In 2015, Riley Callen - now 16 years old - started this non-profit after her third brain surgery to remove a vascular tumor in her brainstem called a cavernous malformation. The Be Brave for Life Foundation works to improve the quality of life for those affected by cavernous malformations and non-cancerous brain tumors by raising awareness and funding innovative research.
Be Brave for Life believes the only way to find better treatment options, and ultimately a cure, is by supporting innovative research, improving collaboration (amongst researchers, medical professionals, foundations and families), and creating a community around bravery and hope! In 4 years, Be Brave has raised close to a half million dollars and supports 10 incredible research initiatives at top hospitals and universites around the world.
Did you know that the All types of brain tumors can be deadly, even non-cancerous ones, if they interfere with portions of the brain responsible for vital bodily functions. Shockingly, there only 4 FDA approved drugs to treat brain tumors in the last 30 years! This means for most, the only treatment option is life-threatening surgery or radiation.
Riley has had two cavernous malformations in her brainstem, a place you don't ever want to let anyone touch - even the most brilliant brain surgeon; but she had no other options. Today, luckily Riley is super healthy, but lives with a 20% chance of recurrence, so her fight continues - as does the fight of the 700,000 American's living with this diagnosis.
In the words of Dr. Edward Smith, Director of Pediatric Cerebrovascular Disease at Boston Children's Hospital: “The Be Brave for Life organization is a group that has really elevated research by focusing on innovation. The unique grant mechanism they employ affords risk-taking and the rewards reaped by non-conventional thinking. They provide a huge impact in advancing the field.”
The Hike-A-Thon is a way to leverage your fitness to help others - just like Riley has done.
As you join in this effort...As you raise funds to create awareness around and support research …You will discover the power that comes from being brave!