“Katrina otherwise known as Kat. She was the life of the party. The most contagious laugh. Biggest smile,” says Natalie Galarnyk.
Natalie Galarnyk’s sister Katrina was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer at age 19. Katrina was 21 when she died.
“It’s more about us being able to help other families that went through or going through similar situations. We were so fortunate to have family so close and have family members all over Canada come and visit us and support us, but a lot of people don’t have that,” says Galarnyk.
Many, like Ontario Minister of Health, Christine Elliott are supporting ‘Go Grey in May’, a national campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours.
“We should take this time to recognize all those impacted by brain tumours. I share my heartfelt support to those affected and express gratitude to the wonderful teams supporting them,” says Christine Elliott.
“Brain cancer is obviously one of the most devastating cancers with still very poor outcomes. For the most common forms of brain tumours and I think one of the things about it is to raise awareness to people about the need for us to really have more funding to not only support patients through their Journey but to do better. To have more research to move the field forward,” says executive director of WE-Spark Health Institute, Lisa Porter.
Each year Galarnyk participates in the foundation’s brain tumour walk.
“She was the one that always organized the walks every year for our team. To know that, At least I hope she would be looking down and say awesome this is what we wanted, this is what we need because people don’t need to go through this people don’t need to have the burden of dealing with a brain tumour or brain cancer alone, they need that support behind them. So for her to know that we are continuing her legacy is so important to us,” says Galarnyk.
Money raised helps support much needed funds for cancer research.
“They think all cancers are the same. They are not. Even different kinds of brain tumours are different from one another. So every little bit we get helps. It helps move the field forward,” says Lisa Porter.
This year’s virtual brain tumour walk will take place on June 27.
“I am never going to stop, I’m always going to keep doing this because she was my one sister and nothings going to replace that,” says Galarnyk.