Stella Joy

Stella Joy

April 18, 2009 - October 22, 2012

Stella Joy

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
  • Year of Diagnosis: 2011
  • Diagnosis: Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)

Some facts about my treatment:

Stella exploded into this world from the moment she was born- exhibiting boundless energy with her sassy attitude, headful of red curls, brilliant smile and habit of shouting “No!” at the world.

Stella loved bossing people around, demanded attention by giggling and jumping into your arms and spun circles around the room from morning to night.

At the age of 26 months, this “force to be reckoned with” as she was called by her daycare, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an aggressive brain tumor that wraps itself around the brainstem, ultimately killing its victims an average of 9 months after diagnosis.

Just as Doctors predicted, over the 16 months that Stella lived with DIPG she lost all of her fac- ulties one by one. First her ability to walk. Then her ability to speak. Then her ability to sit up unassisted. Then her ability to hold up her head. But through it all, Stella continued to live a full life eating ice cream and chocolate Timbits for breakfast, enjoying watching as many hours of Dora the Explorer and the Golden Girls as she wanted, painting, dancing, playing, laughing and, in the process, teaching the rest of us how to live with simplicity and joy.

Stella died in her parents arms 16 months after her diagnosis. But, ultimately, Stella’s story is not a sad story, although there are certainly sad parts to it. It’s really a life story, a love story.

“The light of a distant star continues to reach the Earth, long after the star itself is gone”

Our Featured Ambassador

This is Josh Nelson – a childhood cancer survivor. He knows about facing all the challenges of childhood cancer:

“I know first-hand how it feels to be a prisoner in the hospital and endure the surgeries and the endless needles and treatments. I know how it feels to lose my hair, throw up regularly and watch other kids around me earn their wings. I lost a part of my childhood that I will never get back. I know how it feels to look different and to be different. That’s something that I wouldn’t wish for any other kid to go through, and that is why I do what I do.”

Read more about Josh’s journey »

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