Our dear Maggie, 2 yrs old, lost her battle with cancer 10/14/2009--our 15th anniversary-she won eternal peace. She was diagnosed (6/09) with brain cancer (ATRT). She endured 2 rounds of chemo therapy and 6 weeks of radiation- 3 1/2 months inpatient. We love her dearly and cherished every moment we had with her. She fought bravely to the end.
In late April or early May, Maggie started falling a lot. That isn't unusual for a toddler but i noticed after she fell she was cautious.
She stopped "toddling" and was walking--cautiously. An alarm bell went off but knew that the doctor would look at her and say she is fine (that is exactly what happened when i finally went in with 2-3 concerns). So, i kept an eye on her closely. One day i noticed she was turning her head slowly--cautiously. Alarm bell again but it was only once and then she seemed normal. Then, one morning she was walking down the hall after waking up and one foot turned inward. I went straight to the doctor with 3 symptoms. Nothing. 5 office visits (ear infection, throat infection, constipation) and she was even worse. 2 ER visits and she was worse--not eating or drinking, not walking or sitting upright and her chin was thrust into the air to get comfortable----i was very concerned about something neurological but kept hearing it was symptoms of other things. We finally went to the ER June 10th (3rd time) determined to get a CAT scan --had been declined to receive one the first 2 times--said it was unnecesary---"too invasive"--huh? that is why we went to the hospital..to be invaded...we already had 5 office visits that are non-invasive and that didn't help her....so.--FINALLY--the ER doctor recognized the neuorlogical signs and ordered a cat scan which showed her tumor(s) in her brain stem.
she endured 2 rounds of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation (over 3 months inpatient) which was very hard on her 2 year old body but her cancer gave us no good options. Her tumors responded well to the treatment---they were shrinking and some were just plain gone--but there was some concern about relapse btwn chemo and radiation. She was home resting awaiting an MRI for a few weeks.
one morning she started breathing up high..with her chest only --that was odd...we kept and eye on it and showed the doctor the next day...they said there was nothing to worry about really....just maybe the steroids or something....by thurs we were very concerned...they took some blood work and found her electrolights and others things out of whack...okay..fine...fix that.. but while fixing that they found that her cancer had spread to her abdomen and was still present in her spinal fluid..we knew hospice was next....we lost our fight with cancer..
maggie was always a very healthy child and had quite a high tolerance for pain (didn't cry when she got shots). she had only one fever that i can recall and no ear infections----just colds that she caught from others. oh, and chick pox that she got from me.
she loves to paint, play with side walk chalk, go to the playground, go for walks outside, throw rocks into the pond nearby, climb on the dirt/rock piles in the neighborhood, help me in the garden moving rocks and such, put lotion on her hands, mess with anything anyone else has, operate any electronic equipment we don't want her touching, play with her brothers, pretty much anything that involves her brothers---music, chasing them, dancing with them, jumping on the beds with them--just being with them as much as she can.
Maggie loves to count and look for numbers and letters on houses and mailboxes. We play with letters a lot. She loves trying to play ben's drums and jake's trumpet. she loves shoes--loves them. and hats too. she can sort the laundry better than the boys and closes the door behind herself (again, better than the grown boys).
she loves baths---she would take 3 a day if i let her and i often did.
since a very small child she tried to do whatever the boys were doing (at 6 months old wanted to run around with swords like they were).
We love her dearly and appreciate any prayers for her eternal peace.
maggie was fighting to stay with us.
in the morning of oct 14th, our 15th anniversary, she was breathing slowly but not with difficulty. jake came in that morning and said bye to her on his way to school...i told her i needed to go get my robe and i'd be right back to take her downstairs.....she peeked at me, i teased her---told her i saw her looking at me and knew she was awake.... and walked away a moment--to my closet and back---just several steps. when i returned, she was gone. she didn't want me to see her last breath...she knew i would want her to stay...she knew the house would be full of people keeping her here...she went quickly and peacefully. i thank her for that but i didn't want her to go. she was right.
she is a wonderful child--selfless in the end.
we miss her more than we could have imagined.
thank you for visiting and praying for her, us and now praying to her...
5th annual Drexel/Medvitz Christmas decorating/Maggie memorial party
Dec 11, 2013 5:46pmSaturday was our Drexel decorating party....it went by in a whirlwind again...not enough time to enjoy 45 lovely ladies in 3 hours...thankfully the alumni stayed for the "after party" and we were able to catch up with them which was heartwarming ....we have always felt a second party was in order bc the gals decorate then leave .... The house looks ready for a party and is vacant...thank you to everyone who came and helped decorate and make cookies and such....
It's a great way to begin the Christmas season and helps us focus on life and not just the empty place at the table..and the hole in our hearts...
my grand idea this year for a gift was tie dyed socks..yellow and pink of course and I made them with my own whittle hands...well, mine and Jeanette's (after a failed attempt to tie dye dri fit socks...the dye wicks right off.."all synthetic fabrics" doesn't mean "all synthetic fabrics"...good ole cotton came to the rescue) ... My hands were yellow and pink for only one day afterwards...
Noelle and her daughters came this year...I haven't seen them in 2 yrs I think..and .it was like they have been here weekly ..didn't miss a beat of each other's lives.... Brae is a doll and Casen is after my heart with her love of superheroes....and playing the drums...noelle brought the team into our lives and it's nice to see her and feel just a slight bit closer to Maggie...they got to be with Maggie a lot near the end... So it means a lot and they know how I feel and experience her loss like I do....
I was going through pics right after the party and accidentally saw our last family photo...it was days before she died...noelle made the shot bc she was holding Maggie...we are all smiling ...looking so happy but don't let it fool you...the smiles are bc we aren't alone ...the smiles are bc 30 young beautiful women came to love Maggie just because....the smiles are bc we feel the promise of them in our lives helping us cope and live and love...Maggie looks awfully bloated from the steroids, she has very little hair, she can't sit up or talk...one eye is swollen shut....but she is still fighting to be part of what is going on with all the girls...part of the photo....part of our life...she never complains or cries...she knows she is loved.....she is glad to be home and not at the hospital with scary machines and needles...
Each year the freshmen who meet us and learn about Maggie surprise us...we aren't sure they even want to come to a stranger's house to decorate ... But we welcome them and have a grand time seeing the outcome ...new friends and a new way to hang Christmas lights!
As the decorating comes to a close...still haven't gotten everything up on the trees outside bc it got cold so we stopped...I have until dec 24 I say...why not? ..anyway,..I realized I need to go decorate Maggie's grave site...that is laying heavy on my heart and really upsetting me this year....neighbors say how great the house looks when I decorate....to be honest...it's just to distract me from my grief and to help the boys continue to have a fulfilling life....I'd rather my house look like crud and have all my children alive with me...healthy .... I don't have that...So, I decorate to add joy to our home and share joy and peace with others....not to compete or show off...
Thank you to Drexel LAX for helping us find joy in Christmas and actually ...year round....I love you all...I've enjoyed meeting all the new freshmen each year and hope to keep getting to know them and cheer them on in life ..not just on the field....
Some of the alumni have taken through the years to stopping by when they can...often spur of the moment...anyone on the team or alumni...keep it up...ingredients for jambalaya are always at hand!
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The Philadelphia Foundation for The Maggie Medvitz Education Fund
memo: applied to 2010/2011 educational grants
mail to: 1234 Market St, Suite 1800 Philadelphia, PA 19107
donate online: www.philafound.org
Maggie's CaringBridge site is made possible through donations. You can make a donation to CaringBridge.