Just like that, everything changed
Exactly one week after Brooklyn’s 5th birthday, her family received the most inconceivable and devastating news a parent could imagine. The otherwise extremely healthy 5-year-old was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a “rare” form of Pediatric Brain Cancer. That is accompanied by the following quotes: “Terminal”, “NO Effective treatments”, and “1% survival rate” to name only a few. There’s only one problem….DIPG… You’re just getting acquainted with Brooklyn!
Our girl on the go
Sitting idle has never been one of Brooklyn’s strengths. Both crawling and talking by 6 months, walking at 10 months, and writing her name by age 3. She loves to sing, and dance with Anna and Elsa in Arendelle, pretend to be a ballerina on stage with Barbie, diagnose, treat, and note the outcome of her mountain of “stuffies” in her Big Book of boo boos, and swim with her dolphin friends as she explores the ocean as a mermaid.
Through it all, her SMILE prevails
January 11, 2016 has altered her course, but giving up or in to DIPG isn’t in Brooklyn’s makeup. She’s undergone brain surgery to relieve pressure from access fluid buildup, with stood 6 weeks of radiation losing portions of her hair, endured repeated steroid regiments wreaking havoc on her small body, and is currently on her 7th month of chemo therapy. She lost 90% functionality of her left hand, forced to wear a foot brace to help her safely clear the ground, and until recently could name all 6 or so medicines she takes daily. In a matter of hours, she witnessed her voice being stolen right before her eyes, as she and her parents sat helplessly. But standing strong is Brooklyn’s SMILE, her drive to get out of bed every day reminding her family, friends, and supporters to SMILE, to push on, to fight, for her and every other child, and to honor those before her.
With Brooklyn by our side encouraging us daily, Smile for Brooklyn, Inc. will work to bring our mission of providing hope that surviving DIPG is possible to light.