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As we prepare for Piper’s 4th birthday party, one I refuse to accept could be her last, I have been thinking a lot about how to celebrate in the context of cancer. We have more to celebrate than ever before, but this year our joy is indivisible with DIPG.  The two cannot be separated. But just like you need dark to appreciate light, our unimaginable circumstance allows us to distill what matters and appreciate the magnificence of life.

The party will take place three days before Piper crosses the six-month mark of her diagnosis. We didn’t know what this point would look like, but thanks to her determination and access to precision medicine, she fights on. She has good days, even great days, where it is possible to forget cancer for a moment.  Her encouraging last MRI gives us every reason to keep hoping, something we truly thank God for.  There is still much to battle in the months ahead, but we do it with renewed determination.

When we talked about how Piper wanted to celebrate her birthday this year, her response was “a big party.”  So, a big party she’ll get. But this year, we had the help of a village. Thanks to the compassion and generosity of people in our community (many of whom we have never met) Piper’s day will be special beyond her wildest expectations.

I sincerely look forward to standing beside her band of Warriors to celebrate the gift of this birthday.