‘Gail’s Beads for Brains’ – fight cancer with fashion

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By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Your life can change overnight with one diagnosis.

Gail Prieur celebrated her 54th birthday this June in good health. Before July could roll around she lost the ability to speak and was told she had a brain tumour. A team of specialists immediately worked to remove it in Ottawa. But shortly after recovering from surgery the news got worse. Prieur was diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain cancer: Glioblastoma Multiform.

Ever since, her and her family started ‘Gail’s Beads for Brains’ and have been making bracelets to raise money for brain cancer research.

“Of course, the news was devastating. Something like this doesn't happen in your family. I think we all went numb in disbelief and speaking for myself, there's still a bit of denial,” said Sue Gallant. “She's my sister. I love her.”

Prieur spent 32 years working for the Upper Canada District School Board before retiring. Her active personality led to a part-time job as a court service officer and helping her sister and brother-in-law with their store in Lancaster.

Now Prieur and her family spend a lot of time using fashion to battle a horrible disease.

“Watching her participate so willingly to make this happen and be so successful is humbling,” said Gallant. “She inspires, there's no other way to put it. Judging by the success, it's proof that she's well loved too.”

So far, by online donations, $1280 has been raised. That amount does not include pledges or bracelet sales.  

Prieur, her daughters, Gallant and family members will spend hours crammed at a table making the bracelets out of a large variety of beads. It’s an arduous task that they are more than willing to do to make a difference.

Gallant said there's no way she could have done any of this without the help of Jordan Coleman, fundraising coordinator at the Cancer Society SD & G-PR branch.

Bracelets are $5 and available at Best Impressions General Store (main street in Lancaster), The Health Nut (812 Pitt Street, unit 40), Earthway Family Chiropractic (812 Pitt Street, suite 37), Williamstown Arena and MacDonald Cleaners (Alexandria). 

“We welcome any and all businesses to sell our bracelets. It's for a good cause, after all,” said Gallant.

To make a donation or find out more information, click here.

Organizations: Upper Canada District School Board, Cancer Society SD G, Impressions General Store

Geographic location: Lancaster, Ottawa, 812 Pitt Street Alexandria

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