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Callie Montera

March 5, 2012 – April 16, 2020

I’ve started and stopped this post more time that I can count as it’s the most difficult sentences I will ever have to write. Deep breath. Here goes.

Yesterday afternoon, on April 16, 2020, our sweet Callie passed peacefully and without pain at home with my husband and I right at her side. It was exactly 10 months to the day of her being diagnosed with DIPG. Yes, it was expected given her prognosis but also unexpected as yesterday began just as it had always done – Pancakes and TV shows.

We chose to privately walk this journey with Callie as was her wish. There is so much detail I could go into about what she endured and, maybe one day I will feel brave enough to share, but now is not the time.

I will say this though…

People always talk about how we fight cancer. That if we are tough enough, or brave enough we could defeat the beast. And we were up for that challenge. Bring it on. Radiation, clinical trials – we’ve got this.

But thats not always the case. Many times during Callie’s journey that notion of “fighting” wouldn’t sit well with me. Fighting implies that there is a winner and a loser and our girl was up against the toughest competitor. Fighting is exhausting. DIPG is brutal, awful and the deadliest form of childhood brain cancer. Terminal upon diagnosis. “She has about a year,” they told told us. “We can shrink the tumor. We can slow its growth. But it will come back.” Fight that? We are strong but that battle would be uphill both ways. DIPG is relentless. But we wouldn’t give up.

Then yesterday, I once again saw it differently. Perspective, I guess. If we must fight cancer, if that’s TRULY the case, then DIPG never stood a chance against Callie – she most definitely won.

She won because she continued to smile and laugh and have fun even though her world was turned upside down and stolen from her.

She won because she made everyone around her smile just by being herself.

She won because she inspired others to be kind and lived kindness each and every day – She was always thinking of others.

She won because she went through her journey on her own terms. Her own way. With her family and all of you by her side.

Our world is broken and I know you feel it too. We are so incredibly grateful for the love and support we have received through all of this. Your kindness will never be forgotten. We love you Callie. #305 #calliescrew

Submitted by Callie’s mom, Danielle.