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Second Video Released in Series: People of CERN

Organize or Create Your Own Ependymoma Awareness Day Event!

On a local level, we urge you to participate in activities to create awareness about ependymoma in your local community.
For more ideas, read how others around the world have commemorated Ependymoma Awareness Day in 2016.
You can order your own Awareness Day kit! Included in the $25 kit, that is available for purchase by clicking here, is an Awareness Day packet of information, an Ependymoma Guide, 5 buttons, 2 temporary tattoos, 10 butterfly balloons, and 5 stickers!
You can create your own fundraising campaign or event and encourage others to donate by sharing your custom page with your family and friends!

Interested in releasing live butterflies where you live? No problem! Our suppliers will express mail live or wind-up butterflies directly to you!  

Live Butterflies: Butterflies will be delivered to you or your event location the day before your release along with any displays and accessories. For more information, contact Vibrant Wings ( for details at 832-671-4755.

Wind-up Butterflies: Wind-up butterflies will be delivered to you and instructions on how to use. For more information, contact Flying Butterfly ( for specific details at 321-258-8132.

Butterfly Balloons: Another easy way to participate is to release white balloons that have the CERN awareness butterfly printed on them. You can order balloons in bulk as part of your own fundraiser, or simply to release on Ependymoma Awareness Day to remember a loved one or to show your support.

People of CERN: Jennifer's Story

In this short film, we meet Jennifer; who had to stop working due to her ependymoma treatment effects, but now focuses on spending quality time with her two daughters and husband. This is the second in a series of short films produced by the CERN Foundation with the aim of humanizing the experience of ependymoma by sharing real people's stories and ultimately raising awareness about this rare form of brain and spinal cancer.
Help advance our mission by donating at You can also help by sharing this story with your friends and family.
Play Jennifer's Story

A Story of Recovery from Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery

By Dawn
CERN Inspiration Story

“The first thing I remember after surgery is being able to move my hands and feet and breathe on my own. I remember smiling. I was not paralyzed. My neurosurgeon later told me that I said, ‘I’m a rock star.’ I probably did. It sounds like something I would say.”

So begins Dawn’s recovery from a surgery that removed a spinal cord tumor located in what doctors refer to as “a high real estate area” of her spine—cervical levels 1 and 2, just below the brain. The tumor was a grade II ependymoma.

Adults with spinal cord tumors are exceedingly rare, and written accounts of what it’s like to survive tumor-removal surgery are even more rare. Dawn was told that things would be “different” after surgery, but she had no idea just how strange her sensory experiences would turn out to be.

Through writing the book, ReWired: A Story of Recovery from Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery, Dawn hopes to give those who are on a similar journey the reassurance that they are not alone. She not only offers a glimpse into what their post-surgical experience might be like, she also offers insights on how they might accept their body’s “new language” with curiosity, humor, gratitude and grace.

Here is an excerpt from her book.

Day One

When I woke up from surgery, my body felt numb and I could not determine the outline of my body from my collarbone to my toes. It felt like my nerves were reaching beyond the boundary of my skin. The only parts of my body that felt normal were my shoulders and above. The strange thing about the numbness is that I could feel things—my body sensed touch—but it was not in the same way I had felt things before. I could feel the medical staff poke me with sharp vs. dull objects and could tell the difference between them, but it almost felt like it was happening to someone else’s body. Another way to describe it is that it felt like there was an energetic force field around my body and when people touched me it felt like they were touching the edges of the force field and not actually touching my body.


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