By Emma Xerri
Families and brain cancer fighters have once again come together to raise much-needed funds and awareness for clinical trials, taking steps in the right direction in an ongoing effort to combat rare brain cancer GBM4.
Raising over $15000 this year alone, the Berwick Walk 4 Brain Cancer has played a tremendous role in bringing clinical trial GBM AGILE to Australia, providing a greater sense of hope for those battling GBM4, and their loved ones.
For walk organiser Magda D’Abaco, who has personally raised $40000 for the cause, the expansion of the trial into Australia is something she hopes will help those battling rare brain cancers – like 2 year old Rory who attended the walk with his loved ones – and a trial she had hoped would be available for her mother, who sadly passed away only six weeks ago after a challenging 18-month battle.
“The walk 4 brain cancer walk was trying for over 10 years to raise money to bring this trial to Australia, and we finally have,” Ms D’Abaco said.
“They say that GBM4, the type of brain cancer we’re walking for, is one of the rarest cancers, and yet all of a sudden, just within our local community here in Berwick, we are hearing of so many people who are diagnosed.
“But once you’ve been diagnosed, there’s not much more that doctors and hospitals can do, which is where patients have to seek different clinical trials. When my mum was going through this, a lot of the clinical trials hadn’t even come to Australia yet, and a lot of these patients can’t travel because they’re so sick.”
But from Ms D’Abaco’s experience and the experience of many others who continue to take part in the Walk 4 Brain Cancer year after year, it is clear that the impacts of these walks stem beyond fundraising and awareness, also providing patients and loved ones with an invaluable sense of community.
“I’ve met so many people and so many families through these walks,” Ms D’Abaco added.
“A lot of the time we don’t realise that the families of those going through brain cancer also need support, so for someone to turn around and say “I understand” is so important.
“It’s almost like we form a little pact. Even though our warriors may have passed and they can’t be there anymore, it doesn’t mean we stop.”
For more information and to donate, walk4braincancer.com.au/walks/berwick