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Brain tumours are one of the commonest cancers in children and also affect thousands of adults every year in India. This disease and its treatment may result in physical, emotional and financial suffering not only for the patient but for the entire family. Modern management with surgery, radiotherapy and sometimes chemotherapy can cure this disease in some patients and prolong life with relief of symptoms in most patients. The whole experience is often frightening for the family. They require not only hospital treatment but also emotional, social, financial and logistic support. Many of these patients, especially children are in fact cured, however they may have long- term disabilities.

A team of doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and social workers at the Tata Memorial Hospital and KEM Hospital , have come together to form a group called The Brain Tumour Foundation . The aims of this organization are to provide medical treatment, conduct research, provide financial assistance, psychological support and rehabilitate these patients. Since most of the patients come from lower socio-economic background, the support from public hospitals and organization such as The Brain Tumour Foundation is crucial for a successful outcome.

At the Tata Memorial Hospital these patients are provided with state-of-the-art treatment facilities such as Radiosurgery or 'Blood less Surgery' which has the capability of destroying the tumour by sharply focussed intense radiation beams. While the public funded hospitals of Mumbai are providing excellent diagnostic and treatment facilities either free or at subsidized rates, there is a need for community collective action to rehabilitate these patients.

Special Bravery Awards will be presented to children with brain tumours for displaying outstanding courage and resilience during these most difficult times. The awards will be presented on Sunday, 16 th June 2002 at the Central Railways GM Office Building (Mumbai CST) at 2.00 pm . At this occasion these children would also display their talents in singing, dancing and painting. The Central Railways have come forward and arranged for a memorable ride on the 150 year old heritage train for these children.

More funds are needed to rehabilitate these patients and undertake research in to the causes and cure of brain tumours. Donations (eligible for 100% tax exemption) to the Brain Tumour Foundation may be sent to Dr Rajiv Sarin / Dr Rakesh Jalali, 125, Ground Floor, Main Building, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, by cheques payable to the "Tata Memorial Centre - Brain Tumour Foundation". If you wish to join hands please contact the Brain Tumour Foundation at 2417 7000 extension 4559/7153.

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