Despite poor weather Saturday morning, Christy Tario made sure to bring her family to the Sudbury Brain Tumour Walk at Collège Boréal.
Due to heavy rain, and lightning early in the day, the walk turned into more of a sit-in at the college's cafeteria, where people brought their donations for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to cover vital medical research and support services for people with brain tumours.
Tario first started attending the walk in 2010 after her friend Shannon was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer the previous year.
Shannon died in 2010, but her Team Marvellous brought in a large crowd, and a lot of funding for the Brain Tumour Foundation that year.
In April 2010, one of Tario's husband's cousins was also diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Because the tumour was on his brain stem, doctors could not perform a biopsy to identify what kind of tumour she had.
Her husband's cousin died in August 2010.
“We've walked every year since losing them,” Tario said.
Last summer, Tario noticed her infant son, Duncan, being fussy and not himself.
She brought him to the hospital where he had a CT scan.
“We found out he had a tumour,” Tario said. “So we rushed immediately to SickKids.”
Duncan was diagnosed with a benign tumour called choroid plexus papilloma.
Doctors at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children were able to remove the tumour in one surgery.
Duncan had to return to the hospital for a second surgery, where doctors installed a shunt with a tube that descended to his chest and abdomen.
His tumour acted as a plug, and prevented his brain from properly draining its spinal fluid. The shunt was added to help the fluid drain.
“Since then he's been doing really well,” Tario said.
While Tario and her family always made an effort to participate in the Brain Tumour Walk each year, she said this year's event was especially important, after her son's experience.
The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada estimates around 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour each day.
“There are about 55,000 Canadians living with a brain tumour right now,” said Sharon Whiteside, the foundation's national special events manager.
Last year's Brain Tumour Walk in Sudbury raised around $45,000 for the foundation.
NorthernLife.ca could not obtain the numbers for this year's walk by publication, but Tario said the crowd did appear to be a bit smaller this year.
She said she saw fewer people wearing blue shirts, set aside for brain tumour survivors.
“I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing,” she said.