Members of Team Brain Stormers kicked off their third annual 27-kilometre walk at Anna McCrea Public School this morning in support of those diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The 27-kilometre trek is symbolic as an average of 27 Canadians find out every day they have a brain tumour.
The walk was formed a few months after Kyleigh Provenzano, now the team captain, found out she had a low-grade glioma in October of 2019 – a cancerous brain tumour that affects her speech.
Provenzano says she knew she had to do something to help support herself, as well as others who were going through a similar predicament.
“I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing,” she says. “A friend of mine told me, ‘You are a talker, and there’s no tumour that’s going to stop you from doing that,’ and that kind of just sparked something inside of me.”
Provenzano and her team of supporters will be walking the entire hub trail, making several pit stops along the way, including at the Refinery, Prouse Chevrolet, and Lock City Dairies.
After Provenzano received her diagnosis, the Brain Tumour Foundation put her in contact with Shaylan Spurway Bubinas, who is a brain tumour survivor herself.
Spurway Bubinas is the co-captain of the team and says the support from loved ones through this initiative has been greatly appreciated.
“We’ve had amazing support from friends and family that come out and walk sections of it with us, or even the whole thing,” she says. “Family will bring us drinks and snacks or park their truck if we need a break for a few minutes. Their support has been wonderful.”
The team has set a $10,000 goal for this year’s walk, and as of Saturday morning, they were well over halfway to achieving it. Provenzano explains walks like these are important to not only raise awareness for brain tumours, but to raise crucial funds as well.
“Unfortunately, brain tumours and brain research are the most unfunded type of cancer there is, and it’s also the most deadly,” she says. “I’m just trying to raise awareness and push for change in that aspect.”
The team will be looking at roughly five to five and a half hours of walking today, finishing the stretch at Provenzano’s home.
To donate to the Brain Stormers, click here.