Dana & Aries' Miracle Fund

$87,940 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 1,088 people in 17 months
Created December 11, 2017
My younger sister Dana, was diagnosed with a very rare type of brain cancer known as DIPG in  December 2017. She was 29 weeks pregnant at the time and was given 3 months to live.

DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, is an inoperable brain tumor found in the pons of the brain stem. It affects roughly 400 children in the US each year ages 5-8 and currently, there is no known cure.

At just 18 years old, Dana has battled through a number of impossible circumstances one could never imagine, including having to undergo radiation while 30 weeks pregnant, giving birth several weeks early, learning how to walk again, short term memory loss, double vision, endless headaches, constant pain, 5 rounds of chemotherapy,  and raising a baby, just to name a select few. But through it all, she has maintained her faith in God and will never give up hope.

No mother should have to say goodbye to their child before they die because cancer takes away the ability to speak. My sister grew up the best of 8 siblings. She is an amazing mother and an inspiration to everyone she meets. Above all, she has a genuine love for life, all living things and God.

Please consider donating to help my sister. All proceeds raised from this campaign will go directly towards Dana’s medical and treatment expenses.

Thank you and God bless.
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This morning shortly before 4am, Dana left us to be with the lord.

We may never have the rights to say to truly honor the amazing, smart, loving, caring, passionate, incredibly beautiful and free spirited mother, daughter, niece, cousin, friend and independent woman Dana was every day.

She inspired all of us to be better than who we are and to keep God in our focus at every moment. She faced the greatest fear of all, death, and smiled back at it with a grin only God can know. She fought harder than the toughest warriors known to man and she did it with such grace and valor.

We don’t know how to process all of this but want to thank everyone for all of their prayers for Dana and our family. They meant the most to Dana, and our family, and we will always be in your debt. For the countless donations and messages of hope, thank you to everyone who never gave up for Dana. You know she never gave up on you either.

As you’ve shown our family this entire time, we ask for your patience once more as we take time to be with our family. If you have memories of Dana, we’d like you to share them to her Facebook page. Dana loved living in the moment and making memories with the people she loved and we know she would love to see all the amazing times she’s had with people throughout the years.

We started this chapter in Dana’s life with a quote and find it fitting to leave today’s post with it:

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isiah 41:10
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Hi all,

I’d like to share an update on Dana and wish everyone and very happy holiday season this year.

We had a great trip to Mexico last week. Climb to Cure DIPG didn’t turn out as we planned. We lost the flag at the airport and wasn’t able to get to the top of “La M”, but it was a humble reminder that our plans are not always what God has in store for us.

We want to thank Father Lawrence for leading us in prayer near the top of the mountain and for his anointing of Dana. It was a special moment that we’ll never forget. We also want to thank our Argentinian friend in Monterrey, Maria for everything she’s helped us with and done for us and Dana. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you, so thank you so much!

Although it wasn’t a complete success, we’ve learned a lot and plan to do this again next year. If anyone would like t-shirts or window stickers, we’re accepting donations for Dana’s medical expenses. Send us a message and we’ll get back to you with details to order.

The trip was two fold in that we also met with the doctors in Monterrey to go over the next phase of treatment for Dana. We’ve been talking with doctors from NYU, Columbia, Dana Farber and others as well.

It’s ironic that this time a year ago, Dana was in the same position, weighing treatment options and having to make an impossible decision on which treatment is best moving forward for her and Aries.

We ask that you keep Dana in your prayers during this time and lift her up, so she may enjoy the holidays with love and laughter with her daughter and family. She’s experiencing more symptoms from the tumor, most recently having heavy bouts of vertigo, nausea, double vision and vomiting multiple times a day.

We plan to make a decision in the next week or two. Ultimately, this is Dana’s decision but in her words, “God will decide this for me”.

I know Christmas is around the corner, but if you’re still in the giving spirit, Dana can use your help this holiday season. Every penny helps in her fight. We’re extremely grateful to have so many people fighting with her, and pray you’ll continue to fight especially through these difficult times. Thank you so much for the love and support you’ve given Dana over the last year and change. She appreciates it more than you know!

God bless and happy holidays!
Visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center
Near the top of La M
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Hello all,

A recent post on Dana’s Facebook page and update on the status of her treatment and tumor.

————————————————————————

Long overdue post.

Over the last 3 weeks since treatment, Dana has been feeling similar to previous trips in that overall she feels normal, able to do most everything, but has been experiencing more symptoms we feel are treatment related.

Clinically, she looks great. She came to one of her benefits this past weekend with Aries and almost sang karaoke. However, every day she wakes up with headaches and vomiting, constant pain in her upper back, neck and lower back, a lack of appetite, and has been having spasms similar to the ones she was getting before.

Yesterday she went to see her local oncologist in Philly for an MRI. The results of the MRI weren’t what we were expecting. There appears to be minor progression on the right side of the tumor, but after more due diligence, it could also be inflammation or treatment related. They’re taking a closer look today with the team comparing it to her previous MRI. We should hear back today or tomorrow on their opinion on whether it’s the tumor or treatment related.

It’s these times that are the most difficult. The unknown of what we’re seeing and what to do if treatment is not effective. We ask that you please keep Dana in your prayers and ask for positive news from the doctors.

We’re currently in fundraising mode as we don’t have enough to be able to send Dana back to Mexico for treatment. If you’re feeling philanthropic, please consider Dana in your giving needs. Every penny counts.

As we learn more about the current status of Dana’s tumor, we will revisit which treatment is best moving forward. And we’ll share our thoughts, as all of you have been unbelievably supportive to Dana and our family from beginning. Thank you for always being there with love and prayers, and for helping Dana beat her initial prognosis of 3 months. We are forever grateful!

Finally a big thank you to Jess, Matt, Em, Jason, Braylon, DJ Spider, and to the community of Riverside and Danville! As well as Alurring Vapors, Dana’s sister Leann, and the many vendors a part of the Car and Clouds benefit on Sunday!

God bless!
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Hi all,

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated in GoFundMe. We’ve been posting updates on Dana to her Facebook page Pray for Dana. Please follow her page for updates: https://m.facebook.com/prayfordana

For those who do not have Facebook, I’m sorry there hasn’t been activity here in a long time.

Over the past 2 months, Dana has been through 4 sessions of intra-arterial and intrathecal chemotherapy at the clinic down in Monterrey, Mexico. We’ve been extremely fortunate for the families and community in Mexico for the help they’ve given us on each trip, as the language barrier has been a big hurdle. But more so due to the unknowns of what to expect for Dana from the treatment.

In short, the treatment has been effective in shrinking the tumor. We’ve seen a shrinkage of at least 2mm since her first procedure and are awaiting the results from her latest treatment, from just 2 weeks ago. The next trip is scheduled for August 9th. The doctors plan is for Dana to receive treatment every 3 weeks to the day.

The reality is the treatment has been very harsh on Dana. She’s experienced sever illness, headaches, back pain, nausea, lack of appetite, and immediately following the procedure, she is in antagonizing pain mainly in her lower back and legs. We think this is in part due to her sciatica, but the intrathecal, which is administered via her spine through punctures in her back, is the main factor.

We have planned accordingly and have been able to budget for 5 treatments. Each treatment has been $11,000 plus tax. The first two treatments were done at Hospital Angeles in Neuvo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico, which charged $5,000 each time. We’ve since moved to another hospital, Alfa, that has been free of charge. Along with the treatment, the other costs have been flights, hotel, and food. GoFundMe also takes a portion of each donation.

All said and done, we have enough for 1 more treatment currently. We want to thank everyone for their donations, support, gifts, thoughtful messages, and prayers. We would not be here and more importantly, Dana would not be where she is today without the help from all of you. We will never be able to fully repay you but remain forever grateful for the generosity shown by each and every person.

There will be fundraising events in the coming month, both locally and online, for us to continue to raise funds. Please stay tuned to Dana’s Facebook page for info and updates.

If you’re able, we again are asking for your help. No matter what it is, we ask that you please consider continuing to help Dana. She is the strongest person we know and a mother to a beautiful and healthy baby. And it is our absolute goal for her to beat this and live a long, healthy and happy life.

Thank you
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$87,940 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 1,088 people in 17 months
Created December 11, 2017
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