Sat, Jun 03|
#TEAMMATTFOREVER'S 1st Annual Relay for childhood cancer fundraiser. Music, Food, raffles and more!
Time & Location
Jun 03, 2023, 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM
Slinger, 209 Polk St, Slinger, WI 53086, USA
About the event
Dedicate a lantern bag in honor of a loved one at checkin.
Run, walk, or push a stroller!
Matt started this difficult journey in October of 2019 with pain in his hip. We all thought it was a muscle strain, sciatica, or something he did while playing soccer, nothing too serious. In November, his pain got worse, and he asked me to pls take him to the Doctor. (Said no kid ever.) So, I did, and they sent him to PT.
Instead of PT, I took him to our chiropractor, in which he did PT and chiropractic treatment. After a month of treatment and seeing no improvement, the chiro suggested we take him back to see his general practitioner. So, we did, and they took an X-ray and send us to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic stated that the x-ray just showed a malformation of his hip and that he might just have a slight tear that soccer and Hockey players get sometimes due to the sport. He recommended PT again because by that time he had lost some strength in his right leg. I asked the orthopedic surgeon if it would be possible to do an MRI sooner rather than later, in hopes the tear could be fixed before his next soccer season. He said since we had enough to justify the MRI to the insurance that he would send the referral. However, this was in Mid-January, and he didn't get seen until February 10. Never in a million years did we ever think that there was going to be a tumor growing in his hip. So, I take him to his MRI and we go home. About a half hour later after us getting home, I get a phone call from his Dr.
As you know, it's never good news to get a phone call that quick, with results, from your doctor. It's a phone call no parent or anyone, for that matter, would ever like to receive. Hearing from the doctor that your son may have a big malignant tumor that’s to be of great concern. It’s a phone call that changed our lives forever. One that I’ll never forget.
I remember getting off the phone, going up to my room, closing the door so that Matt would not hear me, and then dropping to my knees. I asked God for mercy and guidance. I surrendered myself and my son Matthew to Him and asked Him for it to be His will, but when the time came to please take him to his heavenly home quick. And that's just what He did. Then I tried to figure out how to tell my Husband Ryan. Do I wait for him to come home to tell him, or do I just call him? All I knew is that I didn't want Matt to see us upset nor scared. As I knew that our reaction would impact his own reaction.
So, after I prayed again, I decided to call Ryan and tell him over the phone. At the time he was at Aunt Sandy's house picking up her mail and bringing in her garbage cans. This is the same aunt who had just passed away back in December.
So, I called Ryan and gave him Matt's results. After realizing that he was just as distraught as I was, I advised him to stay there until he was able to drive.
Then came the hardest thing any parent would ever have or want to do. Giving Matt the news of his own results. This is where I say, how GRATEFUL are we for having faith and love for our good Lord. How GRATEFUL is it that Matthew had been confirmed and knew God's words, works, and promises?!
But even with our faith we are also human and with that comes challenges. Matt was already suffering with anxiety. We had it under control for about 5 years without any meds. However, we knew that at some point he might need them. Well, that time did come. His anxiety did get worse after his diagnosis. He had a couple of bad panic attacks and a couple of break downs. He questioned, why him? I assured him that it was nothing he did wrong and talked about his faith. I let him know that God will see him through this every step of the way because of his faith and love for Him. That was all it took to give him that peace. I just love how God always wins when our faith is strong. You see, Matt was told that he would lose his right leg. But after our conversation his response was, “it's just a leg, I'll still be alive, and if I die, I'll be with God.” That was exactly what I needed to hear to know that no matter what he would be ok.
Even in these tough times, I have found blessings. Like our bathroom sink breaking. It damaged our bathroom, our mudroom, kitchen, and pantry floor. A couple of weeks after Matt had been admitted to the hospital. This was a blessing in disguise because he wasn’t here to suffer through the chaos that we experienced. After that the pandemic hit. As unfortunate as it was for everyone, we also took that as a blessing because Matt wouldn’t be the only one learning from home. Instead, he was learning the same way as his peers, and was able to keep up with his schoolwork on his good days. Also, due to Covid Ryan and the kids were home. This allowed me to stay in the hospital with Matt.
However, the challenging part of COVID was that Matt was not able to meet with other kids going through the same condition he was and is still going through. Also, Ryan couldn’t spend the amount of time that he would’ve like to spend with Matt in the hospital, because our other children needed him at home, and Ryan was also considerate and understanding to my need of being at Matt’s side, even though I missed my other two children, Zachary and Alyssa very much.
Then came chemo and with that came new challenges. Matt became neutropenic, which means his ANC would drop making it difficult for him to fight infections. His platelets and blood count would also drop, and he would be hospitalized to get transfusions. Also, because of the nausea he wouldn’t eat. He lost so much weight that they had to give him a feeding tube. But he would throw that up too no matter what they did. Finally on the 3rd try they put a feeding line in his arm that allowed him to gain the weight that he needed to get ready for surgery.
This is where Matt’s faith was tested. We got the good the bad and the ugly. But through that also came God's blessings and hope for his leg. The cancer started dying from the inside out. Which was such AMAZING news. Then they decided to give him radiation to help finish killing the cancer from the inside out. After came his surgery, which was tough not knowing if he would still have a leg when he woke up. Thanks be to God and His mercy they were able to save his leg and get all the cancer out. This allowed him to come home and eventually return to school. And yet again God blessed him when his coach made him captain of his soccer team his junior year and manager his senior year. This gave him something to look forward to. Even though it was difficult for him not to participate in the games, he took pride on his roll of captain and manager by being there no matter the weather to support his team.
Since then, his hip was cancer free. However, the cancer had already spread to his lungs, and he was on chemo treatment to try to keep the cancer from multiplying & growing. Unfortunately, we had almost exhausted the medicals’ ability to irradicate the cancer from his lungs. We had one medication left before he must be submitted to trials for his rare type of cancer. But we never got to there, as when he was ready to go to Boston for a trial he started declining and the trail was no longer an option.
We are so blessed for Matt’s childhood friends from Morning Star/Jackson and his friends from Slinger that have shown their love and support through his journey and who continue to be a part of our lives, even after their friend Matthew was taken to his heavenly home.
Fee will get you a #TEAMMATTFOREVER T-shirt and a bracelet designed by Matt. In honor of Mathew's favorite sport, soccer, with proceeds going the Slinger High School Soccer team. These proceeds will help add lockers to their new Team room. Registration price is shown below. Registration at the event is $35/person.Sale ended
- $30.00+$0.75 service fee