A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Suffering is Optional

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. DIPG. Today, there is no known cure for DIPG, and only 1 percent of DIPG patients survive more than five years past their diagnosis.

Dr. Gordon Li said, “Thirty years of numerous clinical trials have all failed.”

School-aged children most often get this type of cancer—a tumor that is impossible to surgically remove because it grows tangled in the brain stem.  Chemotherapy does not shrink the tumor and radiation brings only temporary remission.  Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital are starting a phase-1 clinical trial of a vaccine-based treatment and will be enrolling fifteen newly diagnosed patients. This trial is funded by a 1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Can you imagine a vaccine that will cause the body to produce immune cells that recognize and destroy tumor cells?

Now, this just makes me want to do research even more!


­­There are twelve major types of childhood cancer. We need– absolutely need– to find help for children diagnosed with DIPG, and all forms of cancer.  I hope the scientists at Stanford make a huge discovery!

Like many of you, I have been thinking of Ethan.

…  I think of how he lived through his pain. I think of how he loved. I think of how he chose to be Sunshine to everyone whose life he touched.

I read this quote from “Unknown.” It reminds me of Ethan, Kendall, Max, Natalie, Braden, Kate, Jade, Anais, and all children who choose to fight cancer with hearts spilling over with love.

“It’s just pain.”

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown  

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