May is observed nationally as Brain Cancer Awareness Month and is a time to honour those affected by the disease, while stressing the need to support research. Here is how you can show your support for this wonderful cause by going “Grey in May” and help fight the battle against brain cancer.
Brain Cancer is the #1 disease killer of Australians, and as stated by studies from the AIHW, claims the lives of more people under the age of 40 than any other cancer. This is a stark reality for many Australian families as according to the Paediatric Brain Tumour
Foundation there are more than 120 different types of brain tumours, making effective treatment for brain cancer patients overly complicated.
Frustrated with these grim statistics, and witnessing the deadliest cancers receive virtually no public or governmental support, a group of small charities developed the catchphrase “Go Grey in May” to raise awareness for the crucial need to support current and
ongoing research. Fast forward a decade, the concept has become a worldwide phenomenon, with it being supported by some of the biggest names on the cancer research front including The Cure Starts Now, an international foundation whose independent Australian branch are the leading national advocates of this brain cancer awareness campaign.
Ren Pederson, who tragically lost his nine-year old daughter Amy in 2009 to an aggressive form of brain cancer known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, turned his grief into a lifelong mission, becoming the Director of the then newly founded Australian branch of The Cure Starts Now. Since this time, the foundation has gained national and international traction through Mr Pederson’s tireless campaigning to raise awareness and funds to find a cure. He explains how this month you too can help support the search for answers.
“Donations, small or large, is the best way to show true support,” explains Mr Pederson. You can donate directly to The Cure Starts Now or get involved in their current everyday hero: Beard It Up challenge, and for just $10 nominate someone to not shave until the current COVID-19 restrictions are officially lifted.
Other great ways to get involved include, sharing and liking The Cure Starts Now links via social media, adding the “Go Grey in May” frame to your social media posts, or sporting grey in the form of either a ribbon, or in your clothing choices. Ultimately, “we want the public to become inspired” Mr Peterson continues. “Many of us have lost someone close that would have benefitted from elevated research into terminal cancer”.
As for how it has been for Mr Pederson to see the overwhelming support for his work and the campaign over the years? “Bittersweet. I am just a simple guy, immensely uncomfortable in public. But, someone's gotta do it”. A humbled hero indeed. So, go get involved: donate, share, and get your grey on! What are you waiting for?
If you would like to contribute to this wonderful cause, you can participate in their Beard it Up challenge by clicking on the link below https://give.everydayhero.com/au/beard-it-up, or share the love via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheCureStartsNowAustralia/.