Head, Division of Neurosurgery, UBC/VGH; Assistant Professor, UBC, Department Surgery; Director, BrainCare BC, BC Cancer Agency

Clearly I have over-extended my invitation, so this is my last post (and with 2012 just around the corner, the next blogger is already on standby, I’m told).

I note that there are a lot of “I,” “me,” “my” and “mine” in my posts, but it certainly was not my intent to make this a self-serving exposé on Brian Toyota.

In fact, the sum total of all that I have described in terms of what we have done and where we are going is the result of a large, expansive team, centralized at the BC Cancer Agency. We have called our innovative and progressive program “BrainCare BC.”

BrainCare BC is the only brain tumour centre in the province It’s also the only centre in Canada with a patient and family advisory council active in improving care and programs, and the only centre in Canada to have a strong genomics research focus and psychosocial research programs.

I dare say that gone are the days of pure individual success stories, even the best athlete in the most individual-centred sports, like golf or tennis, has a legion of coaches, trainers, physicians, psychologists, nutritionists, managers and agents. We are in the era of team success and multidisciplinary achievements, and I am actually quite certain that many of you reading this blog are a vital, if not absolutely necessary, member of the team.

The day-to-day working team members care for brain tumour patients as part of their profession—it’s what we do. But it turns out there is not a “Department to Cure Cancer” or a “Ministry to Make Things Better” at any governmental level. Those areas are left to the creative, the motivated and the inspired. Those areas are also not financially supported.

In October 2008, the BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala was magnificently supportive of BrainCare BC and is completely and solely responsible for allowing us to make the progress I have described. In fact, there are many other facets I did not have the chance to describe (too busy talking about surfing it seems), which have only been born in Vancouver because of the generosity of BC Cancer Foundation donors.

Brian