Eagle Mom Hopes Christmas Comes Early for Daughter Battling Cancer
While most families were caught up in the hustle and bustle of Black Friday 2018, Claire and her family were on the way to Seattle Children's Hospital hoping to find out what was causing her to act strangely.
Claire's family hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Eagle and on a whim, decided to drive back to Seattle with her aunt to attend the "Enchanted Christmas" event in Seattle. Unfortunately, they never made it to the winter wonderland. On Black Friday, Claire stared to act strangely in the car. She was confused, dizzy and was having trouble moving her right hand. When they stopped the car, she couldn't stand up straight and was walking with a limp.
Taking the advice of a nurse on the other end of an after-hours phone line for her doctor, Claire's family rushed her to Seattle Children's Hospital where she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG.)
According to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, it's a type of tumor that starts in the brain stem which controls breathing, heart rate, nerves and muscles that allow someone to hear, walk, talk and eat. DIPG accounts for 10-20% of all childhood brain tumors and there's no known cure for these tumors. While they can be treated with radiation therapy, chemo or surgery, the survival rate for kids living with DIPG is low.
When Claire was diagnosed last year, her doctors only gave her 6-9 months to live so her family feels blessed that they've beaten the odds and still have her with them. Unfortunately, in a post targeting the "I Love Eagle, Idaho" Facebook group, Claire's mom, Annie, posted that her tumor is growing and she's rapidly declining. It's a very real possibility that the little girl might not be around to celebrate her favorite holiday this year and that's why her mom is hoping the community will come together to make a little Christmas magic for Claire happen early.
She's asking people in the Eagle area to put up their Christmas lights up early so they can take Claire to go see them and experience Christmas one more time. The family lives in the Eagle Pointe Subdivision, so if you know friends or family members in that area please share this very special request with them.