Piper the Princess Warrior
Piper Waneka was a lover of pink, a princess at heart, a leader of the pack, a proud big sister, and as we discovered, a formidable warrior too. In her four years on Earth she brought pure joy to the world.
Piper’s world changed forever on June 12, 2017, when at the age of just 3 ½, she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable and incurable tumor in her brainstem. DIPG is a little known and aggressive cancer that occurs almost exclusively in children. There is no known cause, nor cure. It robs its child sufferers of their abilities to walk, talk, smile, and control all parts of their bodies before it prevents them from eating, drinking, and breathing. DIPG has always been, and continues to be, the deadliest form of cancer ever discovered. Kids with it live a median of nine months after diagnosis.
Today, a child with DIPG has no greater chance of survival, and no new treatment options than did a child with DIPG in 1960. While almost every other form of pediatric and adult cancer has benefitted from new treatment modalities and vastly improved survival rates over this time, DIPG has not. It should not be this way. DIPG affects 150-300 boys and girls in the U.S. per year. Of all the national funding available for cancer research, just four percent goes to childhood cancers, and DIPG gets just a tiny fraction of that four percent. The result is an unacceptable lack of progress in fighting this deadly disease over the last half-century.
Here at #WarriorsForPrincessPiper, we honor Piper’s memory by saying her name and remembering her joy. Together, her warriors will fight to give DIPG the attention it deserves.
- Cancer is theleadingcauseof disease-related death in children
- The average age at diagnosis is 5, average years of life lost: approximately 71
- Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with some form of pediatric cancer; 1 in 8 of those children will not survive
- The odds of being diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20 are 1 in 300
- More than ¼of all pediatric cancer diagnoses are brain and central nervous system (CNT) tumors like DIPG
*Statistics from www.thecurestartsnow.org; www.curesearch.org; www.cancer.gov
We are Warriors for Princess Piper.
Arvada, Colorado, USA