The Tumour Foundation of BC is the new name for the BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation (BCNF). Established in 1984 by Paul Ralfs, the Tumour Foundation of BC is a charitable organization supporting individuals affected with neurofibromatosis (NF).


“Although the effects of neurofibromatosis vary greatly from person to person, most people with NF live fulfilling and productive lives. We know more now than in the past about how to diagnose, prevent and treat many serious complications of NF. Certainly, there is still a great need to learn more, but if NF research labs and organizations such as BCNF continue to work together, our understanding of this complex disorder and our ability to treat it effectively will be much better tomorrow than it is today.”

Jan Friedman, MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Why a New Name?

While the BCNF has been actively supporting families for 33 years, the brand wasn’t serving us as well anymore. With so many charities vying for attention, volunteers, and donor dollars, we needed a fresh and creative way to share the NF story and raise revenue for our programs and services.

The Board takes responsibility that not everyone will agree with this new direction. To survive however, we have to try something different. This is our first initiative to create a stronger organization.

Below we have addressed some of the concerns that members have asked.

  1. If “NF” isn’t in the name, people looking for information on NF won’t be able to find us.

Response:  Our tagline from our old logo, “Empowering Individuals with NF”, carries on.  It will be displayed on our website and in our literature.

  1. Concern with use of the word "tumour"

Response: If you google ‘neurofibromatosis’ you will find most sites, including the Mayo Clinic, define neurofibromatosis as a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue.

Almost every problem with NF is caused by a tumour. Tumour on the optic nerve affects vision; tumours on the spine cause scoliosis; tumours in the brain can cause learning difficulties; tumours on the auditory-vestibular nerve cause hearing loss, etc. “Neurofibroma” is a technical name for a tumour; the difference is everyone knows what a tumour is. Neurofibroma however, requires an explanation.

Using plain language helps people understand NF. For comparison, consider that people with cancer don’t say they have "hepatobalstoma" or "mesothelioma", even though those are the correct technical terms. They use the term that people will understand.

  1. Concern that people will think it’s a cancer organization.

Response: People do not describe cancer as “having a tumour”, they call it cancer. They say they have breast cancer, brain cancer, or leukemia, which doesn’t involve tumours.

In many ways, NF is worse than cancer. There is nothing to do to prevent NF. There are limited treatments available, and unlike many cancers, which can now be cured, there is no cure for NF.

The New Logo

We are grateful to Laura at Laura Galloway Design for designing our new logo. The logo conveys our new brand direction - connection, education & leadership.

  • The tree mimics the look of the nervous system. Thee tree graphic give the look of branches reaching out to the individuals and communities as well as their needs, and the services which the Tumour Foundation provides.
  • The trunk of the tree shows how the foundation brings a solid base to these separate components of the NF community.
  • In addition, the tree represents a learning system, and the playful design is friendly and welcoming to all levels of the audience.
  • Green portrays health, freshness and calm, and the blue-green turquoise adds balance, focus, and stability.