Rugging up for a cause close to home at St Joseph’s Charlestown

The school community of St Joseph’s Primary School, Charlestown came together one chilly winter morning to participate in a fundraiser for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Brain Cancer research – a condition directly affecting one of the school’s families.

DIPG, which has recently been renamed to Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG), is a high-grade brain tumour that primarily affects children between the ages of 5 and 7 years old.

The tumour originates in the area of the brain called the pons. The pons is located deep within the lower part of the brain and is responsible for ensuring a number of critical bodily functions including breathing, sleeping and maintaining blood pressure.

The cause of the tumour is currently unknown and there has been little progress around treatments or cures for the condition.

Local charitable organisation, RUN DIPG, are dedicated to helping improve treatment options for children diagnosed with DIPG by raisings funds for medical research being coordinated by Dr Matt Dun, a cancer researcher at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the University of Newcastle.

When his daughter was diagnosed with DIPG in 2018, Dr Dun set up the research program through HMRI to investigate how to predict how DIPG will progress in patients during its early stages and test new drug therapies to improve survival rates for those affected.

To raise money for RUN DIPG, students and teachers came to school dressed in their warmest winter woollies and enjoyed a special ‘Hot Meal Deal’ organised by the school’s hard-working canteen team.

The St Joseph’s Mini Vinnies group also organised and ran a number of fun activities including pass-the-parcel, face painting, a disco, karaoke and playground games to raise more money for further research into improving the treatment outcomes for children diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). 

As well as being a great community event, the school managed to raise $1,800 to donate to RUN DIPG.

More information about RUN DIPG or to donate, click here.

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