Since the inception of this GoFundMe page in 2017, Brooke has been traveling every single month to receive her intra-arterial treatments in Monterrey, Mexico. It has proved to be successful for her as her tumor has not only shrunk but has remained stable to date. This month of May will be exactly 2 years that she has been able to keep her brain tumor stable and low grade. It is a blessing. Unfortunately, last month we have discovered that Brooke's tumor, although stable, has metastasized onto her spine. Sadly it is not what we ever wanted to hear, but we will continue to fight. Brooke is currently doing 4 more weeks of radiation on her entire spine at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Her treatments in Mexico have to be put on hold until she completes the radiation. We pray and stay hopeful that her brain tumor stays "asleep" while we take care of the spine.
We thank all of our supporters and donors for helping us make these medical decisions for Brooke when we began her treatments in Mexico. Three and a half years of fighting cancer is hard, but two of those years have been with no help from our health insurance because her only option was to leave the country. The numbers are astronomical. The funds initially raised on this site helped us for two months when Brooke received her immunotherapy and intra-arterial in 2017.
It is never easy to ask for help. Everyone has their story. So we are grateful for the generosity we received in helping our little girl fight this big fight.
Brooke is now 11 years old and a 5th grader. She is staying focused and positive despite the challenges she is enduring. She a sweet and funny kid that just wants to have a normal life. What an easy dream! One would think.
We thank you with all our hearts. Prayers to yours!
On December 31, 2015, Brooke Blake, a 7 year old, second grader, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. DIPG, is a rare form of brain cancer in the pons area of the brain stem. The pons controls breathing, eating, walking, talking, swallowing among other things. In the US, it effects between 200-400 children mostly between the ages of 2 - 11 years of age and has only 1% survival rate. The medium survival is 6 to 9 months from diagnosis.
Brooke's journey of treatments since, has included 40 rounds of radiation, 4 brain procedures which includes 2 clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering. After discovering that her tumor continued to show progression in the end of April 2017, Brooke was offered no other treatment for her. We were told to work with palliative/hospice care and take her home.
With that not being an option, we discovered a treatment in Monterrey, Mexico, that holds much promise for Brooke and many other children with DIPG.
Brooke has already traveled to Mexico 3 times and is receiving intra-arterial treatment along with immunotherapy treatment. She has been doing well and she is clinically doing well. She has an amazing spirit and funny character that keeps her moving forward.
These treatments are not covered by our insurance as we are out of the country. The intra-arterial treatment costs approximately $16k per month and the immunotherapy treatment is an additional $16k as well. Just for the treatments. Given that we need to bring Brooke to Mexico every 4 weeks, it does add up.
It is never easy to ask for help, but we find that so many people care and feel that they want to help in any way they can.
Thank you for your consideration and your prayers for our little girl, Brooke. We believe with all our heart that she will prevail and overcome this nightmare. She has the will and the belief that she will have a long and happy life.
Help her defeat the odds! Continue your prayers!
Love you all dear friends!
Please join us in updates on her Facebook page:
Believe In Brooke
- Juan Paz
- Craig & Patty Lishawa
- Nicole Van Alstyne
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more