COLUMBUS - State Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) announced the Senate passage of legislation, sponsored by State Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), designating May 17th as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Day. Primarily affecting children, DIPG is extremely resistant to chemotherapy treatment, making it one of the most deadly forms of pediatric brain tumors.
Senator Coley and his wife, Carolyn, witnessed the devastation caused by DIPG firsthand as they developed a close friendship with constituent Kyler Bradley and his family during the 10-year-old's battle with the disease at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in 2015.
"Less than one year ago, Ohio lost a great little man with the passing of Kyler Bradley," said Senator Coley. "Today, we honor Kyler and all those we've lost too soon to this tragic disease as we seek to offer hope for families that one day we can eradicate this affliction and the heartbreak it causes so many families."
Kyler Bradley passed away on April 12, 2016. The day after his passing, Senator Coley paid tribute to Bradley with a moment of silence on the floor of the Senate, urging his colleagues to redouble their efforts to find a cure for DIPG.
Coley recently sponsored legislation in the Ohio Senate to create a KylerStrong Foundation specialty license plate, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the KylerStrong Foundation, which supports DIPG research efforts.
DIPG is an aggressive, malignant brain tumor found at the base of the brain stem, affecting approximately 200 to 400 children in the U.S each year. It is the second most common malignant brain tumor and is the leading cause of childhood death due to brain tumors. The average prognosis of those diagnosed is 9 months. Symptoms include double vision, inability to close the eyelids completely, drooping of one side of the face as well as difficulty chewing and swallowing.
"Designating May 17 in recognition of this deadly pediatric brain tumor would be a meaningful step for Ohio's solidarity with the families confronting this disease," said Senator Kunze, the sponsor of Senate Bill 57.
Limited medical progress has been made over the last 50 years to treat children suffering with DIPG. Recent advances in surgical and molecular analytic techniques have improved safety and potential use of brain stem biopsies, which are being incorporated into various clinical trials.
Advancements in this field of research requires increased awareness among policymakers, health care providers and the general public.
Senate Bill 57 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.