Appeal « Charlie Teo Foundation

Jodie's Brain Cancer Battle

Jodie was given 6 months to live. Now, 5 years on, Jacob has his mother love.

Jodie has selflessly donated her brain tumour to science to help us on our global mission to beat brain cancer.

Every second counts in the battle against brain cancer. In an instant, your life is measured in mere months instead of years. And all of a sudden, the best gift you could ask for is time.

Time with family and friends. Time to do the things you love. Time to fast forward much-needed treatments and a cure for this horrible disease.

So why not offer hope to those who need it most by giving the gift of time. Time to advance research, so that brain cancer patients can buy more time.

In 2017, Jodie from Alice Springs, mother of then 7-year-old Jacob, was diagnosed with a grade II Diffuse Astrocytoma at age 45.

“The world opened up in front of me for a few minutes.”

Jodie was forced to fly to Adelaide, as there were no local options in Alice Springs.

“I thought long and hard before I opened my mouth about my brain cancer to Jacob. I initially said, ‘Sweetie, we need to go to Adelaide… mum needs to see a special doctor as I’ve got a sore inside my head’. Jacob came with me. The morning I was going to see the doctor, Jacob gave me his baby toy and he said, ‘Mum, you know baby takes all the worries away.’

I was really concerned right from the start about Jacob and the time we had together. I wanted him to have a childhood, and to preserve the sacredness of childhood which is such a special place. I didn’t want my brain cancer to steal that away.”

Jodie had a 10-hour radical lobectomy in Adelaide, was in ICU for a week, and back in the ward for another week before being discharged. She suffered limited vision on her left side and some balance problem but was back running and bike riding within a few weeks.

8 months later, the tumour was back at a grade III and Jodie was given 6 months to live.

Jodie flew to Sydney to see Dr Charlie Teo. Charlie resected her tumour the next day in a 5-hour operation. Jodie was in ICU for a couple of hours and then discharged the next day.

This was over 5 years ago.

Jodie completed 6 months of chemo in mid-2021. It was the most physically and psychologically challenging 6 months of Jodie’s life so far. Chemo shrunk what she refers to as the ‘monsters face’ inside her head.

Unfortunately, Jodie’s cancer continues to persist. But so, too, does Jodie.

Now undergoing further chemo, the gift of time that her surgery and chemo have given her has not only allowed for more cherished moments with her Jacob, but also highlighted the critical importance of advancing brain cancer research.

Jodie has continued to work with the Alice Springs Hospital and medical specialists to start to plan her end of life. As a strong-willed, proud Territorian, Jodie made a request to donate her brain for research, however the NT law did not allow this. Jodie advocated and lobbied and made her voice known that she wished her brain to be donated for research. It is because of Jodie that the Northern Territory law has recently been changed – it is Jodie’s law.

Jodie has also donated her tumour tissue to the Charlie Teo Foundation's Brain Tumour Biobank, a selfless gesture that holds the potential to unlock vital insights.

“I do it for the love of Jacob, for the love of humanity, and to advance the science. And if anyone can do it, the Charlie Teo Foundation can do it, with its outside-the-box thinkers who don’t have constraints of conservative research. I hope that Charlie and the team can find a cure by capitalising on diverse ways of thinking. I think it’s such a mega smart approach to research, which is to find the people who are able to think in atypical ways to find patterns, see patterns, and try things that push the boundaries. These innovative ways are the way we progress as humans. We need these boundary pushers to advance us and hopefully one day find a cure for this really shitty fricken disease…

In terms of the future, I speak to Jacob in the things that I know. Life can suck sometimes, but it is beautiful and amazing and full of love and hope. I have had an amazing life, and I want to continue having an amazing life as long as I can.”

Jodie and Jacob plan to go skydiving when he turns 18.

We are hopeful that time is on their side.

So as another year draws to a close, we urge you to make an impact in the fight against brain cancer by giving the most precious gift of all: time.

Your donation will help us buy time for those diagnosed with brain cancer by accelerating critical research and advance treatments that can change lives, offer hope, and alter the harrowing statistics.

Regular giving is one of the most effective ways to support us. Knowing we can rely on your regular contribution allows us to plan for the future. Each month your chosen amount is automatically debited from your credit card. You can increase, decrease or cancel your monthly donation at any time.

We are urging you to consider becoming a regular donor so that your gift of time keeps on giving. Your regular contributions allow us to get closer to a future where more patients like Jodie can share precious moments with their loved ones.

Commit today to donate monthly to make a lasting impact.

Thank you for your support!