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By Stacia Wagner
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This eye-opening video was posted by a great brain tumor survivor, advocate and photographer sparked a discussion among some of the survivors. Do the effects of a brain tumor, whether they are visible or not, lead to increased isolation? If you look different or walk different, do people treat you different? Do people shy away from starting a conversation with you? Do they think that your appearance or physical abilities are directly linked to your IQ? What about the “invisible” disabilities? What if you can’t hear or if the tumor impacted your vision? Do you just get left out? Do people expect you to be able to do things you just can’t do because they don’t know your vision and hearing have changed? Are you scared to tell people because you don’t want to be treated differently? What if it now takes you a little longer to come up with a response during a conversation or your memory has changed? Do friends and even teachers just expect you to return to “normal”? Do they think you aren’t trying? Do you fake it by spending eight hours a day doing homework?

What is it that makes brain tumor survivors so afraid to talk about challenges or differences? What is it that makes it so hard for friends, teachers and employers to accept these differences?

One way we combat this at CBTF is through the development of a support community. We hope to increase our online community and build a network of teens and young adults who can not only support each other, but can provide support for others. We have a great group of experts who live this every day. By voicing your opinion and listening to their opinion, we can help end isolation and increase understanding. Let us know you experience, suggestions and what we what we can do to build community and awareness while dispelling inaccuracies about disabilities and brain tumors.  

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