In August 2012, our beloved mother and grandmother Christina Peponis, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and referred to Dr Raymond Cook, neurosurgeon, at Sydney’s North Shore Private Hospital. There, we soon met the other members of her medical "dream team": Associate Professor Helen Wheeler, medical oncologist, Associate Professor Michael Back, radiation oncologist and Neuro Cancer Care Co-ordinator and Nurse Practitioner, Marina Kastelan.
Following world-class surgery by Dr Cook and his surgical team, we received confirmation that the tumour, a glioblastoma multiforme, was the commonest form of brain cancer and the most fatal, with an almost 100% fatality rate.
Together with the highly competent nursing staff on Level 3 North of North Shore Private Hospital, her medical team provided exceptional and seamless care during her 15-month journey, which ended peacefully on the morning of November 19th, 2013. She could not have been in better hands.
Whilst on the ward, we discovered that in 2000, Dr Raymond Cook and fellow neurosurgeon Dr Michael Biggs, co-founded the charity Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group, affectionately referred to as SNOG.
They established care and education programs to support their patients whilst also funding research into brain cancer, in the hope of contributing to a cure.
They were soon after joined by Associate Professor Helen Wheeler and a few years later, Associate Professor Michael Back. All 4 remain on the Board and with their fellow Board members, carefully oversee the allocation of donated funds to the programs established by the Group.
The Brain Cancer Group Board dedicates time and expertise to this cause pro-bono.
Community support and donations continue to sustain this charity, which recently rebranded to THE BRAIN CANCER GROUP, From Care2Cure, reflecting and upholding the commitment to the original 3 Pillars of Research, Education and Patient and Carer Support.
The White Pearl Fundraiser, which holds the annual White Pearl Ball, was established to support the dedicated researchers of The Brain Cancer Group in their quest to find solutions for brain cancer patients. Founder and organiser of all White Pearl Fundraiser awareness and fundraising events, Suzane Peponis-Brisimis, joined the Board of The Brain Cancer Group, From Care2Cure in February 2016. All Suzane's work for the White Pearl Fundraiser and The Brain Cancer Group is undertaken voluntarily.
ALL PROFITS donated from White Pearl Fundraiser events to The Brain Cancer Group, go directly to brain cancer research. We thank you for your support. www.braincancergroup.com.au
The White Pearl Ball is held in honour of all who have succumbed to brain cancer, those who are currently struggling and all their loved ones. The Ball also honours the enormous contribution made by those in the medical profession who treat these patients and support their families and the researchers who devote their lives to finding solutions.
WHY “WHITE PEARL” ?
White pearls symbolise purity, beauty, new beginnings, innocence, generosity, wisdom acquired through experience, simplicity, protection, peace, the store of truth, faith and love, loyalty of it’s wearer to the cause........
.......and because Christina loved them.