A Note from Laura Segars
Edgar and I are medical students at the University of Maryland Baltimore. We are running the Baltimore Half Marathon (http://www.thebaltimoremarathon.com) on Oct. 17th to support the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation. We want to raise awareness and support research for a DIPG cure, but we need your help.
We first learned about DIPG when we heard about Michael Mosier, a kindergarten student in my hometown. Michael was 6 years old when he was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a tumor located in the brainstem. He endured months of radiation and experimental chemotherapy with incredible bravery, spirit and determination. Despite difficult treatments, he wanted to come to school every chance he could and he never lost his sense of humor. After an 8.5 month battle, Michael passed away on May 17, 2015, but his strength, courage and determination live on. Unfortunately, DIPG has no cure.
Our goal is to raise money in memory of Michael and all the families who are battling this disease with all the strength they have. Every dollar we raise will support pediatric research for a cure. Before medical school, I did research at the NIH in a pediatric oncology lab, and I know that research is the best way to tackle this terrible disease. In fact, new DIPG research has shown promising advances in treatment. DIPG does not respond to the same treatments that are effective in adult brain tumors. Recently, with biopsies and tissue donations, scientists have developed DIPG cell lines and animal models, allowing for more genetic understanding and targeted therapy. In other words, cells from tumors can be grown in the lab to test what drives the tumor cells, what genetic mutations exist in the cells and which chemotherapy combinations will be effective for DIPG tumor cells.
As future pediatricians, we hope we never have to tell a parent that their child has “the worst of the worst” DIPG. Let’s change what this diagnosis means by finding effective treatments. Let’s not let this disease steal our bright, vibrant and precious young children. Let’s join in the fight and help make a difference. Let’s find the treatments that will save their lives.
To donate and help us reach our goal of $1,000, please click the DONATE button below. *Note that it may take up to 24 hours for the donor list and total to be updated.*