This is a little video that we’ve been watching at brainstrust towers. It has made us smile. It has also made us cry. It’s only short – take a look:
This tiny talk really has polarised opinion in a big way. We’ve been through exactly the same thing with Meg – we’ve learnt so much, we’re all closer, and we’ve been able to use our experiences to help hundreds of people through brainstrust. We really do think Stacey’s hit the nail on the head, and that her outlook is absolutely fantastic.
But there are some people that we talk to who are, sadly, a long way from being able to understand this and attain this perspective.
We’d be over the moon if everyone that phoned our helpline, or sent us an email asking for help left having achieved even a small piece of Stacey’s positive outlook. But sometimes we know that this just isn’t possible. And we know that for most, it is unrealistic to expect them to see what they’re going through as a ‘gift’. Brain tumours really are a nasty illness, and nobody would want one as a present.
When people approach us for help and support, they are in a very dark place. And it’s our job to get them out. We do this in a number of ways. First and foremost, we listen. We can also secure new care & treatment pathways through our network of leading healthcare professionals (no other UK brain cancer charity does this), meaning we can make a real impact to a patient’s clinical outcome; we can and do, save lives. We also try and instil a sense of empowerment, and control within the people that phone us for help in the hope that the patient and their team (often family) can take the bull by the horns and turn their experience into a life-changing positive one. Just like Stacey.
And this is where our opinion is divided. Can we be bullish and commit ourselves to trying do this for everyone? Creating a little band of ‘brainstrust Staceys’ if you will.
Or do we continue the way we are, accepting that everyone is different, and that for some people in this country, having a brain tumour is a life changing experience, and not a good one.
After a cuppa and a chat, we’ve agreed on the latter. We will continue to be the brainstrust we are at the moment – different things to different people, but always offering the most relevant support to a patient or carer’s situation. We will listen. And we’ll try to give you the answers you need in a way that suits you best. Yes, we’d love to have a band of Staceys flying our flag. But we know that for the time being we can’t be this optimistic: we know that there will be plenty of people out there who get an ‘unwanted gift’ this Christmas.
Is that ok?