Glioblastoma Awareness Day
Glioblastoma, though it affects thousands of families each year, is technically a rare disease. As such, it has received little of the same national attention as other, more prevalent cancers. However, this cancer entered into the national consciousness when Senator John McCain became the second prominent member of the United States Senate (following the passing of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy in 2009) to die from glioblastoma in 2018. Though McCain was a conservative Republican from the southwest and Kennedy a liberal Democrat from the northeast, these two always shared a close bond in life, as they now do, sadly, in death.
This unfortunate coincidence led the National Brain Tumor Society, a nonprofit patient advocacy group, to reach out to Senator Lindsey Graham a close friend of both Senator McCain and Kennedy and see if he would like to work with us to champion an effort to increase public awareness for this disease, as well as set a day every year where the country could come together — across political divides — to commemorate, honor and support those we’ve lost to this disease and those still facing its dire prognosis, along with all their loved ones and caregivers.
Senator Graham (R-SC) was able to bring together a bipartisan group of leaders in the Senate, including all four senators currently serving in Kennedy and McCain’s former respective state delegations, and introduce Senate Resolution 245, declaring July 17, 2019, as “Glioblastoma Awareness Day.”
“When Senator John McCain passed away from glioblastoma in August 2018, the National Brain Tumor Society said that if there was to be any upshot to this difficult news, it was that losing another great individual to this disease would be a spark for the country to come together ‘in a concerted effort, with renewed vigor, to pave the road toward a future of more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.’ We asked that this ‘Be the moment in our history that we decide to collectively take on glioblastoma and brain tumors with the same earnest with which we dedicate to our other national ills.’” – David Arons, CEO, National Brain Tumor Society
With Senator Graham’s effort along with his distinguished co-sponsors for the bill — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Marth McSally (R-AZ) S.Res. 245 was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on June 11th.
“We ask all of America to join us in commemorating July 17 as Glioblastoma Awareness Day by paying tribute to those that have been taken by this disease, as well as the patients and families still coping with a diagnosis, and by uniting in a day of action and support to advance research and care so we can conquer and cure this disease once and for all.” — David Arons, CEO, National Brain Tumor Society
It is our hope that this day, moving forward, July 17th (and then the third Wednesday of July, annually) will become a national day of giving and action for glioblastoma research, treatments, and care – the “Giving Tuesday” platform for GBM.
July 17, the third Wednesday of the month, was chosen not because it is a special day in GBM history or associated with a specific individual or group. Rather, it was chosen to enable both the brain tumor community and Congress to have a date that could be its own, unique focal point for the nation’s attention to mobilize around the GBM cause and community. The gives GBM a calendar spot during a time that Congress is in session, while also not overlapping with the pan-brain tumor activities of Brain Tumors Awareness Month in May or pan-pediatric cancer efforts of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
Give today for GBM Awareness Day
On GBM Awareness Day, we honor the patients, families, and care partners who have faced glioblastoma — the most common, complex, treatment-resistant, and deadliest type of brain cancer. There is no question that the urgent and unmet needs of the GBM community continue to grow.
With such limited progress made in treating these aggressive and complex tumors, we know that the time to act is now. Make a gift today, and help to accelerate the rate at which we discover, develop, test, and approve new treatments, while working together to advance a cure.