Jody Evans and a large group of friends gathered at the Court Jester pub on Danforth Avenue one day in April to laugh, raise money and think about Mike.
Mike wasn’t a co-worker or neighbour. And Mike certainly wasn’t a friend. But Mike still warranted reflection.
Mike was the name that Evans gave to the tumour doctors found in her brain last year. After suffering a series of seizures, Evans had an MRI revealing a growth on her brain. Fortunately, the tumour was benign and Evans underwent a craniotomy last December to remove it.
So, with Mike out of her life, Evans held the fundraiser on a sunny afternoon as a way to give back to the community that supported her so much during her ordeal.
“I was so fortunate through the whole process, through the whole thing. You know, if you’re going to have a brain tumour, I had the best,” Evans said. “It wasn’t cancerous. I had tremendous support from family and friends via Facebook, Caring Bridge… all these different sources, so I really felt compelled to give back.”
Evans, who has put together similar events in the past, said the Court Jester fundraiser only took about a month to organize, and she was floored at how fast everything gelled.
“Usually, with an event like this, I would take four or five months to put this together,” Evans said, “but again, family and friends helped out and we pulled it together.”
The main beneficiary of the fundraiser was the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, a charity now close to Evans’ heart, and one that she feels truly needs a higher profile.
“There is so much not known about brain tumours,” Evans said. “Research is so limited. The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada — they depend solely on private sponsors (and) public money as there’s no government funding.”
Evans also formed a team for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Spring Sprint charity run at the end of the month. Runs will be held at sites across the country at various times this spring. The Toronto edition of the run took place at Sunnybrook Park on April 30.