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Benefit planned for Lewiston girl diagnosed with rare brain cancer

A Niagara County family is praying for a miracle.

Analyse Gibas of Lewiston was 7 years old when, earlier this year, she was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor on her brain stem.

Doctors told Analyse’s family she has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, which occurs near the top of the spinal cord, making treatment very difficult.

It’s a rare form of cancer that mostly affects children, with between 100 and 150 new cases each year in the United States, according to the DIPG registry.

The disease causes severe headaches, nausea, blurred vision and dizziness, among its symptoms.

And its prognosis is poor – fewer than 10 percent survive two years after diagnosis, according to the registry.

Analyse, who is now 8 and is the youngest of four sisters, has undergone 57 radiation treatments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Now the family is trying to get her into a clinical trial.

She was diagnosed in March after she started having head and neck pain, said Candra Thomason, Analyse’s grandmother.

In addition to the radiation, to which Analyse had a serious reaction, she also had surgery to deal with an enlarged ventricle that was causing a buildup of spinal fluid.

Analyse’s parents, Rick and Kristy, tried to get her into a clinical trial at the University of Minnesota, but to participate in the trial, candidates can have no more than 56 radiation treatments, Thomason said.

The family now is looking toward a trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

“He’s had some very promising results,” Thomason said of the doctor who leads the trial there.

A benefit for Analyse and her family is being planned for July 25. It’s scheduled from 1 to 6 p.m. at Lewiston No. 2 Volunteer Fire Co., 1705 Saunders Settlement Road.

Supporters can get updates on Analyse’s treatment at the Facebook page Analyse Gibas – Ana “Quest for a Miracle,” and also donate on the family’s page.

There is also a Facebook event page for the upcoming benefit.