On February 8th, 2019 a bill was brought before the house of representatives to make the day of May 17th “DIPG Awareness Day.” The bill quite plainly laid out the plan for the federal government to designate one day a year to awareness for the aggressive form of brain cancer known as DIPG, as well as other forms of pediatric cancers. At the time a multitude of representatives supported the bill ranging from states such as California, Ohio, and New Jersey. However, two years later the bill has still not passed.
Recently the bill calling for May 17th to be known as “National DIPG Awareness Day” has picked up steam again in the house. Florida representative Marco Rubio has just co-sponsored the bill along with Jack Reed a Democrat from Rhode Island, Cindy Hyde-Smith a Republican from Mississippi, and Bob Casey a democrat from Pennsylvania, along with a host of other representatives. Rubio was one of the representatives who sponsored the bill three years ago in 2019 and believes that it will help to raise awareness for and urge a better understanding of pediatric cancers.
There is clear bipartisan support for the bill as it is now up to a total of 215 cosponsors and it seems only a matter of time before it is brought before the house and passed into law.
While May 17th may not be nationally known now as DIPG awareness day, some states have already passed into law that it is on a state level. Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, recently declared May 17th a day of DIPG awareness in the state of Michigan. Last year, Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear designated the day to DIPG awareness as well. There are currently four states that have signed into law for MAy 17th to be permanently recognized as DIPG awareness day. Those states include Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas.
By Trevor Dominy