Graphic text reading "Go Grey in May"“Go Grey in May” is a national campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours.

Going grey a way to raise awareness of brain tumours

Local researchers, health care professionals, students, and the Windsor-Essex community are coming together for Brain Tumour Awareness Month, dedicated to supporting, empowering, and amplifying the voices of those affected by brain tumours.

Local brain tumour research has been growing steadily over the past several years. New multi-disciplinary teams across local and international institutions have come together, funded by a grants from the Brain Tumour Foundation, the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and WE-Spark Health Institute.

Collaborative teams include University of Windsor biomedical scientists and chemists, Windsor Regional Hospital neurosurgeons and oncologists, and cross-border collaborations with specialists at the Henry Ford Health System and Michigan State University.

Local teams include University of Windsor professors Lisa Porter, Simon Rondeau Gagné, John Trant, Dorota Lubanska, Keith Frank Stringer, Abdulkadir Hussein, and Otis Vacratsis, and Windsor Regional Hospital physicians Swati Kulkarni, Abdalla Shamisa, and Balraj Jhawar.

UWindsor student Aiyireti Dilinaer, the 2021 recipient of a Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Studentship, is applying her knowledge of organic chemistry and combining it with her interest in medicine to develop a targeted drug delivery method for glioblastoma multiforme.

“Go Grey in May” is a campaign by the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to raise awareness of this disease. It encourages Canadians to wear grey shirts, pants, hats, nail polish … and join fundraising efforts.

For Karen Metcalfe, assistant director at the WE-Spark Health Institute, the issue is personal. Her daughter Mckenna Lumley was diagnosed at 4 years old. Now 16, she is thriving, active, and optimistic about her future.

“Our family is so fortunate to have benefited from the research that made it possible for Mckenna’s brain tumour to be discovered and treated,” Metcalfe says. “There are too many who can’t say the same. Going Grey in May allows us to raise awareness — and just as importantly — to take the time to remember those we have lost, and support those who need it.”

Her family is joining thousands of others to raise funds and awareness to drive new treatments, increase quality of life, and build community locally and around the world. Visit the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for ways to get involved.

On June 27, the public is invited to join the Virtual Brain Tumour Walk. Click here for more information.