May 25-31 is DIPG Awareness Week in California

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The Great State of California shows leadership in awareness for DIPG and childhood cancer, with ACR 151 declaring May 25-31 as DIPG Awareness Week. Assemblyman Scott Wilk learned of DIPG, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, upon meeting Janet Demeter of Jack’s Angels Foundation, and was moved to help raise awareness to this invariably terminal disease, responsible for the majority of pediatric brain tumor deaths each year in the US.

Despite its hopeless prognosis and culpability for so many deaths, DIPG is marginalized--like all childhood cancers--as "rare" and thus undeserving of research funding by our current system in place.

DIPG Awareness Week in California, May 25-31

DIPG, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, is a pediatric brain tumor that is invariably terminal with no progress made to that effect in over 35 years of clinical record. DIPG is responsible for roughly 80% of pediatric brain tumor deaths annually, the leading cause of cancer-related death in children. Taken from California State Assemblyman Scott Wilk's section of The Signal on June 13, 2014, the newspaper for the Santa Clarita Valley, he stated, "The Demeters, Jack's story, and the purpose of [Jack’s Angels Foundation] were recently brought to my attention when I met Janet Demeter at a Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce dinner. Touched by Janet's story, I decided there needed to be a greater awareness about the debilitating illness. I introduced an Assembly Concurrent Resolution to deem the week of May 25-31 as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Awareness Week..," he continued, "DIPG has been one of the most under-researched types of brain tumors, going hand-in-hand with other childhood brain tumors' dark history of being underfunded..."

For DIPG Awareness Week, Jack's Angels Foundation of Santa Clarita, CA is celebrating with a DIPG Awareness Run on Monday, May 25 across the Santa Clarita Valley, to thank Assemblyman Wilk and the California Legislature, and to encourage the movement across the country to have President Obama declare a National DIPG Awareness Day. The runner wears over 100 multicolored ribbons on angel wings to honor DIPG children, and the run is always dedicated to the recently deceased and the fight for those to come; “I run for them, and for those to come who deserve research to save their lives,” says Jack’s Angels runner, “I’m asking everyone to tweet the President that day, and if not, during that week, for ‘National DIPG Awareness Day!’, at his timely new twitter account @POTUS. And please say thank you!”

As an ambassador for childhood cancer, DIPG makes a very poignant statement; despite its hopeless prognosis and culpability for so many deaths, DIPG is marginalized--like all childhood cancers--as "rare" and thus undeserving of research funding by our current system in place. The qualifying adjective "rare" has been attached to DIPG like glue, despite the fact that it is a common pediatric brain tumor, representing about 12% incidence of over 170 identified varieties.

"People can't care if they're not aware!"--stated quite frankly, Aimee Dickey, always 12, from Scranton PA almost a decade ago, the inspiration for "Aimees Army," a Pennsylvania support and research organization for pediatric cancer. Within the last 5 years, a critical mass of parents and families in extraordinary pain and exasperation with a system that apparently values short-term corporate profits over children's lives, has begun to accumulate with foundations and medical systems from private sector donations to help the DIPG predicament, such as The Cure Starts Now, Reflections of Grace, and a number of other foundations working together as "The DIPG Collaborative."    Though the private sector funding is a helpful and promising start, the funding of research for children is still desperately needed.

Only 4% of our taxpayer dollars designated for cancer research go to childhood cancer research as a whole. Long and windy arguments have been made of CMOs and CEOs of big pharmaceutical companies like Janssen, the global component of Johnson & Johnson, making billions in profit margins, math that needs no explanation. Like clockwork, 200-300 children are diagnosed each year in the United States, and, like clockwork, they all die--the majority of them within a year of said diagnosis. Most children with DIPG are fully conscious and aware of their decline until their last day. The loss and anticipation thereof is painful enough for the family to endure, but to hear that their children's lives are insignificant to investors is indescribably desolate; with no effective therapies developed for their children, this is the dark reality they have continued to experience.

Jack's Angels Foundation is celebrating DIPG Awareness Week with the Run across the Santa Clarita Valley, Monday May 25, at 10 am in Canyon Country, CA--Canyon Country Park, to the entrance of Six Flags Magic Mountain. All donations to the Foundation during DIPG Awareness Week will benefit DIPG research. On Thursday, the amazing Powderpuff Football Game May 28 kicks off at 6pm, Jorgenson Field at Vasquez High School in Acton. Half-time of the game boasts the boys cheer squad, sure to be entertaining, and also the 2015 Angel Awards, honoring Assemblyman Scott Wilk, the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, Albert Einstein Academy, Vasquez High School, distinguished educators and artists, and volunteers for their contribution to DIPG Awareness and supporting Jack's Angels mission.

Because of the support of certain schools, the SCV Chamber of Commerce, and of course Assemblyman Wilk and the local communities of Santa Clarita, Agua Dulce, and Acton have shown outstanding leadership not only for Los Angeles County, but for California and our United States. When asked "what's next," by a volunteer, Janet Demeter--Jack's Angels President--stated, "There may be a second run that week, so I’m not giving up on getting that Day!” For more information about Jack's Angels mission of support, awareness and research for DIPG, visit

Tweet, "National DIPG Awareness Day!" to our President 5/25-31 @POTUS --remember to say thank you!

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Janet Demeter
since: 03/2013
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Jack's Angels
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