PORTLAND, Maine — Four-year-old Hunter Barr of Falmouth loves sports and being active. He's a Patriots fan and a huge Boston Bruins fan. One of his favorite activities is playing hockey with his little brother and best friend, Griffin. But instead of enjoying all the fun the holiday season has to offer, Hunter will be receiving radiation treatments.
Hunter was recently diagnosed with DIPG, an extremely rare type of brain tumor. It is located in the area of the brain stem called the pons, which controls Hunter’s blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. It is highly aggressive and extremely difficult to treat. After a week of working with an expert team of doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital, Hunter has returned home to Maine as his family determines appropriate treatment through radiation and available clinical trials.
DIPG affects about 300 children a year in the U.S. and not much is known about what causes it. Because of its rarity, there is a lack of research and funding to help find an effective treatment for this type of cancer. The Barrs want to change that. They hope spreading the word about Hunter's diagnosis will move the world closer to finding a cure.
A Go Fund Me page called "The Hunt for a DIPG Cure" has been set up to help the Barr family with non-covered medical costs and to raise awareness and funds for DIPG research programs. Click here if you would like to donate.