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Our kids inspire us to fight to defeat DIPG.

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Meet AJ Congdon

From the moment AJ Congdon of Massachusetts came into this world, his infectious smile has lit up every room he’s entered. From his earliest days, AJ has been a bundle of boundless energy, his laughter ringing through the air as he dashes from one adventure to the next. Fearless and adventurous, he embraces life with open arms, always eager to try something new and make those around him laugh.

In the spring and fall, 9-year-old AJ can always be found near a football field or baseball diamond. During winter months, AJ trades his cleats for skis to take on the mountains of Vermont with his family. And when the summer sun warms the earth, he loves to be near the water, casting his line into the water in search of the next big catch.

Diagnosed September 28, 2023

But in September of 2023, AJ’s once sure-footed steps started to falter, and his balance and coordination began to betray him. It was a subtle sign but one that filled his family’s hearts with worry. On September 28, after his symptoms became worse, his parents rushed him to the emergency room. Their worlds came crashing down around them when they learned AJ had an inoperable brain tumor called DIPG.

In the midst of their turmoil, AJ’s family has found solace in the embrace of their community, support from AJ’s doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital, and guidance from the ChadTough Defeat DIPG program My DIPG Navigator. His school and football team have rallied around him, creating an inclusive environment where he feels loved and cherished.

Journeying with Hope

So many people from our community and beyond have reached out to help support AJ in any way they can,” said AJ’s mom, Jamie. “It truly has been amazing to see all the kind people who care so much about our little boy.”

AJ has already undergone six weeks of radiation therapy, and with trembling hands, his family is holding on to hope. The family is currently preparing to travel to Seattle Children’s Hospital where AJ will be part of the groundbreaking CAR T-cell therapy clinical trial. While so much remains uncertain, the Congdon family is clinging to the belief that with love, support, and a sprinkle of hope, they will weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

What is DIPG?

DIPG is a devastating and aggressive brain tumor typically found in children.

What is ChadTough Defeat DIPG?

Learn about our founders, mission, and impact.