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Going above and beyond for Canada’s brain tumour registry

Jennifer Gouchie-Terris and her husband, Darren, leave Nov. 24 for southeast Asia and their 500-km Riding for Registry trek from Angkor Wat in Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand. They’ll be met in Thailand by Upper Nappan native and cancer survivor Morgan Milner.
Jennifer Gouchie-Terris and her husband, Darren, leave Nov. 24 for southeast Asia and their 500-km Riding for Registry trek from Angkor Wat in Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand. They’ll be met in Thailand by Upper Nappan native and cancer survivor Morgan Milner.

AMHERST, N.S. – When she thinks of people going above and beyond for others, Morgan Milner quickly thinks of Jennifer Gouchie-Terris and her husband, Darren.

The couple leave next week to participate in Riding for the Registry a 500-km trek from Angkor Wat in Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand to raise money for the Canadian Brain Tumour Registry Project.

The couple leave next week to participate in Riding for the Registry a 500-km trek from Angkor Wat in Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand to raise money for the Canadian Brain Tumour Registry Project.

Gouchie grew up in Amherst and is a former editor of the Citizen-Record.

Milner, who grew up in Upper Nappan, will meet them in Bangkok at the end of their ride.

“I think it so incredibly brave what Jenn and her husband are doing,” Milner said in an email from Thailand, where she teaches English. “They have put so much love and determination into this project and it’s been so great to keep in touch with Jenn and follow the whole journey on their Ride for the Registry Facebook page.”

Milner said she has been amazed with the generosity of people and the donations and overall support for the cause. While Riding for the Registry had a goal of $10,000 – a dollar for each of the 10,000 Canadians diagnosed annually with a brain tumour – the campaign recently surpassed the $27,000 mark.

Gouchie-Terris’ son, Brandon, passed away in 2012 after a long battle with an inoperable brain tumour. Milner too had her own battle with a brain tumour, being diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma at age 19.

“I was in my second year at university when I had to have surgery to have it removed the first time,” she said. “The tumor stayed quiet for a while but then started growing again in my fourth year of university.

“Two weeks after graduation I had the tumor removed for the second time.”

She said the following January, her neurosurgeon and his team decided it would be in her best interest to receive radiation treatment.

“Because of the location of my tumor it is essentially impossible to remove it all. The hope was the radiation treatment would kill any remaining live tumor cells so that there was no chance that it can grow back,” she said. “I was actually just home in June for an MRI and was having lunch with Jenn when I got the results of my scan. My neurosurgeon was pleased with results and I can now go a whole year between scans. I will always have a tumor but for now it is quiet and smaller than ever.”

Milner said she can’t help but feel pride at what Gouchie-Terris and her husband have already accomplished. Not only is she blown away at how much money has been raised, but something that’s just as important is the awareness it has raised.

“The Ride for the Registry Facebook page alone has been so eye opening. I, and many others who have become a part of this journey, have been made aware and educated on just how big of an issue this is,” she said. “When I was diagnosed I felt like the world had completely fallen apart and how could anyone understand what me and my family were going through. I have come to see just how much bigger this issue is.”

Milner said no parent should have to see their child sick. For this family to take something so devastating as loosing a loved one and turn it into all of this, is beyond incredible.

“If I could say anything to Jenn about all of this it would be thank you, for fighting for all of us. Brandon would be really really proud of his mom. I know I am,” she said.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

 

 

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