Remembering 12-year-old Pass Christian resident Andre White

Andre White, a 12-year-old from Pass Christian with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, died this week. He is the fifth child from the Coast that died from this brain cancer.

Crystal Henry was nervous as she flipped through a binder that had cancer information about her son, Andre White.

Henry took a deep breath as she began to explain what Andre was like before being diagnosed with DIPG. “He had a wonderful sense of humor and that shined through all the way to the very end, to the very last moment. He was the life of the party. He woke up one day with weakness on the right side, took him to the emergency room, and come to find out he had DIPG.”

DIPG is a highly aggressive brain tumor that occurs in the area of the brainstem which controls many of the body’s vital functions. There is no known cure.

Most children with DIPG are given a survival rate of six to 11 months and only ten percent survive two years. Grandfather Matthew Henry said, “I was wondering why and how, how could this happen? He was just playing the day before, playing basketball. It’s been research after research, doctor after doctors.”

Although Andre did not become TikTok famous like he wanted, he became Facebook famous through the community, which called themselves Andre’s Army. Over 1,000 members joined to show their support for Andre and his family.

Andre passed on December 19th at his Pass Christian home with his mother, brother, and puppy Snickerdoodle by his side. “To watch your child sit there like that, especially knowing their personality and what they would want to be doing and knowing I can’t fix it because I would have gave anything to take his place.”

SoSo Strong Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is a local organization in Ocean Springs trying to help find a cure and spread awareness for patients with DIPG. For more information visit sosostrongpbtf.org.

Since 2010, four other Gulf Coast children have died from DIPG: Sophia Mohler, Jaxon Schoenberger, and Sophia Ann Myers from Ocean Springs and Brookly Willis from Pascagoula.

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