In 1962, Astronaut Neil Armstrong lost his daughter, Karen “Muffy”, to DIPG just two months shy of her third birthday. Since that time, very little progress has been made where treatment and survivability are concerned. According to Saint Jude Hospital, “DIPG is a type of tumor that starts in the brain stem, the part of the brain just above the back of the neck and connected to the spine. The brain stem controls breathing, heart rate and the nerves and muscles that help us see, hear, walk, talk and eat. These tumors are called gliomas because they grow from glial cells, a type of supportive cell in the brain.” DefeatDIPG.org states that “only 10% of children with DIPG survive for 2 years after diagnoses, and less than 1% survive for five years. There is currently no cure.”
Only 4% of Federal funding goes to Childhood cancer. Only 3 new cancer drugs have been approved specifically for childhood cancer in the past 20 years. About 1 in 190 children younger than 15 years old died from cancer in 2017, according the The American Cancer Society. And, CityofHope.Org states that “each year, nearly 100,000 children under 15 die from cancer worldwide. That’s almost 250 children a day–a startling statistic given that about 80 percent of childhood cancers are potentially curable with existing treatments. More than 90 percent of these deaths occur in underdeveloped countries. Yet, even in prosperous nations like the United States, improvements in child cancer survival rates are threatened by a lack of new drug development.”
This is where we would like to help. We aim to raise awareness about DIPG as well as other childhood cancers that are in desperate need of new treatment options. We long to educate people and help make some progress eradicating the worst cancer monsters that harm the most innocent of us. We hope to be able to support turning trials and new medications and treatments into reality.