continuous education on a multitude of challenges we face when treating brain cancer.
Brain Tumor Awareness Month is a movement that is wholly dedicated to these efforts and even in the midst of a pandemic, the need to help this patient population is still a top priority.
How will COVID-19 affect Brain Tumor Awareness Month efforts?
In light of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, many organizations and leaders have shifted their awareness efforts online, making it easier than ever to donate, fundraise or participate in special events.
Here’s what a few of the top brain tumor organizations are doing to continue their brain tumor awareness efforts during the pandemic:
- Head for the Cure is taking their 5K run/walks and events virtual.
- International Brain Tumor Alliance (IBTA) is asking the brain tumor community how COVID-19 is impacting them with this survey.
- National Brain Tumor Society is bringing its Head to the Hill event to you this year by giving it a virtual platform, along with all other activities in May, including their annual Race for Hope – DC on May 3.
- Gray Matters Foundation is finding creative ways to support their brain buddies, such as making calls and sending texts to check on vulnerable patients, delivering food to their doorsteps and sending two times the number of cards to spread joy and ensure no one feels alone.
How can you get involved with Brain Tumor Awareness Month?
It’s common and reasonable to feel powerless against a disease like brain cancer. Still, there are plenty of ways to make a positive impact, especially during Brain Tumor Awareness Month.
Naturally, the focus is on raising as much awareness as possible, understanding that many don’t know about this cancer until they or someone they love is diagnosed.
Here are a few ways you can make an impact this month:
Spread the word
Share information about primary brain tumors and secondary brain tumors with your peers. Tell them the stories of those affected, the harsh reality that brain cancer can impact anyone at any time, and highlight how strong and resilient those who have been burdened with this disease are because of their journey.
Make a financial contribution
Donate to non-profit organizations that conduct clinical research studies like the Ivy Center’s Phase 0 clinical trials, help support families affected by a brain tumor diagnosis through organizations like Gray Matters Foundation, National Brain Tumor Society, American Brain Tumor Association and more.
Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to dress in gray for National Wear Gray Day on May 27 or take it a step further by going gray during the entire month of May to bring awareness to brain cancer and the need for more research.
You can also show your support by wearing a gray awareness ribbon. When you make a donation of $25 or more to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center for Brain Tumor Awareness Month we will send you a complimentary gray ribbon to pin to your shirt.
Take part on social media
Engage with the brain tumor community online. Repost stories, share the hashtag #BTAM and add a Brain Tumor Awareness Month frame to your profile picture on Facebook.
Join the #BrainTumorTough movement
While the world is facing unprecedented times, one thing that always holds true is this community’s ability to remain tough and resilient no matter what life throws at them. So our goal in May is to spotlight individuals who represent what it means to be #BrainTumorTough. Whether it’s a patient, caregiver, doctor or nurse, we will be highlighting the many people who even in this midst of a pandemic, remain strong, never lose hope and are brain tumor tough.
Here are a couple of ways you can join the movement:
- Share a photo of yourself flexing with some background on your story and what makes you #BrainTumorTough. Tag us and we’ll share your story.
- Purchase a #BrainTumorTough fight shirt for a patient or family member and a portion of the proceeds will go to support the Ivy Brain Tumor Center’s mission to increase life expectancy and contribute to a cure for malignant brain tumors.
No One Fights Alone
By raising awareness, we hope to bring attention to the critical need to find and provide effective treatment options for those impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis.
To the brain tumor community, we know there’s a lot going on in the world right now, but we understand your needs have not diminished. Your unwavering strength and courage has always inspired us to keep fighting. For new treatments and a cure. Now is no different. Because we’re in this together. And together, we’re brain tumor tough.
Be sure to follow us on social media and stay up to date on the #BrainTumorTough campaign. You can also subscribe to our newsletter where you will receive updates on all things Ivy Brain Tumor Center.