Set in a loving home in Canada, a bubbly, red-haired tot lives life as a terrible monster sucks it away with relentless cruelty. Those who love her can do nothing to stop it. Each day is approached with a determination to put a lifetime into as much time as given.
As with all stories, there are decisions points.... crises. The very first is whether to treat a fatal disease or not. In this case, the decision was not to treat the tumor but to live life. Shockingly, little Stella way outlived her predicted three months by more than a year. It is a marathon of heartbreak where every few weeks one has to adjust to what more has been lost- impossible to comprehend how much more could possible be taken. Yet it does.
And there is a climatic finish that will bring many to their knees. A mother carries her dead child past a line of candles holding vigils witnessing one final gift- taking her child to the hospital to donate the extremely rare gift to research of a deadly tumor untouched by radiation. The hope that one day we can stop this evil in it's tracks.
This is the story of DIPG.
This is much more a story of a remarkable family struggling through the unimaginable.
As often is the case, a picture is worth a thousand words. A video conveys things that words can not- the tears, the fears, the most beautiful child. Please watch A Year with Stella.
There is also a 3 part article series that tells more-
Thanks to the Toronto Star, Catherine Porter, Aimee Bruner and Mishi Methven for telling the awful truth of DIPG while sharing this precious child, Stella, with the world.