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Our kids inspire us to fight to defeat DIPG.

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Donation Total: $60.00 One Time

Diagnosed: Oct. 19, 2023

Over the last few months, people have often heard Tim Finkel saying, “Today is a good day.”

As a local comedian in the metro Detroit area, Tim has always looked to the brighter side of things, but after his 7-year-old son Ryder received a devastating DIPG diagnosis on October 19, 2023, Tim has an entirely new perspective on life.

“Earlier that month we noticed Ryder’s left eye started to turn inward,” recalls Tim. “We also saw a slight reduction in his speech abilities as well as gross motor coordination.”

The concerning symptoms led them to the pediatric intensive care unit at C.S Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, where Tim and his wife, Angela, heard the words diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) for the first time. They were devastated to learn that the tumor was inoperable and that there was no cure.

The family left the hospital feeling hopeless.

“The road ahead of us is unknown, but we do know the road will end,” said Tim in a Facebook post shortly after learning Ryder’s condition. “We are surrounded by the love of our family, friends, and community, and we will lean on all of you to travel this road together.”

The Finkels quickly learned about the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation and were introduced to co-founder Tammi Carr. Tammi, who helped form the foundation in honor of her son Chad, knew all too well the despair that comes with a DIPG diagnosis. Tammi shared information on promising new research and connected the family with My DIPG Navigator, a ChadTough Defeat DIPG program designed to guide families step by step through their DIPG journey.

Ryder began his treatment journey at Mott in October. Under the care of Dr. Carl Koschmann, Ryder is the first person in the world to combine the oral drug ONC206 with 30 rounds of radiation. His family is confident Ryder is receiving the very best care possible.

“We need a miracle and believe it can happen,” said Ryder’s mom, Angela. “We have a lot of hope and are confident in our team. Ryder is doing really well right now and continues to be filled with JOY, smiles, and silliness!”

While the Finkel family does feel hope, the road ahead remains full of unknowns. Rather than focusing on an outcome, they are channeling as much energy as they can towards making each day better than the next.

“Today is a great day.
We don’t know what tomorrow holds…
But today is a great day.” Tim Finkel

“The ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation has been instrumental in helping us navigate the best treatment possible for Ryder,” said Tim.

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.