We in the Northvale community were shocked to learn that Vivienne Knopp, an amazing 7-year old girl and friend to all of our children, fell suddenly ill while on vacation over Easter weekend. The Tuesday before her diagnosis, Vivienne was practicing with her softball team and running around the park playground with her friends. While in North Carolina visiting family, Vivienne suddenly lost partial mobility of her arm and began walking with a significant limp. Her parents brought her to the nearest hospital for examination and tests, which resulted in doctors diagnosing her with a very rare, very aggressive and inoperable form of childhood brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
DIPG is a brain tumor found in an area of the brain stem called the pons, which is responsible for controlling bodily functions like heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, eye movement, eyesight, and balance. The tumor almost exclusively occurs in children aged 4 to 11. Due to its location on the brain stem, it is almost impossible to remove the tumor surgically. As the tumor grows, it begins to interfere with all bodily functions where it restricts a child’s mobility, communication, and ability to eat and drink. The tumor eventually puts pressure on the nerves that control body functions through the pons and will lead to double vision, reduced eye movement, and significant weakness in the face, arms and legs.
Performing surgery to attempt to remove the tumor can result in severe neurological damage and may even be fatal. This type of tumor is not characteristically solid in mass and instead comprises several tumor cells that cannot be cleanly removed without also taking healthy cells out. The tumor is so aggressive that if surgery was possible, any remaining cells post-operation would continue to multiple and the mass would return.
As a Northvale community member and family friend to the Knopps, I am asking for your support in fighting for Vivienne on behalf of her amazing family.
Vivienne requires immediate, aggressive medical treatment to try and improve her medical situation. She is currently in a Houston hospital undergoing treatment in an attempt to save her life. The treatment path is very expensive and insurance does not cover the associated costs. However, the Knopps feel that the care she is receiving is her best chance at beating the odds. For those who know Viv, she is a smart, funny, strong and energetic little girl who always has a huge smile on her face.
The Knopps are in urgent need of your support and donations to help Vivienne continue her treatment path so she can continue to be a bright light in our community.
100% of all donations are being transferred into the Vivienne Knopp Irrevocable Trust where Vivienne’s parents can access the funds to pay for her medical expenses – specifically, 100% of funds raised will be allocated to her hospital stay, treatment path, specialist physician bills, any operations she may need if possible, and travel expenses when commuting to and from the hospital.
Your support is extremely urgent as Vivienne tries to fight through this. Any amount you can donate is not too little to help her beat this diagnosis. Let's all fight with Vivienne and ensure she has the best outcome possible.