FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Isabelle Cayford continues to push for the federal government to institute May 17th as a national day of awareness for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
Cayford’s daughter, Adaura, passed away on July 1st, 2020, due to the inoperable and fatal brain tumour found in children.
Cayford says that five or six families across Canada have been working and petitioning to get May 17th explicitly recognized as DIPG Awareness Day, following the lead of Australia, the United States, and some countries in Europe.
May is already recognized nationally as brain cancer awareness month.
The City of Fort St. John has already declared recognition of the day and will be lighting up the Centennial Park stage on May 17th.
A couple of monuments across Canada will also be lit up in purple in honour of DIPG awareness day.
Cayford hopes the day of awareness will help educate the public and increase dialogue in the medical community because of the severity of the disease.
“The children have nine to twelve months to survive, and we have to watch them lose each important living function,” Cayford explains.
“It’s very devastating to watch your child become blind, deaf and unable to walk. You have to just wait until they pass away.”
Through Adaura’s Wish Foundation, Cayford wants to raise funds for research to find the technology to remove the tumour.
Cayford says Adarua always wanted to help children.
She recalls a talk they had while staying at the Ronald McDonald House, where Adaura commented on the other children in the house.
“Adaura would always say, ‘oh, these little kids look so brave.'”
Cayford says the children looked like they were physically struggling, whereas, with Adaura, you couldn’t tell at the time.
“She was always like, ‘I don’t know if I should be here. I think we should be helping them. Mommy, what can we do for them?’ So it didn’t really matter what was wrong with [her]. She just wanted to make the kids smile.”
The Cayfords officially launched the Adaura’s Wish Foundation earlier this year, with the help of Burger King and Fort Motors, and they plan to do an event each year on May 17th to raise awareness.
The family has also decided to start an annual grant with the help of Central School, to send two kids to Camp Sagitawa, as that was the last camp Adaura went to before she was diagnosed.
“She was actually diagnosed nine days after she came back from this camp,” her mother said.
Isabelle talked about how her kids are highland dancers, and they were on the way to a competition when they ended up in a hospital, so she wanted to stay involved with the dance studio, raising funds for them.
Isabelle wanted to thank North Peace Secondary School and Ecole Central Elementary for continuing to talk about her daughter and keeping her name alive.
To donate to the foundation, e-transfer firstname.lastname@example.org.
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