Matthew’s parents knew something was not right. At six months, he wasn’t swallowing the way most babies his age could. At 20 months, he still wasn’t standing, much less walking. Despite a lot of poking and prodding, doctors did not find the cause until Matthew was almost 2 1/2 years old: a brain tumor. It was cancer.
Since then, little Matthew has had many, many treatments. During one stay in intensive care two years ago, doctors told his parents that his tumor had grown many times its size in just three weeks. Without risky brain radiation, they gave him just weeks to live. So risky brain radiation it was!
Turns out, Matthew is a tough fighter. He’s five years old now and still in the battle. He’s got drugs that are working, but it makes his skin very vulnerable to the sun. He cannot safely spend any time outside. That means he, his parents, and two siblings have to plan their activities around sundown or play indoors. And, hey, that is just not much fun!
Enter Team Summer kid Maddie…who knows all about tough battles with cancer. She successfully fought off Ewing’s sarcoma three years ago, and she’s been giving back ever since.
With the help of Matthew’s mom, we chose a gift designed to get Matthew outdoors again. Safely! Here’s the moment he realized he was getting a gift!
And we could barely snap a picture of him running to see it!
There it was – outside by the garage! An outdoor stroller – big enough for a big kid!
Time to take it out for a little spin!
Now Matthew can go anywhere he wants any time of day. His parents say the stroller has changed all their lives!
And you might have noticed, the stroller is big enough for his sister, too! Way to go, Maddie. You have made a real difference for Matthew and his family!
Thank you Skyler Shuford for volunteering your time to take these great pictures!!
And remember, we can’t do any of this without you, our donors! Can you make a contribution to Team Summer today? All donations are tax deductible!