10-year-old Ava Woodard (in pink shirt) was diagnosed with DIPG last year (FOX CAROLINA / May 19).
Inman, SC (FOX Carolina) – May is brain tumor awareness month, and this week, people across the state joined others across the country to spotlight a rare form of childhood cancer.
Monday was DIPG Awareness Day and it hits home for an Upstate family fighting to find a cure for their daughter.
We first told you about Ava Woodard’s story last year after she was diagnosed with DIPG. It is a rare form of childhood cancer, and only about 200 to 400 children are diagnosed in the United States each year. The survival rate is less than 1% and the amount of research funding is minimal.
According to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, only 4% of the billions of dollars the government spends each year on cancer research goes to the treatment of childhood cancer. Ava Woodard hopes that this will change soon.
“It is unfair that cancer in children only gets 4%. I think it must be fifty fifty. It should be equal, and it should be fair to all of us, ”said 10-year-old Ava.
Whatever life throws at Ava, her mom said strength and courage hint.
‘She showed me that she is one of the strongest people I have ever met. She could go from being sick and throwing up to getting up and saying, Mom, don’t let that stop me! Let’s go, ”said Rhoda Woodard.
Ava threw the first pitch during the Chapman High School baseball game on Wednesday-evening to raise awareness about DIPG. Coach Fusaro and his team showed their support by wearing Ava’s Army shirts during the game.
“DIPG is short on money, and we want to raise that awareness. We want her to experience the highlights of a high school baseball game, and also the highlights of the community that supports her,” said coach Steven Fusaro.
Ava has participated in two clinical studies and is confident in what lies ahead.
“God has this, is what I say,” Ava said.
Ava and her family invite the community to Ava’s army parade this weekend. It starts on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm in the center of Inman.
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