SACRAMENTO – On Thursday, the California Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 106 (SR 106), a measure by Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley declaring May 17, 2018 as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Day.
“This horrific disease primarily impacts young children. It is a heartbreaking diagnosis as most of the patients do not even survive a year,” said Wilk. “SR 106 is a way to call attention to the disease as well as honor those who tirelessly work to make research and resources a reality for the children and families affected.”
DIPG is a malignant brain tumor that affects the brain stem. It is almost exclusively a pediatric disease with most children being diagnosed between the ages of five and nine. There is no one cure or therapy to effectively treat children with DIPG.
Janet Demeter, who lost her three-year-old son Jack to DIPG was in Sacramento to support this resolution. Janet is the founder of Jack’s Angels Foundation, a nonprofit corporation named after her son that has taken the lead in promoting research for this type of cancer. The Foundation established the DIPG Research Fund at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) in 2013. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles conducts research and clinical trials to help shed light on the nature of DIPG and to find potential treatments that provide greater hope for survival.
“May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. It is a perfect time for the California State Senate to stand in support of families and victims of DIPG as well as raise awareness of this horrific cancer. Unlike other pediatric cancers, there is no cure for DIPG, so the diagnosis is heart wrenching for families and patients,” said Wilk. “I cannot even imagine the heartache of watching your child suffer from a disease such as this without some hope of treatment or cure. By increasing awareness, we have the potential of finding successful treatment and eventually a cure.”
“Thank you to Senator Wilk for bringing this before the California Senate. As in the case of most pediatric cancers, research dollars are scarce. With the support of the California Legislature, we can raise awareness of DIPG and importance of funding research,” said Demeter. “The intensity and prevalence of human suffering, in the case of our children with brain cancer, is largely ignored or placated with commercial images and skewed statistics about survival for children with cancer. Most people simply don’t know that our children are not a priority, unless pediatric cancer directly impacts them or someone very close to them.”