On the morning of August 22nd, 3-year-old Elowyn Pollard marched into the radiation room at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, like a true champion. She was there for her first round of radiation that is to occur 5 days per week for 6 weeks.
Around 18 months ago, her parents, April and Justin, realized something was very wrong when Elowyn, their middle child, began to experience speech and balance issues. They ventured on a disheartening journey, one doctor after another, trying to determine what was wrong. Finally, on July 29, 2022, an MRI revealed that Elowyn has DIPG.
“You can’t even really explain the feeling when it first happens,” said April Malak-Pollard. “There’s no way to process that your child has terminal cancer and is dying.”
Following an internet search, April and Justin turned to the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation for help. The foundation recently launched a new program called My DIPG Navigator, designed to help families navigate their DIPG journey. One of the nurse navigators, Lauren Kirages, helped the family seek radiation treatment at Mott and and Elowyn is just beginning the Car T-cell clinical trial in Seattle.
“We are so grateful for the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation for helping us find the right resources and medical teams for this fight,” said Justin Pollard.
Justin and April also credit the DIPG community and support from people around the world for giving their family the inspiration to fight. They will be attending the 9th annual RunTough for ChadTough Defeat DIPG 5K and 1M Fun Run on October 1 in Saline, MI. Elowyn will kick off the run as the official hornblower, following in the footsteps of Chad Carr, for whom the foundation was named and who passed away from DIPG in 2015.
“One of these children is going to fight this, and that’s where Elowyn is special,” Justin Pollard said. “She’s going to fight harder than anybody you have ever seen before, and if it’s not her, she’s going to lead the way, showing that one of these children is going to be that silver bullet and that cure is going to happen.”