It was designed to keep family and friends updated on his battle with Hepatoblastoma.
FOREVER OUR HERO
MATTY "The Bravest" DUBUC
9/24/99 - 3/25/07
Matthew was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma (liver cancer), Stage IV on July 6, 2004. He was just 4 years old. Hepatoblastoma is a rare form of liver cancer and affects only one in a million children a year. Stage IV of the disease means that it has spread, in Matthew's case it spread to his lungs (at initial diagnosis and 13 months later when he relapsed), brain and left wristbone. Matthew had many months of chemotherapy, a liver transplant, 3 lung surgeries, 2 brain surgeries (first tumor removed 12/18/05, second tumor removed on 7/24/06) and radiation. When his wrist tumor got aggressive with no response to chemotherapy or radiation, his left arm was amputated from the elbow down on October 13, 2006. Despite all the hardship he had, he continued to fight his battle like "The Bravest"!! We were told on November 20, 2006 that there was nothing short of a miracle that would help Matty beat his battle.
On March 25, 2007 - 2 years, 8 months and 16 days after Matty was diagnosed, he went to Heaven, peacefully in his sleep.
Matthew has a big brother, Christopher, who was just 9 years old when Matty died. Today, Chris is 16 years old. He grew up too fast, saw too much and knows way more than any child his age should know. Regardless of all he's been through, he's such a good kid, a fantastic student, he's athletic, social and helps in so many ways to 'give back'!
Matty also has a little brother, Zachary, who is now 9 years old. Zachary was just under 2 weeks old when Matty was diagnosed and was 2 1/2 years old when Matty died. Zachary has always been a very good distraction for Matty (and for all of us) because he made it too hard to focus on the frustrations of cancer when we would see his smile and hear his laugh, especially when he was visiting Matty while inpatient! Zachary has no idea he's become so social because of the many trips to the hospital. Zach has many fond memories of Matty, regardless of the short time they had together. Zach is also a terrific student, funny, social and has a big heart!
After finding out on 8/1/05 that Matthew's cancer had returned in his lungs, this web page was created.
We celebrated Christopher's 16th birthday this past Sunday. I'll forever remember when we told Chris that there were no more treatment options for Matty and that, without a miracle, he would die. Christopher's immediate first reaction was anger, knowing that Matty wouldn't be here to see him turn double digits!
So, as proud as we were to celebrate Chris on his 16th birthday, like any birthday that we celebrate without Matty, it really stings, especially without hearing Matty's 'cha, cha, cha'!
Chris is now driving and taking driver's education. He had his first road lesson today. He will be eligible to get his license after December 23rd. Yikes! I'm just hoping that Matty will always watch over Chris, keeping him safe, especially behind the wheel!!
The past week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes I don't even know what sets off the tears, they just fall. Although, I know many of last week's tears were due to Matty's transplant anniversary and Christopher's birthday approaching, but this week has been tough also. Maybe it's just because they're already playing Christmas music on every radio station or the fact that houses are already decorated for Christmas. Or maybe it's just that I haven't shared Matty's story enough lately.
I can't wait for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team to start training again. I miss volunteering and sharing my boy with them. Our friend, Steve, has officially announced that he'll be running the next Boston Marathon with DFMC, for Matty, once again! It means to much to us to have him honor Matty in this way.
Wishing you all a bearable day tomorrow! Happy Bloody Mary Day, as I prefer to call it!!