Making a Difference on Glioblastoma Awareness Day 2021
What is Glioblastoma Awareness Day?
Glioblastoma Awareness Day (GBM Day) is dedicated to increasing public awareness of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer. It also honors those who have been impacted by the disease and supports efforts to develop better treatment options that will improve patients’ long-term prognosis.
U.S. Senator for Arizona, John McCain, died of glioblastoma nearly three years ago on August 25, 2018. Following his death, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators sponsored a resolution to allocate a day in July to raise awareness and leverage support for the research and treatment of glioblastoma. The resolution was passed in May during Brain Tumor Awareness Month by unanimously by Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema in Phoenix, AZ.
When is Glioblastoma Awareness Day?
Glioblastoma Awareness Day (GBM Day) takes place each year on the third Wednesday of July. The third annual Glioblastoma Awareness Day will take place on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Initially introduced to the Senate by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, the inaugural Glioblastoma Awareness Day took place on July 17, 2019.
The response was overwhelming with scores of individuals and families contributing to the Glioblastoma Awareness Day campaign, enabling the Barrow Neurological Foundation to raise a grand total of $539,044. The success of the first year encouraged those same leaders to come together again to show their unwavering support to move the needle on brain tumor research.
Which U.S. Senators sponsored the original resolution to establish Glioblastoma Awareness Day?
- Senator Lindsey Graham
- Senator Kyrsten Sinema
- Senator Martha McSally
- Senator Elizabeth Warren
- Senator Mitch McConnell
- Senator Ed Markey
Why was Glioblastoma Awareness Day established?
While glioblastoma is considered one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer with a median survival rate of 15 months, it is also considered a rare disease with about 12,000 new diagnoses each year. Because of this, it hasn’t received the same national attention or industry interest as many other more prevalent cancer types.
In recent years, however, the passing of high-profile individuals such as Senators John McCain, Ted Kennedy and Beau Biden has finally put a proper spotlight on the disease. The brain cancer community is ready for a change and with rapid advancements in technology and the development of novel research methods, the ability to fight this disease with new treatment options has never been more attainable.
What is the brain cancer community doing to improve treatment options for glioblastoma?
The lack of new treatments for aggressive brain tumors requires a bold approach to rapidly identify new, effective therapies that will increase life expectancy and contribute to a cure.
The Ivy Brain Tumor Center is confronting these challenges patient-by-patient through the largest Phase 0 clinical trials program in the world. This approach reduces the obstacles industry and drug development face and uses precision medicine to get new drugs to patients in a fraction of the time and cost associated with conventional clinical trials.
Part of the reason new drugs have not emerged for glioblastoma in over three decades is that the vast majority are incapable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and getting to the tumor. Each new Phase 0 study at the Ivy Center offers another avenue of hope for identifying a therapy that will increase life expectancy for glioblastoma and contribute to a cureNader Sanai, MD
Director, Ivy Brain Tumor Center
How can I get involved on GBM Day?
For those impacted by glioblastoma, the need for more awareness, new and alternative therapeutic options, and ultimately a cure, is greater than ever. Here are a few ways you can make an impact:
Join the #GBMDay movement
Social media is a valuable tool for spreading awareness, promoting unity, and driving action around a movement. The official hashtag for Glioblastoma Awareness Day is #GBMDay.
- Follow the hashtag #GBMDay
- Like and share posts using the hashtag #GBMDay
- Share information and facts about glioblastoma
- Honor a friend or family member impacted by glioblastoma
- Tell the stories of those affected by the disease and the harsh reality that brain cancer can impact anyone, even healthy adults
- Highlight how strong and resilient glioblastoma patients and caregivers are because of their journey
- Recognize doctors, nurses, scientists and advocates who are working tirelessly to defeat this disease
- Follow brain tumor organizations fighting all year round for change:
- International Brain Tumor Alliance (IBTA)
- American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA)
- Gray Matters Foundation
- Head for the Cure
- EndBrainCancer Initiative
- Deadliest Cancers Coalition
- Global Coalition of Adaptive Research
- Musella Foundation
- Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
- National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS)
- Rally Foundation
- Society for Neuro-Oncology
- St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Share your glioblastoma story
Storytelling is a powerful mechanism for inspiring change and activating communities. Whether you’re a patient, caregiver, loved one, or brain tumor specialist, sharing your personal story can help people understand the pain and challenges those impacted by glioblastoma face due to this disease.
We want to hear your story. If you choose to share on social media, be sure to tag us (Instagram – @theivybraintumorcenter, Twitter – @IvyBrainTumCtr and Facebook – @IvyBrainTumorCenter) and use #GBMDay so we don’t miss it. We will be sharing as many as we can to support this movement not just on GBM Day, but for all the days to come as we work to build awareness and help those suffering from glioblastoma. You can also submit your story and we will help you find the best way to share it with the world.
Register for a brain tumor fundraising event
In an effort to keep our communities safe during the pandemic, many brain tumor organizations such as Head for the Cure have reimagined their fundraising efforts to provide fun and engaging ways to participate virtually. In honor of GBM Day, make it a point to find an event near you and commit to participating by registering today.
The Ivy Brain Tumor Center is the local beneficiary of the Phoenix Head for the Cure 5K. Click here to join our team or create your own. This year, the event will take place in person with an option to attend virtually so you don’t have to be local to participate.
Support a brain tumor organization or research program financially
Donations and investments in the education and research of glioblastoma are essential to the progress of defeating this disease.
By donating to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, 100% of your tax-deductible donations support the operation of clinical research studies that aim to defeat this disease once and for all. Additionally, gifts also provide patient education and enhanced patient care. Support the fight against glioblastoma with a donation of $25 or more by July 31, 2021 and be entered into a drawing for a dinner for two at the renowned Tarbell’s restaurant on Camelback Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Click here to read the rules and regulations of this drawing.
You can also make a huge difference by making a donation to a nonprofit organization that helps support families affected by a brain tumor diagnosis like Gray Matters Foundation, Brain Tumor Network, and the EndBrainCancer Initiative.
Advocate for change
As the largest funder of brain tumor research, the federal government plays a pivotal role in the research that will lead to new treatments for glioblastoma. Ask your members of Congress to prioritize medical research for the brain tumor community by taking action now.
The brain cancer fight is personal
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 researchers face when treating brain cancer.
At the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, many of our neurosurgeons and brain tumor specialists have been personally impacted by brain cancer and we believe that gives us a unique perspective on the challenges our patients and their loved ones are facing. While we take incredible risks every day, the potential reward for patients is high. Everyone on our team is passionate about identifying and accelerating treatments that will make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. Because for us, this work is personal.
We want to know what makes the fight against brain cancer personal to you. Tell us on social media and use the hashtag #itspersonal.
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