Kiera was amazing from before birth until the moment she passed. She was so sweet, sassy, and smart. She loved playing outside, gardening, swimming, animals- especially her kitties, Baby and Luna, and going to Mystic Aquarium to see Juno the Whale - he was her absolute favorite; after she got sick, he even painted a picture for her. She was so intelligent. She loved Disney movies, especially, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frozen. She also loved Spiderman, The Hulk, and Star Wars, especially Baby Yoda. She reminded her mom of Merida from the movie, Brave, she even had red curly hair and blue eyes. She couldn't walk after her diagnosis, the steroids made her cranky, but she was the bravest and strongest little girl. A majority of her personality and activities stayed the same throughout her fight with DIPG; she just sometimes needed help.
In April 2020, Kiera’s parents noticed that she would tiptoe with her left leg, which eventually got worse until she couldn't walk anymore. They took her to an Orthopedic doctor who diagnosed her with Spastic Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy affecting the left side. Kiera was fitted for a brace and received it at the beginning of December that year. In October, she began complaining of brief headaches in the back of her head that started increasing in frequency to every day almost all day, sometimes waking up from the pain. At first, her parents thought it was a head cold, but it never got better. She also started choking on food more often, as well. Kiera’s parents were extremely worried and took her to see a Neurologist who scheduled her for an MRI. On December 21, 2020, they received the devastating diagnosis of a Pontine Glioma.
Kiera’s family was devastated. The only thing that popped up on google for Pontine Glioma was DIPG, and the prognosis wasn't good. Kiera’s parents kept that to themselves though, and the few people they told the full diagnosis to, they asked them not to look it up. Their goal was to keep everyone positive and strong for Kiera.
Kiera did amazing despite everything she went through. She hated doctors and was scared, but either her dad or mom was always there, talking her through it and providing comfort. When Kiera was finally able to go home after her diagnosis, she was sitting on her mom’s lap talking from A to Z about everything and in between kept telling her mom that she needed to take her medicine to help her feel better. She would pretend to give her mom medicine and tell her that it would help her feel better and that it wasn't too bad. She was so astute and was playing through the things she had recently endured.
Kiera and her family were lucky enough to get a trip to Disney after her radiation treatments through the assistance of Starfish Wish. Kiera was so happy being in Disney. She and her family went to Magic Kingdom on their last day and got to see the Princess Parade. Kiera was so happy to see them, and Princess Merida actually blew her a kiss. It made everyone's day. Honestly, that trip meant the absolute world to Kiera and her family. She got to see animals, buy things, and see characters that she loved. She played in the pool and for once felt safe to stand up. She loved seeing her uncle’s lightsaber that they got at Hollywood Studios. She was so happy she didn't have to see a doctor the whole trip.
Kiera valiantly battled for nearly five months before passing away in May 2021. She was so brave during her fight.
"Funding for pediatric brain cancer research is vital. It is the key to finding a cure and keeping other children from experiencing the harsh reality of DIPG the way Kiera did." - The Galipeau Family
Thank you for choosing to donate to The Cure Starts Now Foundation. 100% of this donation, after credit card processing fees, goes directly towards research to find the homerun cure for cancer starting with pediatric brain cancer research.
If you would like to make a donation by mail please send a check to: The Cure Starts Now Foundation; 10280 Chester Road; Cincinnati, OH 45215 and put the child's name in the memo.
The family receives notification of all donations made to this tribute fund automatically.