The Semmy Foundation was founded after the death of our son Semmy.
On 19 July 2006 our son was diagnosed with a brainstem tumor (a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG). We were told immediately that prognoses were very dim. No treatment other than radiation therapy was available.
Semmy visibly recovered after he underwent radiation therapy during the months of August and September. We had some enjoyable months and Semmy was even able to attend school. Regrettably in February 2007 it was discovered that the tumor had recurred.
Semmy died on 22 June 2007 at the age of five.
To our utter frustration, the chances to recover from a brainstem tumor (DIPG/Pontine Glioma) are practically 0%. As parents you are suddenly confronted with the knowledge that you will definitely lose your child in the next 2 to 12 months. In contrast, the average survival rate for other forms of childhood cancer fortunately has improved to over 70% in recent years.
Semmy Foundation’s mission is to prolong the life expectation and ultimately the survival rate for kids with a brainstem tumor.
Ambassador Prof.Dr. G.J. Kaspers
Ambassador to the Semmy Foundation, Prof. Dr. Kaspers (Head and Professor of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at VU University Medical Center) describes the importance of the Semmy Foundation:
“Research on brainstem tumors is imperative, and the only chance to increase today’s very dim chances of recovery for children with this form of childhood cancer.”