Childhood cancer is rare. For children born in the United States, 1 in 285 will be diagnosed with cancer before they reach age 20. Advances in treatment have increased survival for many children. However, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14, after unintentional injuries. Brain cancer is the most deadly form of childhood cancer, with DIPG being its most deadly form.
The good news is that for many forms of cancer, survival rates are improving, even though the investment in childhood cancer research is not where it should be. We appreciate that there are many wonderful organisations around the world doing great things to support research into finding cures for the life altering and, unfortunately, deadly effects of childhood cancer. Lace ‘Em Up for Libby will work with these organisations to ensure that all $$$ raised will have the biggest impact in finding a cure for childhood cancer, particularly brain cancer and DIPG.
Along with finding a cure, there are also many organisations that provide comfort and compassion to those children and families who are suffering because of cancer.
Below are a few of the organisations that we are supporting:
Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation is committed to finding a cure for brainstem tumors known as diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG). The Foundation seeks to make a difference and Defeat DIPG both by raising awareness of DIPG and by providing funding for research into effective treatments for DIPG.
This Laboratory holds particular significance. During Libby’s treatment, her doctors successfully managed to take some of her cancer cells and reproduce them. The Laboratory is using those cells to further their research into metastatic DIPG. Dr Jeffrey Rubens, who was Libby’s primary doctor through her care and works in this lab, has this to say:
It was obvious the first time I walked into Libby’s hospital room that I was meeting a unique and very special girl. She was about to have brain surgery yet the stress and anxiety that comes with such an event was lost in her humor, quick wit, and bright smile. Seeing Libby was always a bright part of my day in the hospital, but it also made it all the more devastating and frustrating to be limited by our current medications that were inadequate to fight her terrible disease. DIPG is an aggressive childhood brain tumor that does not respond to our current medications and takes the life of too many boys and girls like Libby.
Nearly two years after first meeting Libby, I still think about her a lot. Instead of walking into her hospital room to see her, she is with me as I enter the lab to work on improving our therapies for this deadly brain tumor that so senselessly took Libby’s life. Fortunately, our understanding of the biology that drives DIPG’s aggressive behavior is rapidly improving and we are starting to develop new therapies that are hopeful in the battle against this cancer. Researchers are more optimistic today than ever before that we will soon have medications that can improve DIPG survival. However, so much more has to be done to figure out better therapies to battle this terrible cancer and ensure that we do not continue to lose incredible young boys and girls like Libby to this devastating disease.
We understand that not all our supporters (and Libby’s family) are based in the US. Abbie’s Army is based in the UK and seeks to raise awareness and funding for DIPG research and provide resources and support for families of children who are diagnosed with DIPG.
The Goodwin family personally experienced the memories that Casey Cares helps to create, along with their wonderful pajama drive that became a favorite of Libby’s.
The Goodwin family has supported Zaching against Cancer for several years now. Their mission: To improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their caregivers by providing support through direct patient services and programs, scholarships, and grants.