2019 – Tashina Janus
This year’s award goes to Tashina Janus. Diagnosed with a brain tumour at age 21, Tashina found a way to raise awareness about brain tumours even as she was undergoing treatment. Her work supporting children with autism helped instil a sense of responsibility to those living with health challenges and this inspired her to help others living with brain tumours. Tashina and the Delta Police Department organized a marathon swim (12 hours, unaided, by an intrepid police constable) while Tashina spoke with various dignitaries including a Member of Parliament, The Mayor of Delta, the Delta Police and Fire Chiefs, Police Board Members and various other community figures. This event brought together many different people and Tashina met with cancer patients and survivors. She spoke bravely and honestly with various news and television networks, discussing the importance of self-care, advocacy and hopefulness. Her message of solidarity has crossed international borders and prompted important conversations about care.
It was a sincere privilege to honour Tashina on May 13, 2019.
2017 - Ashley Sehmer
This year we honour Ashley Sehmer, diagnosed in 2016 with a brain tumour during pregnancy. Her pregnancy had to be terminated so that she could undergo urgent treatment. To make matters worse, she and her husband had lost a close friend to a brain tumour 5 months before Ashley’s diagnosis.
From the very beginning, and even while undergoing treatment, Ashley has been determined to “turn a negative into a positive.” She has raised over $50,000 for brain cancer research and equipment through her creative fundraising events, and has increased awareness about the effects of brain tumours through her presence on social media. This month, she will tell her story in a “Grand Rounds” lecture to physicians at the BC Women’s Hospital so that they can learn from her experience. Here is Ashley’s story in her own words
Her award was presented by the 2015 recipient Margaret Ng and the 2013 recipient Paul Chapman.
We all extend our warmest congratulations and thanks to Ashley for her tremendous efforts to help all brain tumour patients.
For more information about the Terry Kennerley Award, see Headlines Fall 2013 and Fall 2015.
2015 - Margaret Ng
The second Terry Kennerley Award was presented to Margaret Ng on October 9, 2015. Margaret has been actively involved in the brain tumour community for the last two years. Shortly after her diagnosis in 2013, Margaret began to volunteer her time and efforts to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s BrainWave program for children with brain tumours. Among her BrainWave initiatives, Margaret organized day long events at the Vancouver Aquarium and the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, focusing special attention to the children’s dietary and mobility concerns. She is a regular participant in brain tumour support groups where she has shared her story and her expertise regarding nutrition and meditation. Margaret radiates a positive attitude and this has served as a source of inspiration and encouragement to other patients. She has also raised thousands of dollars for brain cancer research and participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, an annual two day bicycle ride aimed at raising funds for cancer research. It is our pleasure to celebrate Margaret’s achievements and to thank her for her outstanding commitment to the brain tumour community. Learn more about Margaret Ng.
We were pleased to present the 2013 inaugural Terry Kennerley Award to Paul Chapman
Paul Chapman embodies the qualities honoured by the Terry Kennerley Award. Paul was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2007, devastating news for a husband and father of two young girls. In short order, he became determined to fight his disease and then to help other patients do the same. He was a founding member of the Brainiacs, a group of brain tumour survivors and their supporters who participate annually in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200 km bike ride to Seattle which raises money for cancer research. He serves on the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) which provides guidance to the staff of BC Cancer regarding care of brain tumour patients. Paul regularly attends the brain tumour support group and also meets with patients on his own to listen and offer support. The following comments received from those who nominated Paul exemplify his generous spirit:
“As a brain tumour survivor Paul seems passionate about personally helping others suffering with brain tumours and he also seems willing to take on new tasks that might make the journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery less onerous.”
“Paul gave me his card (when we met at a support group meeting) and offered to meet, which we did later that summer. Knowing it was possible to beat back a terrible prognosis fuelled my own determination.”
“Paul’s optimism, positive attitude and zest for life provide a sense of hope and reassurance to those who struggle daily with the brutal realities of their illness. Paul hopes that his willingness to listen to others and help them through their struggle will mean one survivor who is a little less lonely and all the more hopeful.”