Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
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Walk With PBTF’s Starry Night Oct. 2 for Children Like Conor

09/16/21

In her own words, Michelle Canavan, mother of Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Star, Conor, describes her son’s brain tumor journey and how it led their family to the Boston Starry Night Walk. 

On Oct. 25, 2017, our world came crashing down. Our 6-month-old baby boy, Conor, was diagnosed with a 9 cm brain tumor in his tiny head. The following weeks were a blur; two emergency brain surgeries – more than eight hours each – ICU stays and fear of all that lay ahead. It was during those first few weeks that our family learned about the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, in the form of financial assistance through its Butterfly Fund.   

Conor’s early brain surgeries were a success. We registered for our first PBTF Boston Starry Night Walk to Cure Childhood Brain Tumors in 2018, intending to celebrate survivorship. Instead, Conor relapsed just weeks before the walk. After just nine months cancer free, a routine scan revealed the tumor had returned, and spread. We arrived at Starry Night terrified by rapidly growing tumors, and of the treatments that our 1-year-old Conor would begin in just a few days.   

We left with a new community who gave us hope for our son’s future.   

Over a span of less than a year, Conor endured six rounds of intense chemotherapy and three stem cell transplants to stop the tumor’s growth. Throughout it all – the medical, financial, and emotional complexities of Conor’s brain tumor journey – the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation supported and cared for our family every step of the way.  

While doctors continue monitoring Conor’s tumors via MRI, he has now been off treatment for two years. Though he lives with many complications because of previous treatments, he is an incredibly happy and rambunctious 4-year-old!   

With the help of Conor’s amazing team of supporters – Team Go Go Conor – we have walked and raised money for PBTF every Starry Night since 2018. We will continue to walk each year in honor of our son, in support of all the kids fighting this battle, and for all the beautiful children we have lost, who now fly high as eternal stars.    

I ask you to join me in fundraising for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s mission: Help provide CARE for families along their journey, CURE every childhood brain tumor, and help survivors and families THRIVE. Register for a virtual Starry Night Walk in one of eight markets around the nation or join the “My Starry Night” virtual walk and participate from anywhere.  

For all children with brain tumors,   

Michelle Canavan   

Parent of a Star  

  

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Oct. 2, 2021 Starry Night  

Children with brain tumors have never needed you more. Anyone, anywhere, can join PBTF in fundraising and fighting for these families. Register here, and start fundraising today.  

*The safety and well-being of our patient families, volunteers, community participants, and staff are our highest priority, with medical experts advising that the pediatric brain tumor population, including adult survivors, are at an elevated risk for severe COVID-19 disease.   

In consideration of the latest information about current COVID-19 variants, we made the difficult decision to transition all 2021 Starry Night Walks to a virtual-only program. We are eager for the time when we can again honor our Stars together, in person.