Today, May 17, 2017, is Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Day in Michigan.  We recently had the opportunity to talk to Amanda Ruddy about her son Tommy's battle with DIPG.

DIPG is a brain tumor that is typically diagnosed in children between the ages of 5-7.  There are about 300-350 new cases per year in the United States.  The median survival rate for those diagnosed with DIPG is only 9 months.  The disease is considered to be "rare" so very little funding is allocated to researching treatment options.  This is why we need to raise awareness of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

Sadly, Tommy passed away last November after a hard fought battle with this horrible disease.  Tommy's story has been shared countless times and is continuing to inspire people around the state and the country.  The State of Michigan has even officially recognized May 17, 2017 as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Day.

Official Certificate of Proclamation from Gov. Snyder!

WHEREAS, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) affects between 200 and 400 children in the US each year; and,

WHEREAS, brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children; and,

WHEREAS, DIPG is the second most common malignant brain tumor found in children; and,

WHEREAS, DIPG is the leading cause of childhood death due to brain tumors. The median survival is only 9 months and the five-year survival is less than 1%; and,

WHEREAS, given the age at diagnosis and the average life expectancy, the number of life years lost annually because of DIPG is approximately 25,000 years (calculated as the number of children diagnosed multiplied by average male and female life expectancy from that median age, 300 x 80 = 25,000 years of person life lost annually); and,

WHEREAS, prognosis has not improved for children with DIPG in over 35 years;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 17, 2017 as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Day.

Source: Michigan.gov

Amanda is currently involved with the ChadTough Foundation, who helps to raise funds for research into treatments for DIPG.  If you are interested in learning more or directly helping the ChadTough Foundation and Team Tommy, you can start by heading out to the Team Tommy Garage Sale to benefit the ChadTough Foundation this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  You can also donate directly on ChadTough.org.