Mia Grace Elizabeth Moore, age 2, was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor earlier this month. Courtesy photo.

A Riverhead native’s hometown community is coming together to help her in a time of desperate need.

Michelle Moore’s 2-year-old daughter is fighting for her life. Earlier this month, Mia Grace was diagnosed with an aggressive and lethal pediatric brain cancer, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). The devastating diagnosis came after Moore, concerned about the onset of night terrors, took her daughter to the doctor.

A 2002 Riverhead High School grad, Moore moved from Riverhead about six years ago but still has many friends and family members here — and they are rallying to support the 34-year-old single mom.

“This is news no parent should ever have to hear,” her best friend Ashley Highsmith-Johnson said. Highsmith-Johnson, who is Mia’s godmother, started a Go Fund Me page for Moore, hoping to relieve her of some of the financial stress of caring for a sick child.

Mia has begun six weeks of five-day-a-week radiation treatments, which means a lot of missed work for her mom, who is already struggling to cope with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Highsmith-Johnson said she hopes the fundraising effort will relieve Moore of financial worries, something she doesn’t need on top of everything else she’s going through with Mia’s illness.

Moore, a social work case manager, lives in Newport News, Virginia. She has an older child, son Brendyn, 10.

Another good friend from back home, Victoria Austin, has organized a spaghetti dinner to benefit Mia next Saturday (Jan. 26) at Bean and Bagel Cafe in Calverton. Tickets are $10 each. ($5 for children age 10 and under.) Take out dinners available. (Snow date: Feb. 2)

Bean and Bagel has a donation jar set up for Mia inside the cafe. Donations can also be made through the Go Fund Me page.

Moore said on the Go Fund Me she deeply appreciates everyone’s generosity and prayers.

“I love you all and praying for a miracle,” she wrote. 

Riverhead native Michelle Moore with her daughter Mia, 2, and son Brendyn, 10.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.