Jaime King, mother of Katherine the Brave
"Katherine was diagnosed on my birthday, June 2, 2015 with DIPG, an inoperable brain tumor. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, many people think that the first step for families is to start fighting, and fighting hard. That is not the case with DIPG. We are sent home, our hope stripped from us, told that no one has ever survived this, and hospice begins day one. Your 5, 6, 7-year-old child WILL die, now go make memories, and soon."
"Katherine put on the fight of her life for 12 months, even serving lemonade to raise money for a cure, happily. Eager to spread the word about her cancer, and to let others know how she felt about her new life. Sadly, Katherine succumbed to her cancer on June 6, 2016. She passed in my arms, surrounded by family and loved ones. We miss her so much."
"Everyone deserves hope, a chance--a fighting chance. A cure. It's not natural for a child to leave before a parent. We will never be okay, and this needs to change."
“Katherine was an old soul. From when she was born, friends and family would comment about her eyes and how they looked right through you—almost as if she knew the truth in everything that we sometimes hide. Love. Hope. Hurt. She was brilliant. So bright. She was putting puzzle pieces together way above her academic level, and Legos for 12-year-olds at age 6. She was so caring to everyone. In her last days, she was declining and she could barely move. Though, she insisted on having a party for me. Her eyes lit up when I walked in and I was so surprised. She fell asleep after that, and never really woke up okay again. It was her last attempt to give me some happiness, as she did for so many. She was a giver.”
“We were introduced to Dr. Michelle Monje via The McKenna Claire Foundation and its founders, Kristin and Dave Wetzel. Their daughter McKenna passed away from DIPG five years ago, and they fight tirelessly to find a cure and fund research which is promising, such as Dr. Monje’s. We wrote to Dr. Monje and spoke to her on several occasions during Katherine’s journey. Dr. Monje helped us procure a trial drug, and directed its use with Katherine’s oncologist, out of the kindness of her heart. Dr. Monje’s lab currently has Katherine’s brain and tumors for research.”