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Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Forever 13

Faith Over Fear-Forever 13

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We use this month to honor children affected by this tragic disease.

Recognizing Mia for Childhood Cancer Awareness

According to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, there are about 16,000 children diagnosed with cancer, and about 300 of those children are diagnosed with DIPG. Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma is a highly aggressive and difficult-to-treat brain tumor that develops near the brain’s base, known as the Pons. The Pons help send messages to the spinal cord and the rest of the body, which control important functions such as breathing, heartbeat, sleeping, and more. As this tumor grows, it places pressure on other parts of the brain. The article states, “As the pressure intensifies, it impacts the function of the nerves that control muscle and sensation in the face. It leaves children mentally intact but takes away their sight, speech, and use of hands within one year.”

As reported in the Kate Amato Foundation, The National Cancer Institute makes up to 5.2 billion dollars, yet only 4% of the NCI budget is dedicated to pediatric cancer research. Mind you, this 4% includes ALL pediatric cancers combined. Though 4% amounts to about 250 million, which may seem like a lot, it is not nearly enough. Not much money goes into DIPG research, and children deserve more funding—they are the future. Find out how to donate to the NCI here

“Forever Friends”

My childhood best friend, Mia Saberson, fell upon one of the 300 children in 2021. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with this terrible disease. We went to school together from Kindergarten to fifth grade. We grew up together, spending six “first days of school” together, endless pool days, making Musical.lys, and a lot of smiles. Then, we all went to different middle schools, and that’s when Mia got diagnosed. In support, there were car parades, flag football games, and more. Everyone was and is still repping their “Faith Over Fear” t-shirts in honor of Mia. After a long, courageous fight, Mia gracefully gained her wings on April 9th, 2022. She helps me to remember to let my faith be bigger than my fear.

In honor of DIPG victims, the community comes together in many different ways. For example, ‘The Cure Starts Now’ Fundraises ‘Hearts of Gold’ merchandise, which consists of t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and more. The Lake Nona Beacon also lights up with DIPG victim’s names one night every September. Or the Annual Gridiron Bowl, a pediatric cancer fundraiser, where people play flag football. The Ferris wheel at Icon Park Orlando goes gold in honor of child cancer awareness. And finally, Lake Eola’s Fountain turns gold. Let us honor those above.

We now remember a gentle but fierce voice, a kind heart, and an angel: thirteen-year-old Mia Saberson.

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About the Contributor
Kate Wilks
Kate Wilks, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Katelyn, mostly known as Kate. I am a Sophomore and this is my first year working on The Tribe! I'm in the Medical-Science Academy and cheer team here at Santaluces. I also enjoy reading and listening to music.

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  • M

    MarvaOct 4, 2023 at 5:51 PM

    This is a sweet tribute and educational piece. #AmazingMia

  • P

    Paola CereijoOct 3, 2023 at 10:27 AM

    Beautifully written. We miss Mia and those wonderful memories you all have together. #amazingMia will never be forgotten by those that loved her!

    • K

      Katelyn WilksOct 3, 2023 at 9:18 PM


  • D

    Denise CharlezOct 1, 2023 at 10:26 AM

    Mia will never be forgotten #AmazingMia #forever13