6-year-old Orange County girl with 2 months to live is not afraid to die

Thursday, December 31, 2015
6-year-old Orange County girl with months to live not afraid to die
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Doctors told 6-year-old Katherine King she had nine months to live when she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, in June 2015.

PLACENTIA, Calif. -- It was a Christmas an Orange County family will never forget, because it's likely the last for a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare type of pediatric brain cancer.

Katherine King is like most children her age as she enjoys painting, playing with Legos and putting together jigsaw puzzles with her sisters.

But in June, doctors told Katherine's family she had just nine months to live after she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG.

The rare pediatric cancer is marked by a tumor forming in the brain stem, and to this date, has no cure.

"It's really hard to hear that your child has brain cancer and there's nothing they can do," Katherine's mother Jamie King said.

January will be month eight for Katherine, something her family said is hard to grasp.

"That's what's heart wrenching. You're constantly in fear, constantly worried that you're not going to get to say goodbye," her mother said.

"What she won't experience in life, the first kiss, the first dance, walking down the aisle," Katherine's father David King explained.

While Katherine's family is worried about her, Katherine said she's not afraid to die.

Instead, the young girl, now nicknamed "Katherine the Brave," said she's more worried about making other people happy and educating them about DIPG, just like 19-year-old Lauren Hill.

"Katie has opened up people's eyes, as far as thinking of life differently and having a different perspective," Katherine's mother said.

The King family said it's focused on giving Katherine the best experiences possible, planning a trip to Hawaii in early January and then taking an RV trip after that.

The family also wants to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer.

"I'm positive she was put here to make a difference in our lives," Katherine's mother said.

"Even if only for short while," her father added.

Katherine's family hopes to raise money for The Cure Starts Now Foundation, which fights for a cure for brainstem glioma.

You can learn more about The Cure Starts Now Foundation here.

If you'd like to help Katherine and the King family with medical bills, you can donate here at this GoFundMe account.