Brain Tumor Awareness Month 2020 was bound to be a little different. The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 public health crisis upended daily life for all Americans, including the brain tumor community, where the impact cut many ways.
However, what we saw these past 31 days has been remarkable (if not completely unexpected).
Despite many potential barriers to engagement in a new environment shaped by social distancing and stay-at-home measures, the brain tumor community continued to step-up in every way it could this May.
This community was at its best, rising to the occasion to demonstrate our resilience and tremendous commitment to connect, care for each other, and fight for a cure in the face of a global pandemic. We raised awareness, ensured patients and families had vital support and resources, advocated in huge numbers to increase federal funding for brain tumor research, and raised critical funds to advance treatment-focused research to conquer and cure brain tumors — once and for all. In fact, #BTAM 2020 saw:
- Our largest Head to the Hill advocacy day to date.
- Thousands of our stalwart Racers, Walkers, and Riders make the seamless transition to virtual event participants, helping NBTS maintain moving and inspiring live-streamed signature events in the Northwest, San Diego, Central New Jersey, Boston, and Washington, DC.
- An extremely generous response during tough times to the emergency #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5th.
- Advocates from nearly all 50 states join with NBTS to request proclamations from their governors to officially declare May 2020 as #BrainTumorAwarenessMonth in their home states. And while it was a challenging year for state governments to process such requests, we’re thrilled that a number of states successfully passed #BTAM resolutions!
- Community event organizers, DIY-ers, and Gray Nation Endurance athletes finding creative solutions to push forward with their fundraising and awareness efforts in safe, yet still profoundly impactful, ways.
- A great start to our new Sustaining Donor program, with many taking up the mantle to provide ongoing support throughout the year to ensure that whatever challenges this year may bring, the National Brain Tumor Society will be ready month after month to advance our critical mission.
Your continued support, determination, and inspiration enabled us to keep moving our shared mission forward. This past month, NBTS:
- Launched our new Personalized Support and Navigation program!
- Enhanced our support services in response to COVID-19, including a dedicated resource page for brain tumor patients and caregivers going through treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Announced two new grants that are poised to advance precision medicine approaches and ignite the body’s immune system against brain tumors!
- Worked with the office of Congressman Mike Quigley to get a resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives again, officially declaring May as Brain Tumor Awareness Month.
- Helped the FDA organize a focus group of patients on clinical trials during COVID-19, where patients provided valuable insights, feedback, and concerns about participating in clinical trials during the coronavirus pandemic in order to help the FDA further develop its guidance related to clinical trials during this unprecedented time.
Because of you, our progress won’t slow, and our connections are stronger than ever. We can’t thank you enough, but we thought we’d try, anyway:
As we turn the page into summer, we’ll continue highlighting the extraordinary efforts of brain tumor patients, survivors, family members, friends, advocates, and researchers that have taken place during the response of this pandemic — just a small way to show our gratitude and remain connected through these unprecedented times, while staying relentlessly focused on conquering and curing brain tumors.