On Saturday, March 30, 2019, a small but dedicated group gathered in Hamilton, Ontario. The majority of the audience was made up of Undergraduate students, brought together by the McMaster University club “Students Advancing Brain Cancer Research” to be judged in a competition.
The case for the competition was based around Hayden, who died earlier this year of respiratory failure. We had approached Hayden’s Mom, Candice, in the most cautious way possible. Her response as to whether she’d be involved: “You had me at ‘Advancing Brain Cancer Research’”.
Candice shared their story at the event, impressing on the students that the treatments Hayden received for her medulloblastoma were older than Candice’s Dad. There was not a dry eye in the house when she finished.
“We will never forget Hayden. We will work in her name”.
We are incredibly grateful to Candice and her family, to the other presenters and judges, the students, and everyone who gave up their time and energy to be present at the event.
We are also determined to continue brain tumour research. Thanks to our co-founders, we have a similar competition, The Pam and Rolando Del Maestro Family Undergraduate Student Research Competition Awards, where Undergraduate students can compete for monetary prizes.
The competition is part of the Brain Tumour Research Symposium event which will take place in Fall 2019, in London, Ontario, although students from across Canada can compete via live streaming. The deadline for students to submit letters of intent to compete will be announced. A similar event will also be held in the fall in Halifax, NS.
We encourage everyone in Halifax, NS and the London, ON area who has an interest in brain tumour research to come out for these free events. You will hear from researchers who are working on projects that we have funded, as well as watch these students compete.
We hope that competitions like these are the first step that students take towards a lifetime of research, and that we will soon see advancements in research for all 120+ types of brain tumour!