Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
Caroline “Calle” Cronk, 5, of Norwell was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, in November 2012. This rare brain stem cancer has no effective treatment, no cure, and a pattern of killing its victims within nine months to a year. Up to 200 children in the United States develop the brutally aggressive tumor — referred to as “the monster” by pediatric oncologists. Her parents, told there had been no new medical advances in 30 years, threw themselves into social networking and major fund-raising to build awareness and, hopefully one day, a cure. Their daughter’s last months were filled with a community’s unwavering support, her parents’ devotion, prayer, faith, and love.
During the course of her treatments, including a grueling six weeks of radiation, Caroline never lost her sense of humor and love for life and making her parents laugh.