James Michael “Mikey” Czech was born on January 6, 1997. The younger of two children, Mikey was a happy, athletic, intelligent, caring, perpetually optimistic young man with boundless enthusiasm. He loved to run fast, work hard, listen to the Doobie Brothers, play his favorite sports of baseball and tennis and was a huge Yankee and Roger Federer fan. Mikey was a loving brother and son whose laugh was contagious and who had a huge smile that lit up a room and captured your heart.
On January 6, 2008, his 11th birthday, life as our family knew it, ceased to exist. Our only son was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
, one of the most aggressive and deadly forms of brain tumors diagnosed in children between the ages of 5 and 11. DIPG’s are inoperable, incurable and unable to be biopsied. Approximately 80% of patients diagnosed with DIPG’s die within one year of diagnosis; 90% die within five years of diagnosis.