Our Warriors Who Inspire Us
Addie is the most precious, sweet, and funny soul. Before being diagnosed with an aggressive and fast-growing form of brain cancer known as DIPG, Addie was an energetic jokester. She loved gymnastics, basketball, playing with her siblings, hiking, camping, and, most importantly, playing with dogs. Since diagnosis, everything about Addie has changed in some way. Her ability to walk, talk, move her body, think, and control herself have all changed due to the tumor.
Addie’s diagnosis was devastating and truly traumatic for her family. Addie lives 30 hours away from her dad and stepmom, making it very difficult to visit, on top of that, at the time of diagnosis, her step-mom was 38-weeks pregnant which just added another complication to the mix. After hearing the words DIPG, Addie’s stepmom quickly dropped her son off at a friend’s house and began googling the most horrific four letters. She started reading – “6-9 months” “less than 10% make it more than 2 years” “no cure” “palliative care” – all those words hit her like a ton of bricks. She was sobbing, completely losing it. Their sweet girl was going to die and there was no treatment or cure for her. Her world was completely shattered. And when Addie’s stepbrother found out she had cancer, he asked his mom “but she’s not going to die, right mom?”. There is nothing that will ever prepare you to lose a child in such a horrible way.
Addie is a fighter, and she and her family will continue to fight in hopes that a cure is discovered during her lifetime. Better funding for pediatric brain cancer research is the key. With an increase in funding, our kids will have a better chance of beating DIPG and more people will be educated on the disease. Additionally, it means that when a child is diagnosed with DIPG their family won’t have to hear the words “go home and make memories. There’s no cure and your child will die a horrible death.”