Feature by: Izayah Edwards
Monna Wei is the co-founder, creative director, and public relations manager of Care to Cure. This fifteen year old, jack of all trades, is a current high school student at the University of Toronto. When Monna has free time, she enjoys drawing, dancing, and participating in artistic events.
Care to Cure focuses on raising funds for research on DIPG and educating the public on the condition. When asked what the mission was behind Care to Cure, Mona responded, “Our mission is to be able to give every DIPG patient a chance at life beyond the tumour, and to eradicate DIPG.” She then proceeded to go into further depth on the condition, “DIPG stands for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, and it is a pediatric neurological cancer occuring in the brain pons that spreads out in a butterfly form, therefore making it impossible to operate on. Due to its quickness of spreading, DIPG patients tend to only live up to two years, with a less than one percent chance survival rate within the first five years.”
Monna Wei plans on continuing Care to Cure and its mission for as long as she can. She wants to establish a stable budget that can give the organization a broader reach: “I will be eternally grateful if we have enough to make a visible difference in childrens' lives in the next few years.” As far as the future, Monna hopes that Care to Cure can become a chartered non-profit organization. This would help the organization secure sponsors. Monna also hopes that Care to Cure can reach the United States, as it has more cases of DIPG than Canada does.
The Coronavirus pandemic has sadly put on hold a large event Care to Cure had organized for the month of May. However, Monna and her team are persevering amidst the uncertainty. Holding meetings frequently, Care to Cure is seeking ways to keep their audience engaged. Care to Cure is actively seeking collaborations with other organizations and sponsorships that can build their reach.
When asked how others could help contribute to this organization, Monna responded with, “It is hard to ask for unconditional support during this time of the pandemic as it is fully others' rights to focus on donating toward pandemic-related causes, therefore we cannot directly ask for funding.” She follows up with, “However, I hope people can participate in our future online activities and raise awareness for us to shine more light on this issue. Shoutouts, engaging with us on our posts, or doing something we might ask for to support us or someone else would be very appreciated.”