NJ foundation supports kids with brain tumors
A Central Jersey charity is raising money and awareness for the growing issue of children battling brain tumors.
Thea’s Star of Hope was founded by Trisha Danze after her daughter, Thea, was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just 4-months-old. Thea continues to fight the cancer as she approaches her eighth birthday next month.
Her mom said that while many of the treatments allow these children to live into adulthood, most of them experience long-lasting impacts to their body and minds.
“Our goal in starting Thea’s Star of Hope is to try and find better treatments for kids, so they don’t have all of these long-term side-effects associated with the treatments,” Danze said.
Some of the side-effects include food aversions, kidney damage, and cognitive and motor issues. In fact, Thea has to use a feeding tube now to get her nutrition because of the food aversions.
“They are really quality-of-life effects associated with the treatment, and they occur long after treatment is over,” she explained.
In just a few years, Thea’s Star of Hope has raised over $30,000, which has gone towards research and support for alternative treatment options and clinical trials.
Danze said the mission is for Thea and other kids facing this type of cancer to live as long and as painlessly as possible.
“We’re hoping that she just continues to progress and not have any more side-effects and any more complications from the treatment that she’s receiving,” Danze said.
The number of children being diagnosed with brain tumors continues to grow. That figure currently stands at over 4,300 per year.
Danze said that much of the research is there, but the money has not quite caught up to this swelling issue.
“We just need to get the money there and we need to get the money there for the kids. It’s significantly underfunded.”