LAYTON, Utah — Parents of a seven-year-old Layton girl were given news that is any parent is terrified to receive; their daughter was given just nine to eighteen months to live.
Kate and Kristopher (Topher) Tyler's daughter Jane was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July, and now is feeling the support of their community as they deal with this heartbreak.
"She's very spirited and independent and stubborn," says mother Kate of her daughter, and also "talkative and super funny."
But around the Fourth of July, Kate noticed that Jane's speech sounded nasally.
A few days later, the third year medical student noticed something else that concerned her.
"I was painting her toenails and I noticed on her left foot, her left big toe kept pointing up which is called Babinski Sign and it's a reflex that should be gone by the time you're one," she added.
After running several tests, the doctors told the Tylers that Jane had a mass on her brain stem.
More specifically, they found that she has DIPG, known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an aggressive tumor that is difficult to treat.
"The bell curve is 9-18 months, but, there's outliers," said Kate.
"Most children don't make it past two years, so, there is no cure and any treatments are just life prolonging."
This news was devastating to the Tylers, and difficult to explain to such a young child.
They say Jane is aware that she has a tumor on her brain stem that is making it hard for her to walk and talk.
But they say they are still deciding whether to discuss the prognosis with her.
"How much can a seven-year-old really even understand? Having an expiration date like that," said Kate.
Through it all, the Tylers say that the community support has been overwhelming, with friends making t-shirts that say "Rainbow Jane" and stickers that read "Brave like Jane."
"Everybody reaching out, being able to show their love for her and for us, it's been amazing," says Topher.
Legacy School of Dance, where Jane dances, is planning to hold a benefit on September 24th at 2:00 p.m. at the CenterPoint Legacy Theater in Centerville.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family as well.
"I asked her a few weeks ago, 'Do you do you like your life?' And she said 'I love my life' . . . it sounds so cheesy to say but I'm glad that she's loved her life, " said Kate.