Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG® Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is finding a cure for the deadliest pediatric cancer, DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), announced today the addition of a chapter in Chicago, Illinois, to its Defeat DIPG® Network: Anthony’s Avengers Defeat DIPG® Foundation. The new chapter adds to Defeat DIPG Network’s existing presence across the United States, in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Kansas as Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation, in Texas as Connor Man Defeat DIPG® Foundation and in Washington as Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG® Foundation. The Defeat DIPG Network has raised over $1 million for DIPG research in less than 2 years.
The Chicago chapter, which will operate as Anthony’s Avengers Defeat DIPG Foundation, is founded in memory of Anthony Pappalas. Anthony was 7 years old when he passed away from DIPG on March 9, 2017, after bravely fighting the disease for 19 months. Anthony would be turning 8 years old on September 2, 2017. His family describes him as a brilliant boy, filled with love, laughter, and lots of smiles, who wanted to be an astronomer for NASA when he grew up. Throughout his battle, Anthony taught his family, friends, and community the true meaning of courage, faith, and love. Anthony’s mother, Katie Gaskin, will serve as the Director of Anthony’s Avengers Defeat DIPG Foundation.
Jenny and Mark Mosier created Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation in June 2015 to fund DIPG research and promote awareness of the disease, after the passing of their 6-year-old son Michael. They announced the creation of two chapters in May 2016, which established the Defeat DIPG Network. With its geographic expansion and growth of existing initiatives, Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation expects to continue to increase its capacity to fund essential childhood cancer research. The Mosier, Huffman, Olympia, and Gaskin families will work to grow the already powerful base of support in each of their communities, and to honor and unite all children and families who have had to confront this disease.
Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation works with a preeminent Scientific Advisory Council of brain tumor experts that advises its Board of Directors on how to maximize its resources to fund research for a cure for DIPG. The Foundation is accepting grant applications through October 2, 2017 and expects to announce new funding before the end of 2017.
“Working together with other DIPG families who have experienced firsthand the devastation inflicted by DIPG creates a powerful shared motivation to find a cure,” says Jenny Mosier, Executive Director of Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation. “After watching our own children suffer from this disease, without hope for survival, we know the urgent need for medical advances focused on DIPG. It is a privilege to work alongside families who feel as passionately as we do about funding research to give children diagnosed with DIPG hope for a bright future.”
DIPG is the deadliest form of pediatric brain cancer, with a median survival from diagnosis of 9 months and a near 0% survival overall. DIPG typically strikes children between ages four and eleven. Because of its location in the brainstem where all motor activity is controlled, DIPG is inoperable. The disease progresses by taking over a child’s motor functions one-by-one, typically starting with vision and balance problems, before moving to partial paralysis, followed by the inability to chew, speak, swallow, move and eventually breathe – all of this while the child remains mentally intact.
For decades, treatment for DIPG has remained the same and has been ineffective. The entire amount spent annually on DIPG research – approximately $3 – 5 million – is less than 0.0005% of the total funding for cancer research. In just the past few years, due to better medical technology and increased access to tumor tissue, researchers have made real advances in their understanding of this disease. There is finally hope for progress in finding a cure.
A copy of the full press release is available here.