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Queens school hosts Disney-themed dance-a-thon for 4-year-old battling DIPG brain tumor
MASPETH, Queens (WABC) — A New York City school held a special Disney-themed fundraiser on Monday for a 4-year-old boy battling a rare form of brain cancer.

Auggie Vinti, a kindergarten student at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy in Maspeth, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

“He has something called DIPG, and it’s a rare brain cancer, and it starts in your brainstem,” Aunt Nicole Viniti said. “So it affects your breathing, your walking, your balance, your swallowing.”

The location of the tumor, in the part of the brain just above the neck and connected to the spine, makes surgery to remove the tumor nearly impossible. As a result, DIPG has only a 2% survival rate.

“Our heart breaks for his mom,” said director Catherine Mangone. “She also has another child, a 2 year old. So you want to take care of your family while you still have to take care of your son and all his needs.”

In addition to colorful costumes and Disney fun, food options such as baked goods, cotton candy and popcorn were sold at the event, with all funds raised going to Auggie’s family. to cover medical and related expenses.

“We’ve actually had people who are former students, parents whose kids don’t come here anymore, who got into baking, volunteered to sell, sell raffle tickets,” said the director of education, Joan Forgione. “And we hope that many more parents of current students will come.”

Auggie, who dreams of becoming a firefighter when he grows up, is currently in the hospital receiving radiation therapy.

After six weeks, it can be reassessed and potentially start a clinical trial.

A GoFundMe page has been launched which has already raised over $53,000.

The money will certainly help, but so will the love and youthful embrace of an extended family ready to support Auggie in the battle ahead.

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