‘Wear A Hat Day’ Raises Brain Tumour Awareness

Today is ‘Wear A Hat Day’, a charity initiative that aims to raise awareness about brain tumours.  Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancers.

Although it’s an internationally recognised event, the local initiative came about three years ago when Lynette Rodriguez’s son Giles, who was 9 at the time, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  During their long stay in the UK whilst he was undergoing medical tests, Lynette came across a poster advertising Wear a Hat Day.  

Ms Rodriguez explained: “It was then, when I vowed to make it my mission to create as much awareness as possible within the local community.  The first Wear a Hat Day in Gibraltar took place in March 2017.” (see photos attached)

However, this year, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, theie plans have understandably had to change.

Prior to the current pandemic, the charity had approached schools, Government departments and local businesses and they were all eager to participate.  The initial plan was also to do a raffle and all the money raised would be shared between Brain tumour Research UK and  Cancer Relief Gibraltar.  

Lynette explained the alternative plans for this year: “Instead, today, for Wear a Hat Day, we will be concentrating on raising awareness We are asking people to wear their hats, take a selfie and post on our Facebook group 'Wear a Hat Day Gibraltar' Group with the hashtag #wearahatday2020.  Those who wish to donate to this worthy cause may do son on my Just Giving Page Wear a Hat Day Gibraltar 2020.”

The charity has also decided this will no longer be a once a year event and they have plans to organise a raffle and other fundraising events.  

Giles’ Story

By Lynette Rodriguez

On the 25th January 2017, just three days after our son’s 9th birthday, we were given the worst news a parent could ever receive “Giles has a brain tumour’’. Nothing could have prepared us for what was yet to come.  Months of tests and decisions, and our son’s future was unknown. Unfortunately, Giles had 3 different tumours and was offered the ‘watch and wait’ approach together with the chemo or radiotherapy routes as possible treatment. As any parent would do, we explored all options available.  Eventually, we came to the conclusion that surgery, although very risky, due to the location of the tumours, would be the best option.  He underwent a 7 hour operation, and his tumours were successfully removed. Although not out of the woods, our ‘warrior’ can lead a ‘relatively’ normal life with just his annual checkups and MRI. All this was thanks to the surgery carried out with the assistance of the latest intra-operative equipment.