LTC in the Army Special Forces comes home from Afghanistan to be with his 6-year-old girl diagnosed with DIPGPosted by J Craig on November 19, 2014
Cincinnati, OHIO – Grace White, six year old girl from North Carolina was diagnosed a week ago with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a rare and inoperable brain tumor.
This is the same rare disease that Cincinnati native Lauren Hill was diagnosed with, which picked up national attention this year and raised important awareness for the little known disease. Lauren and her efforts with The Cure Starts Now Foundation have raised more than $324,000 for cancer research and treatment thus far.
Grace’s family, originally from Northern Kentucky lives in North Carolina, but traveled to Cincinnati because of Children’s Hospital. The White family recently did an interview with FOX19 News and stated, “We know Children’s is well respected and they’ve got a really good program for this,” Scott said. “We’re originally from the Northern Kentucky area so…just the family and friends support here will make everything a lot easier.”
“It’s such a hard, hard thing that we’re dealing with. I’m so blessed the support, the spiritual support, the love of everyone,” Grace’s mother Amy added.
“It does progress pretty quickly,” said Dr. Maryam Fouladi, the brain tumor program director at Cincinnati Children’s. “Radiation is an effective method and does help shrink the tumor and actually prolongs survival by several months. But it is not a cure.”
On Sunday, November 9th, 2014, Grace fell while attending church with her mother, Amy, and three siblings. Grace hit the pew in front of her and ended up receiving stitches at the local hospital. During this hospital visit, a CAT scan was performed, where doctors discovered a tumor on Grace’s brain stem.
Grace’s father Scott is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Special Forces and was stationed in Afghanistan when he was told the news. He knew that he needed to get home to be with his daughter and family as soon as possible. The commanding general (MG Ed Reeder) of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Afghanistan would eventually arrange for LTC White to fly home on his personal C130. Scott flew from northern Afghanistan to his camp south of Kabul. Afghan special operation Pilots flew him to Kabul International Airport on Russian MI 17 helicopters, and then he flew to the states on civilian air through Dubai. Everyone came together in helping Scott get home to his little Grace.
ANM News is told that there were many phone calls made on behalf of Grace in hopes of helping with her transport, but it was ultimately due to the efforts of The Special Operations Care Fund (SOCF) who ended up paying for her travel from Chapel Hill to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
We are told the family’s health insurance Tricare would not cover the travel expenses, but within a few short hours of hearing Grace’s story, the SOCF stepped in and took care of it. Grace’s father Scott tells ANM News that, “Tricare originally stated that they would not cover all the treatment because it’s a “medical trial” but USSOCOM’s Care Coalition refused to take that answer and it looks like Tricare will be handling everything minus our deductibles now. Additionally, the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) is working hand in hand with SOCOM to ensure that Grace and our family are taken care of.”
If cancer was a dude I would shoot him in the face….one trigger press would not be enough bro! – Scott White
Scott also tells ANM News, “It has been simply amazing and very humbling to see how fast our family, friends, and the Special Operations Community have mobilized to support Grace and our family. Friends in North Carolina, Afghanistan, Northern Kentucky, across the Internet, classmates from Covington Catholic/Notre Dame Academy, and Special Forces brotherhood have really been moving mountains to help little Grace.”
The family has moved to Cincinnati, so Grace can receive the best possible care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Scott, Amy, and their three other children could certainly use your prayers and any financial support you can provide.
There is a GoFundMe account setup called ‘Operation Grace White‘, which will go towards helping Grace’s family during this difficult time, including medical, travel and other expenses that they might incur.
They have raised $31,368 by 333 people in nine days. Please consider donating today!
Please follow Operation Grace White on social media:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OperationGraceWhite
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpsGraceWhite
- Tweet using #OperationGraceWhite
This is from Grace’s father Scott:
Here is an update of today’s (Nov. 20) treatment from Scott and Amy! Please share with anyone praying for Grace. And keep praying!!
Day one of treatment complete. Although the chemo portion was extremely smooth, Grace got pretty anxious when the “transport team” arrived to take her to the radiation treatment. The docs took their eyes off of her for a few seconds, Grace saw an opportunity, and decided it was the perfect time to initiate her Escape and Evasion plan. The looks on the Docs’ faces were priceless as Graces sprinted down the hallway towards freedom. Daddy was a step ahead of her through and easily intercepted her before she broke through the final line of defenses. Grace is most definitely her daddy’s girl…a true fighter!
Mommy was instrumental in helping Grace find her courage today…yet Again. This woman…My woman, is amazing! I’m awestruck at the strength Amy continues to exhibit. We are a lucky family.
With the team you all have put together for this fight I’m confident that we are going to shoot DIPG square in the eye-goo!
(Nov. 21) Day 2 of Chemo and radiation complete with no attempts to Escape and Evade. I must admit, I have been in some pretty scary situations in my life, but none compare to what I see my little Grace going through. I would compare it to standing on the ramp of a C17 at about 25,000 feet AGL, getting ready to jump into the night, unsure whether or not you remembered to put the parachute on your back. Her courage, determination, and “kick it square in the A$$” attitude continue to amaze me. Although she is not barrel chested…if she was, she would be the baddest barrel chested freedom fighter known to man.
Saturday is a no treatment day, so we are going to enjoy some well deserved family time. We pick everything back up on Sunday.
Please continue the prayers and support, not only for my little Grace and our family, but for all the little warriors out their battling this oppressive illness.
** This story has been updated.
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