A Teenager’s Plan to Help her Friend with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Takes Off

According to a story from Essex Live, Lily Wythe is a fourteen year old girl who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Upon hearing the news, her family and friends took action to help. Her best chance is to get to the United States, where she can join a clinical trial and receive the latest cutting edge treatment that could potentially save her life. There is only one big obstacle: The treatment costs £300,000.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is a very rare brain tumor that is known for its poor response for treatment. It appears in the pons, the central area of the brain stem. Its locations makes the tumor inoperable via surgery. Unfortunately, the cause of this tumor remains unknown, and there are few known definitive risk factors; mutations of H3K27M are implicated in brain tumors in children. Symptoms of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma include vision loss, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and problems with speech. The normal treatment approach for this tumor is radiation therapy for a period of six weeks; surgery is rarely possible, and the effectiveness of chemotherapy is unclear. Like other brain tumors, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is difficult to treat as many drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. The tumor almost always relapses after treatment, and five year survival rate is less than one percent. To learn more about diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, click here.

Lily & Lillie

One of Lily’s best friends, Lillie Cotgrove, 13, came up with an idea for a fundraiser. Little did she know just how successful it could be. Called One Pound Warriors, the concept of the campaign was to try to find 300,000 people to donate just one pound towards Lily’s treatment. While Lillie didn’t think of the idea as anything more than a school project, the initiative took off quickly, earning £25,000 in just four days after the Facebook page went live. Since then, the page has continued to draw attention, even from people from outside of the UK. 

However, time is of the essence, as Lily’s cancer has continued to progress. She is currently being treated with radiation therapy and her ability to eat and walk has been affected. Lily also had to get surgery because of excess fluid in her brain.

To help Lily, click here.


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