fought bravely for over two years following the diagnosis of a Glio Blastoma
Multifome (GBM) Grade 4 in 2015. She
succumbed to this hideous disease in April 2017. She had just turned 63. During this time, Lynette and her husband,
Billy, were supported and cared for by the Brain Tumour Alliance Australia
(BTAA) in Canberra.
Lynette and Billy were
just beginning to enjoy the opportunities and variety that retirement offered
them. When the diagnosis of a GBM was made, their world was turned upside down
as it is for everyone on the receiving end of such devastating news. The hope was that a treatment would arrest
the spread of the disease through access to a trial drug or radio-therapy.
Sadly, but typically, this was not the case and there were no trials available
at that time.
To honour Lynette’s
life, Billy, in partnership with the Ghana Australia Association and the BTAA
in Canberra, held an event in November 2017 to honour Lynette’s life in support
of the work of the BTAA and an orthopaedic centre in Ghana which Lynette had
supported when she and Billy lived there.
The event was
successful in raising significant funds shared between both organisations.
Billy had asked that the funds allocated to BTAA be directed towards a specific
activity that involved support and care for brain tumour patients and carers.
between BTAA and the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) in
Australia, it was agreed to establish the BTAA
Lynette Williams Award for the best ‘poster’ presentation focussed on
support and care for brain tumour patients. There are sufficient funds for the award to be presented for ten years.
The ‘posters’ were
judged by an independent panel at COGNO with the two winners announced during
the recent COGNO conference held in Brisbane in October.
First prize ($600) was awarded to Ms Megan Jeon, for her poster ‘Prevalence
and severity of difficulty sleeping in patients with CNS cancer receiving
palliative care in Australia’. Ms Jeon is a PhD student at
the South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales.
prize ($400) went to Ms Lobna Alukaidey, for her poster ‘Longitudinal health
related quality of life in patients with benign and low-grade brain tumours’.
Ms Alukaidey is a medical student at the University of Melbourne.
Billy was present at COGNO for the announcement and presentation
of the awards. ‘While the loss of Lynette has had a profound and lasting impact
on me and my family, the legacy of Lynette’s life will support the provision of
improved levels of support and care for patients with brain tumours, Billy said.
‘It is also good to know the award will give encouragement to
young medical professionals to study and evaluate the impact of the disease, and
also to raise the importance of care among medical professionals in oncology
and related fields.’