After losing son to DIPG, Lexington parents want Bruce's legacy to live on

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - "He felt every emotion times 100. He was so joyous and excited," Robin Dodd, mom to five-year-old Bruce, said. It didn't take but a moment for anyone to recognize his spunk.

At five years old, Bruce had hair most could only dream of having, a bright smile and a heart of gold; He was perfectly healthy.

"Never broke a bone," Dodd said. "Had just had his well-child check after his birthday."

November 28, 2017 he was off balance and had slurred speech.

"He suddenly just started to act funny. It happened overnight," she said. "I thought he was having a stroke, or that he had gotten into something in the garage. There was just no way in my mind that something that would come on so quickly could ever possibly be cancer."

The diagnosis came almost as quickly as the symptoms. Bruce was diagnosed with DIPG, Difuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. It's a cancer that's inoperable. Radiation treatment would give him a few good months.

Earlier this year, in January, as brave as the entourage of superheroes surrounding him, Bruce left UK Hospital after treatment. He went on to make memories with family that photographer Ryan Worthen would capture. The fondest were at home.

"I think Bruce lived in a way, and I think his family raised him in a way to make others feel special," Worthen said. "It really helped me realize how precious life is and how the most simple moments are the ones most important to us."

Bruce passed over the weekend around his bedtime; A hole now between big brother and little brother - Jack and Fred.

Patrick Danielson, Bruce's dad, said, "We'll just share those memories and those feelings of love."

The fight is not lost. Bruce's brain and his tumor were donated to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for DIPG research. Right now, there's a zero percent survival rate.

His parents are hoping, someday, there will be treatments and a cure for some other child to hold on to its spunk.

Dodd said, "Leukemia in the 90s was a death sentence, just like DIPG so we're hoping this can be a thing of the past and that kids diagnosed with DIPG in the future will have a chance to live."

A memorial service will be held for Bruce Saturday, August 11 at Milward Celebration Center; The visitation begins at 11 a.m., and the service is to follow at 1 p.m.

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