On Saturday, community members affected by brain tumours will gather in Somba K’e Civic Plaza to walk for a cure.
The 2019 Yellowknife Brain Tumour Walk is one of 23 similar events taking place in cities across the country this spring on behalf of the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada.
The walks are the organization’s primary sources of funding. Participants in Yellowknife have raised over $200,000 since 2015.
“We’re here for anyone affected by brain tumours,” said organizer Aven Tremblett.
She and her husband Matthew Tremblett decided to organize a Yellowknife event after attending a Brain Tumour Walk in Edmonton in 2013, said Aven.
Matthew, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011, said there was a need for the event in Yellowknife.
The organization initially denied their request to host a walk, but Aven wrote an email listing a dozen personal contacts who had been diagnosed with brain tumours and they were soon allowed to organize the fundraiser.
Matthew was in the best shape of his life and just had his first child when he was diagnosed, he said.
“I was riding on that high,” he said. “And just like that our whole life changed.”
“It’s just something you get used to,” he added, acknowledging that “Scanxiety” – the nerve-wracking feeling of waiting for the next MRI scan – can still be difficult. However, organizing the walk as a couple has been therapeutic, he said.
The event will include a silent auction with a selection of prizes from local businesses. There will also be a kid’s area, a barbecue following the walk and speeches from community members.
They’ve raised $16,000 so far, which is short of the $64,000 raised last year.
“But there are a bunch of new teams this year, (and) new faces coming out, which is awesome and heartbreaking all at the same time,” said Aven, explaining that all of the event’s walkers been affected by brain tumors, either directly or through loved ones.
“Every year we get a couple more. Unfortunately, every year we lose a survivor,” she said. “It’s great to see them come out, but we’d love to see nobody, because then nobody’s affected.”
Donations are being accepted at Yellowknife’s Bottle Shop recycling facility.