WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) in introducing a bipartisan resolution to support those battling the deadly form of pediatric cancer known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Joyce has previously met with, and been inspired by, the Ronnebaum family whose daughter Clare is a rare survivor of this terrible disease.
“I’m proud to join Congresswoman Dingell in introducing this bipartisan resolution to increase awareness of one of the deadliest forms of pediatric cancer and call for increased funding to support the research needed to fight it,” said Joyce. “Courageous families like the Ronnebaums, who are unwavering in their fight against DIPG, deserve to have allies in Congress fighting alongside them. We must continue to work together on behalf of every child, parent and family affected by this devastating disease until no child has to hear the heartbreaking words ‘you have cancer’ ever again.”
Every year, nearly 16,000 children across the country are diagnosed with cancer. Of those, approximately 300 are diagnosed with DIPG. The average life expectancy after receiving a DIPG diagnosis is less than one year. Despite the fact that DIPG is the second most common pediatric brain tumor, research into treatments and cures is sorely lacking. Joyce and Dingell’s resolution calls for expanded research on possible treatments, encourages entities to factor in the mortality rate and number of life years lost when considering awarding research grants and, if passed, would support designating May 17th as National DIPG Awareness Day.
One of the children who has beaten the odds when it comes to DIPG is Clare Ronnebaum, a Cleveland native. In 2018, mere months before her third birthday, Clare was diagnosed with DIPG. Both a miracle and a survivor, Clare marked her 1,000th day since her diagnosis this past March. In 2019, Joyce met with the Ronnebaums to discuss the need for increased research into DIPG and vowed to continue fighting alongside them and all those with children battling this horrific disease. The attached photos show Joyce with the Ronnebaums as well as the artwork Clare made to thank him for his ongoing efforts to raise awareness about DIPG and support children like her who are battling the disease.