A 7-year-old with a rare, inoperable brain cancer (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma) recently underwent weeks of treatment at a Houston hospital.
Though Vivienne Knopp is now home with her vitals stabilized, “the hard truth is that this type of treatment is very expensive. Some of it is covered by insurance but, unfortunately, much of it is not,” says Northvale Mayor Ed Piehler.
Part of Vivienne’s support effort Voices for Vivienne Facebook page, which collects videos made by those who want to wish Vivienne well. And on Twitter, people have been using the hashtag #FightForVivienne to show their support. “Vivienne sees most of these videos and gets a kick out of them,” said Piehler.
Brenna D’Amico of The Descendants tells Vivienne, “I heard you are the coolest 7-year-old on the planet,” in a video before breaking into the song You and Me from The Descendants 2. Other favorites of Vivienne who have contributed include fellow Descendant China Anne McClain and Casey Simpson of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn fame.
Among the local mayors taking part are John Birkner, Westwood; Mike Gassali, Montvale; Paul Tasko, Alpine; John Smart, Haworth; John Glidden, Closter; John Cosgrove, Fair Lawn; and Norman Schmeltz, Bergenfield.
The GoFundMe isn’t the only way locals are supporting Vivienne’s fight. The Old Tappan Bar & Grill will be donating a portion of its proceeds to the Vivienne Knopp Irrevocable Trust during lunch and dinners from Nov. 18 to 25. Northvale public school’s talent show, called “Northvale’s Got Talent,” will also be donating its proceeds to the trust.
“The school community, as well as the community at large, is dedicated to supporting Vivienne and her family in all ways possible,” said Superintendent Michael Pinajian. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her.”
The main purpose of the campaign is to help raise awareness for a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the Knopp family pay for Vivienne’s medical expenses, said Piehler. 1,285 people had raised $128,967 of a $300,000 goal for the family. Vivienne’s treatments cost about $30,000 a month, said Giulia Knopp, Vivienne’s mother, in a statement.
“Words cannot express the love we have for everyone,” she adds. “We appreciate all for their kind words, actions and generosity. Our community has become part of our family; we are thankful that they have stood by us in the hardest time of our lives.”
For those who wish to contribute to the #FightForVivienne fundraising effort, click here for her GoFundMe page.