Recognizing Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 7, 2018
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, during which we pay a special tribute to the children who are now fighting or who have fought the number one disease killer and second leading cause of death of children in the United States.

We also affirm our support for the families, their doctors and their nurses and the foundations that provide financial and emotional relief to those struggling with the tremendous stress of cancer treatment and rehabilitation.

One group that is particularly close to me and my family is Jack's Angels. Jack's Angels fights for dedicated research for a particularly deadly kind of pediatric cancer, DIPG, the deadliest pediatric brain cancer.

DIPG tumors are inoperable and incurable, and its victims have a 5- year survival rate of less than 1 percent. The median survival time for children diagnosed with DIPG is only 9 months.

In 2011, just after his third birthday, Jack Demeter was diagnosed with DIPG. He was given steroid medication, then radiation therapy, and was put on supplements and several tailored diets.

He was brought into clinical trials. He tried infusions. His parents took him to dozens of doctors, each of whom provided their best advice and counsel. But the science for an effective treatment for DIPG has not yet been developed. Jack passed away only 9 months after diagnosis.

For me and for Jack's Angels, finding a cure for DIPG and all other pediatric cancers will continue to be a priority.