Local organization donates $100,000 to D.C. children’s hospital

Continuing the fight against an aggressive form of pediatric cancer has been the main purpose for one local organization who recently made a big contribution to a hospital fighting for a cure.

The Warrior Jace Foundation presented a check of $100,000 to the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) Foundation.

It is an aggressive form of cancer with a five-year survival rate of less than 1 percent in children. The median survival rate of children with DIPG is approximately nine months.

Located in Washington, D.C., the CNMC is the pediatric hospital which treated Jace Thompson, a 5-year-old from Stanly County who had diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a cancerous tumor found in the brain stem. He died in October 2018 from DIPG, but the family continues to fight the disease through the foundation started when he was diagnosed.

Jennifer Thompson, Jace’s mother and a captain for the Cornelius Police Department, said the Warrior Jace organization turned into a foundation to “raise awareness and research funds specifically for DIPG.”

The money will go directly to DIPG clinical trial researchers at the D.C. area hospital.

Thompson said what happened to Jace and others like him “is hard for people to wrap their head around.” Staying connected to families in similar situations, whether it’s DIPG or another form of pediatric cancer, is important to her and the foundation, she added.

“It’s important for me to keep Jace and what he went through, his life, a part of what we do every day. What happened to him was completely unfair,” she said.

She added, “my Mommy purpose ended when we lost him. So this is a way for us to still be Jace’s parents in an active way.”

Organizing various events, from motorcycle rides to raffles and more, can be exhausting, Thompson said. However, because the community of families suffering from DIPG, whether it be the patient or the family surrounding them, is small, she felt like they needed to continue the foundation’s work.

“If we don’t, then who the heck will?”