Claire was a bright and happy child who valiantly battled DIPG, a fast-growing and highly aggressive form of brain cancer. She had a vivid imagination and was very playful. She was learning to play the harp and loved to dance. She loved animals, especially dogs. Claire’s mom called her the great shepherdess because she was constantly caring for others. She was often engaged in making sure her friends and classmates were getting along, participating in activities, learning, and not feeling left out. She was also known as "Silly Claire" and "Claire Bear" in her younger years.
Claire and her family were on our way home from a spring break vacation in Arkansas where they dug for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park when Claire suddenly had symptoms similar to the flu. She was experiencing a headache and sudden vomiting, all without a fever. She slept most of the way home to Wisconsin but managed to complete three additional Junior Ranger programs at National Parks on the way home. By Sunday morning, Claire felt good enough to go to church, but she did not last long. She curled up and slept under the pew in the hallway. Her parent thought she had picked up a bug at the Children's Museum. She slept the rest of the day that Sunday and all day on Monday. On Tuesday, Claire was with her Grandma when she started experiencing double vision. Her parents called her pediatrician, who was able to see her on Wednesday afternoon. He could see swelling on her optic nerve which a visit to the ophthalmologist confirmed. Early Thursday morning, Claire had her first MRI. By 1:00 p.m. a tumor had been discovered and Claire was sent to Marshfield Children's Hospital as a direct admit to the Pediatric ICU.
Claire’s family was shocked by her diagnosis but they didn’t truly know the type of tumor and horrific prognosis until about five weeks after the day they arrived at Marshfield Children's in April 2019. In those early days, they were only able to deal with the next big thing... the MRI, the head shaving for marker placement, the shunt placement surgery, the recovery. They were very careful to listen to Claire and do everything they could to keep her feeling safe and secure.
Claire bravely battled for 17 months before passing away at the age of 10. Her light continues to shine through her story in her community and the world. Claire really only wanted one thing in life post-diagnosis. Her cure. Claire's Cure. Her family is hopeful that this can be found sooner with research funded by The Cure Starts Now. They want other families to have a chance and hope for a full life together with their children.
"I am grateful that you continue to keep Claire's light and love present in your life. What Claire hoped for more than anything was a cure for DIPG... Claire’s Cure. I am certain that a cure will be found. Certainly there has been progress in the past two years. But the cure must come quickly as DIPG continues to devestate family after family like mine. We must be relentless in our support of research and The Cure Starts Now; It's the only way forward to obtain Claire’s Cure." - Kirsten Hornby
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.