Jace Kinley Thompson was a typical active little boy who loved life, loved his family, pancakes, the beach, the woods and anything equipped with wheels. Jace’s smile was captivating, and he loved to meet strangers.
He was four years old when he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma…DIPG. DIPG is an aggressive, pediatric brain tumor that attacks and attaches itself to the brain stem…there is NO cure. Upon diagnosis, DIPG is a death sentence.
Jace courageously fought this horrific disease for 347 days. He never complained during the entire ordeal; he never quit, never gave up. He always had a smile for everyone. During his courageous fight, thousands of people grew to love Jace; they followed his story and prayed for him without ceasing.
After 347 days, the evil DIPG tumor finally destroyed his ability to smile, to walk, to speak, to sit up, to hear, to swallow, and finally to breathe. As it does with all victims, most of whom are young children, DIPG steals all physical capabilities leaving the child’s mental and cognizant abilities untouched. They are very aware that they are trapped inside a failing body.
Jace left us when he was only five years old.
In honor of his unwavering and courageous spirit in fighting the most deadly and horrific of all pediatric cancers, the Warrior Jace Foundation was created in 2019. Our publicly stated mission is to raise awareness of DIPG and to raise funds specifically dedicated to research designed to develop better treatment options and to ultimately find a cure for DIPG.
There are many doctors and scientists dedicated to this cause; however, they are severely limited in their research efforts and in their clinical trials because of insufficient funding dedicated to their specific research into DIPG.
Current research trials dedicated to DIPG are mostly funded by private donations and grants from small family foundations. In fact, research into ALL pediatric cancers receives only 4% annually of all the cancer research funds granted by the National Cancer Institute which is a part of the National Institute of Health (NIH). Most of these funds are given to pediatric research hospitals such various larger known hospitals who lobby continuously for both private and public funds. These hospitals work hard to find cures for many types of pediatric cancers, but DIPG has NEVER been a focus of their research.
Jace did not deserve to die at the age of five years old…neither do the hundreds of other children who are killed every year by DIPG.
Jace’s kind and loving spirit lives on. His work on this earth is not finished. Though his life was short, his story continues. Through the Warrior Jace Foundation, we will continue to work diligently to give children diagnosed with DIPG a chance to live.