DIPG claimed life of 11-year-old Bunker Hill girl in 2015

Grace Skief 350BUNKER HILL – Grace Skief was 11 years old in April 2015 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive, incurable brain cancer that left her unable to speak, swallow or move.

A fiercely determined and kindhearted girl, Grace was a joy to her family and friends – full of life, laughing and telling jokes, playing with her older brothers, baking for loved ones, cheering at soccer games and offering gifts of comfort to others in their times of need.

With no medical treatment available and statistics showing a survival rate of less than 1 percent, Grace’s family did its best to make her comfortable. She died three months later on July 31.

“We were devastated. We were told there was no treatment that could save her life. We could either choose to do something that might extend her life but make her miserable, or take her home and let her die. That’s an unthinkable choice for parents to have to make,” said Kim Skief, Grace’s mother, who lives in Bunker Hill.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is working with Kim Skief to raise awareness of the cancer that claimed Grace’s life. He is sponsoring a measure that would designate May 17 of each year in Illinois as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Day.

DIPG is a highly aggressive cancer that affects an estimated 300 children each year in the United States.

“My children today are around the age Grace was when she was diagnosed, and her story is a reminder that medical care and cures, sadly, are not guaranteed to us,” Manar said. “That’s why awareness is so important. I want the Skiefs and other families that are going through an experience with a rare cancer like DIPG to know they are not alone, they have not been forgotten and they have a voice.”

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Category: People of the 48th

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SHIPMAN – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) toured CHS in Shipman this month to learn more about the farmer-owned cooperative and its growth as a major employer in Macoupin County.

Manar toured the business Nov. 13 with Dennis Wieseman and Regan Wear from CHS and Jean Payne, president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.

Pictured: Senator Andy Manar, Regan Wear from CHS and IFCA President Jean Payne tour the CHS operation in Shipman.

Category: People of the 48th

11082017 Manar Kenzie Adams 350HSPRINGFIELD – Nokomis High School senior Kenzie Adams was welcomed to the Illinois State Capitol by Senator Andy Manar on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Adams was at the Capitol during the second week of the General Assembly’s fall veto session. She is the daughter of Jamie and Jerad Volkmar of Nokomis.

Category: People of the 48th

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SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) welcomed members of the Decatur Leadership Institute to the Illinois State Capitol this month.

The Decatur Leadership Institute, a project of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce, was established in 1985. The institute’s goal is to develop citizen leaders to serve the Decatur and Macon County communities, create positive change in the community, strengthen relationships among future leaders and public servants, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at government, business and municipal operations.

Pictured: Senator Andy Manar and members of the Decatur Leadership Institute gather for a photo on the floor of the Illinois Senate on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Category: People of the 48th