Artist, runner, swimmer, friend. These are words that describe our little girl. Grace was a happy seven year old who enjoyed spending time with her family, playing with animals, dancing and being silly with her friends. Grace’s energetic spirit, courage and determination captured the hearts of many and will continue to define her legacy.
In November of 2009, Grace was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable and highly aggressive brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). This tumor quickly took away her ability to use her left-side, and eventually her ability to walk and talk. She endured six weeks of radiation, various alternative treatments, nutritional supplements and medicines. Grace remained “strong and brave” throughout her journey while teaching many along the way about the greatest gift of all – LOVE. In August of 2010, Grace was fully healed in Heaven leaving hope to all of us.
In the past 30 years there have been no significant advancements in the outcome of a DIPG diagnosis. DIPG affects the pons area of the brainstem, rendering nervous system function impossible. It is one of the most resistant of all cancers to chemotherapy treatments; it affects primarily children, and with dismal prognosis, alternatives are few.
There is lack of funding for pediatric cancer research. Research is critical if we are ever going to learn more about the biology of this tumor, how best to treat it, and ultimately find a cure.
Grace has touched more lives for God than most have met in a lifetime. We are honored to call her our daughter. To learn more about DIPG and Grace's journey, visit www.soarwithgrace.org.