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Urbana, Ohio - 10-year old Zoë Wallen is battling a rare and lethal form of cancer known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). This disease, which originates in the brainstem, affects about 200 children every year.
DIPG is an aggressive cancer and, as it progresses, it slowly robs its victims of their ability to speak, see, eat, and, eventually, breathe. Because of its location and the nature of the disease, DIPG tumors are both inoperable and incurable.
In the spring of 2011, Zoë underwent a six- week course of radiation and chemotherapy at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. The treatment successfully reduced the size of Zoë's tumor and temporarily relieved her symptoms. Although her response to treatment was positive, doctors warned that it was only temporary. Most children who undergo this treatment experience tumor regrowth within 6-9 months of therapy and only 30% of children survive the year. Zoë is blessed to be one of the 30%.
A few weeks ago, just as her doctors predicted, an MRI revealed devastating news. Zoë's tumor is once again growing. Her scans were immediately sent to St. Jude and MD Anderson, but neither hospital had much to offer. Zoë is not a candidate for irradiation and chemotherapy has not been effective in treating this disease.
Feeling as though they had exhausted all conventional medical options, the family opted to enroll Zoë in an FDA-approved clinical trial of a new medication that has shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in some patients. The trial, which is being conducted by a doctor in the private sector, is not funded. So, although the cost of the medication is covered by the clinical trial, the rest of Zoë's medical care is not. Consequently, the out-of-pocket costs could be tens of thousands of dollars.
It is for that reason that a group of friends and supporters, who call themselves "Team Zoë", have launched a fundraising campaign called, "Give $10 for 10". The goal of this campaign, now underway, is to raise $10,000 by the end of July. To do so, Team Zoë is hoping to find 1,000 individuals who are willing to make a $10 donation ... one dollar for each year of Zoë's life. Individuals interested in donating to this cause can do so in one of three ways. Credit card and/or PayPal donations can be made through the GiveForward.com website below, checks (made payable to the "Zoë Wallen Benefit Fund") can be mailed to P.O. Box 1953, Springfield, OH, 45501, and donations can be made at any Security National Bank.
We are strong believers in the power of prayer and we are convinced that it is the only reason Zoë is alive today. Please consider praying for Zoë and her family as they embark on this new treatment.
Thank you for your support!