Leah Offutt


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Brain Cancer Awareness Month

by | May 1, 2021 | Leah's Blog

Raising Awareness for Brain Tumors and Childhood Cancer


May Is Brain Cancer Awareness Month

May is National Brain Cancer Awareness month. It is a month to show your support of those who have brain cancer, congratulate those that have beaten the odds of brain cancer and honor those that have lost their lives to brain cancer.  “Go Gray in May” is a way to show your support and encourage brain cancer research. It is the perfect opportunity to wear gray clothing throughout the month and explain to others why you are wearing gray.  Joe and I have several shirts that state we wear gray for “Brain Cancer Awareness” or “Go Gray in May”.    We did not know about this month until our son was diagnosed with a childhood cancer.  He was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, Anaplastic Astrocytoma.  Our world changed and suddenly we became a part of so many clubs no parents want to be a part of.  Click here to read more about Jake’s story.  Throughout the month of May, many people post gray ribbons on their Facebook cover pictures that also explain the meaning of the gray ribbon.  It is something to just keep in people’s minds because brain cancer is a problem that we are faced with more than most think.  See facts below.   If you want to join us in remembering Jake, others that are battling brain cancer or those whom have lost their lives due to a brain tumor – wear Gray in May.  Add a gray ribbon to your Facebook photo and share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram. #grayinmay #embracethewarriorwithin #leahoffuttphotography

Embrace the Warrior Within

The goal of my photography has always been to shoot what I love and make a living, but to also serve others.  I want to use my photography to tell stories that need to be told.  To let the photos do the talking.  I want to photograph childhood cancer warriors in addition to my regular sessions.  I want to show the world that these warriors are not their disease, not their tumors, not their struggle. I want to show the world and themselves what strength looks like.  Most of all I want them to know they are not alone. I want to stand with them as they kick their disease in the face like the warrior they are!  I had never really seen this type of bravery before until Jake got sick.  He did the best he could to embrace his warrior spirit and fight as hard as he could.  I want to help show others that they have that same warrior spirit even when they don’t see it.  Jake inspired Joe and I on a daily basis with his strength, courage and humbleness.  He still inspires us to embrace our warrior within on a daily basis.  My photography of these childhood cancer warriors could help highlight the love and compassion between family members.   I want to show them how beautiful they are, beyond their childhood cancer, laughing and loving one another!  If you know of a family going though the unfortunate battle of a childhood cancer, please reach out to me so that I can offer my services.


Our Experience with a Childhood Cancer Photoshoot

I believe that Jake would have loved the idea of helping to celebrate a happy moment in time for a child with a childhood cancer. We were given that opportunity when our family was photographed by Jennifer DiDio during Jake’s treatment.  It was an experience we will never forget.  She provided us with photographs that Joe and I will treasure forever.  I will never be able to repay her for what she did for us.  Click here to see a previous blog post with Jake’s photo session.  I want to provide other families touched by childhood cancer lasting memories like this.  The love between the family should be highlighted and celebrated.  Jennifer did this for our family and it is time for me to pay it forward.

Click here to see the latest session Joe and I had with Jennifer DiDio.  This session was something I envisioned as Jake would have grown and become older.


Please for the month of May wear some gray and add a ribbon to your Facebook page.  Think about all those who lost their battle, are currently battling and those who are survivors.  We can not raise awareness alone.  We need to work together to help people understand the importance of raising awareness for brain cancer.  We do this for our hero!

Brain Tumor Facts

  • An estimated 700,000 Americans are living with a primary brain tumor
    • Approximately 70% of all brain tumors are benign
    • Approximately 30% of all brain tumors are malignant
    • Approximately 58% of all brain tumors occur in females
    • Approximately 42% of all brain tumors occur in males
  • An estimated 84,170 people will receive a primary brain tumor diagnosis in 2021
    • An estimated 59,040 will be non-malignant (benign)
      • Meningiomas are the most commonly occurring primary non-malignant brain tumors, accounting for 38.3% of all tumors, and 54.5% of all non-malignant tumors
    • An estimated 25,130 will be malignant
      • Glioblastoma is the most commonly occurring primary malignant brain tumor, accounting for 14.5% of all tumors, and 48.6% of all malignant tumors
  • The median age at diagnosis for a primary brain tumor is 60 years
  • The average survival rate for all primary brain tumor patients is 75.2%
    • Survival rates vary by age and tumor type and generally decrease with age
    • For non-malignant brain tumor patients, the average five-year survival rate is 91.7%
    • For malignant brain tumor patients, the five-year relative survival rate following diagnosis is 36%
      • For the most common form of primary malignant brain tumors, glioblastoma, the five-year relative survival rate is only 7.2% and median survival is only 8 months
  • An estimated 18,600 people died from a malignant brain tumor (brain cancer) in 2020


  • 13,657 children are estimated to be living with a primary brain tumor in the U.S.
  • Approximately 4.3% of all brain tumors cases diagnosed each year occur in children ages 0-14
  • An estimated 3,460 new cases of childhood brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed in 2021
  • Brain tumors are the most common solid cancer in persons age 0-14 years
  • The five-year relative survival rate for all primary childhood brain tumors is 82.5%
    • For malignant tumors, the five-year survival rate is 75.4%
  • Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death among children ages 0-14 years
  • The most prevalent brain tumor types in children are:
    • Pilocytic astrocytoma (17.7%)
    • Glioma, malignant (14.5%)
    • Embryonal tumors (12.7%)
      • Medulloblastoma (64.7%)
      • AT/RT (16.6%)
      • PNET (9.5%)

Click here to read more about facts taken from National Brain Tumor Society