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Zaida’s Story

Zaida (ZAY-da) turned 3 in September 2007. We learned she has cancer on October 31st, 2007. After eight very difficult and scary days in the hospital, we learned it was peritoneal carcinomatosis, resembling ovarian cancer and mesothelioma (neither of which should happen to a 3-year-old). She is now 10 and still an energetic and bright girl, even after all she has been through.

Click on 'Read More' below for more information about Zaida and how to DONATE TO ZAIDA directly through Zac's Legacy where the money will go towards her medical care.  


Using this "Donate Today" button will allow you to donate to CaringBridge, NOT TO ZAIDA AND HER FAMILY!!!

Zaida has been a cancer patient for over 7 years!  She had 3 years of various chemos and significant surgeries. After this, we had 22 months of remission, treatment-free! Zaida relapsed in April 2012, and had surgery and radiation (first time for radiation) over the summer. Then, she had 2 years of post-radiation chemo, and again went off-treatment this past October.

In December 2014, we learned that Zaida was having another relapse, and we must fight cancer again. We are heading to MD Anderson where Zaida will have a lengthy surgery and hospital stay in April.

Zaida has a sister Runa (age 12) who is wonderful and supportive! They both love Minecraft, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, Harry Potter, fairies, magic, and animals.

Please help support us in creating history - by helping us beat this unique illness. We welcome your love and support. Please sign our guestbook and read our journal. 

There is a fund set up for Zaida's medical care.

Donations can be sent to:

Zac's Legacy Foundation, Inc.

2990 W. 29th Street, Suite 1

Greeley, CO 80631

Please write 'Zaida Mattson' in the memo portion of your check.

Visit www.zacslegacyfoundation.org. All donations marked for Zaida will go directly back to the family. Also, visit www.zacslegacyfoundation.org for information on a tax deductable receipt.

Nichol has also started a home-based business to help with medical costs.  Please visit  www.facebook.com/HandmadeByNicholMattson and consider purchasing some handmade soap or hand-crocheted scarves.  They make wonderful gifts!

Latest Journal Update

Sitting tight at the Ronald McDonald House

Zaida was discharged on Wednesday, April 15th. That afternoon, we settled in at the Ronald McDonald House. Unfortunately, all was not quiet. While giving Zaida her evening meds, her J-G tube (for tube feeding and meds) was leaking considerably. I couldn't tell exactly where it was leaking from because there are two ports, one for a G extension tube and one for a J extension tube. It also could have been leaking from her body directly. I unhooked the G extension tube, and out flowed stomach stuff, then I unhook the J extension tube, and out flowed her formula! I cleaned it up and put the covers on the tube connection points, so she wasn't connected to anything, and I still found that stomach contents were leaking out of her body (the hole the tube is in). Other than finding this out, I found out that both connection points for the extension tubes apparently don't have a valve to stop back-flow when you disconnect them from the J-G tube! Annoying! I was glad that Zaida had not been eating or drinking anything, so it wasn't too bad. By 10 PM I called the hospital, and explained the problem. She was trying to get in touch with the pedi-surg doc, and thought we should come into the ER to figure out the problem, but it took so long by the time she contacted me again, Zaida was sleeping, the tube was no longer leaking, and it was late. We decided to call first thing in the morning. So, first thing Thursday, we ended up back at the clinic, where we determined there was not enough water in the tube's balloon (there is a small balloon on the tube, in her stomach, that holds it in place). They filled the balloon with a bit more water, and that seemed to have solved the problem.

By the way, we missed the early morning shuttles to the clinic on Thursday, so we decided to walk. Zaida walked the whole way! I think it's about a half mile. It was tiring, and she had to stop a few times, but she did great. It is so good for her to exercise. She needs to get stronger.

That's not all that happened on Thursday. Last night, Zaida started to get a little fever. It crept up bit by bit over the evening hours. I was waiting for it to get to the magic number, when I have to announce, "Let's go to the ER!" (The magic number is 101.5!) I was dreading it. We got the Yellow Cab phone number all ready for a late night trip. Every hour her temp would be a little bit higher. By the time she was ready for bed, and snuggled in going to sleep, it was 101.3! So, I went to bed, pretending everything was fine. If it got to 101.5 in the middle of the night, maybe we would never know. I felt her head several times during the night, and she never felt hotter than when she went to bed. By morning, she was 99.5! Just dodged a bullet!

Zaida is on continuous tube feeding of Nutren Jr., 45 ml per hour, and it seems to be going fine. Her pain is under control and she is feeling pretty good. In between her goofing off on the computer, I'm getting her to do some homework. She's also taking a few naps each day. She still doesn't have much appetite or stamina.

My mom has been here since Saturday, and has been a lifesaver. I don't feel so lonely! Also, she would literally do anything I ask her to do!

I am hoping we can just sit tight until Wednesday, when we have a bunch of appointments, and everything will be quiet and boring. The doc says boring is good!

Thanks again, to everyone, for sending messages, cards, and love, and for sharing our story and supporting us continually!

7 people hearted this



Sherrill Jones
By Sherrill
Stay strong and know there is a large community of folks propping you all up with prayer, good wishes, and love. Take time to breathe Nichol...
Lisa Lindeman
By Lisa Lindeman
Oh My!!! You handled it like a champ! Let's hope the rest of the stay is boring! God Bless
Su Wesely
By Su Wesely
Sounds llike mostly good news - except that YOU are feeling frazzled. Take a few minutes for yourself every day, Nichol. Your mother is there for you as well as Zaida. Sending hugs and positive thoughts about "boring".
Ellen Eggenberger
By Ellen Eggenberger
That's great!