Malachi Briggs Med Tx- Wilms Tumor
On September 10th, 2014, I went to the Urgent Care due to constipation and protrusion under my right rib cage. A sonogram discovered I had a very large tumor attached to my right kidney. A CT Scan was performed that same day, which confirmed I also had some smaller tumors on my lungs. I was admitted to Sunrise Children’s Hospital in search for the proper diagnosis and the most effective course of treatment.
On September 12, 2014, I underwent surgery in hopes to remove the tumor. It was decided during that procedure it was unsafe to remove the tumor due to fragility, size and location (vital organs). At that time the surgeons were able to take a biopsy and confirm the tumor was malignant and considered to be stage 4, as it has engulfed my entire kidney, traveled to my lungs and possibly other regions surrounding the area. At the time of surgery, a subcutaneous port was placed in my chest (which is the large lump you may see in some of my pictures over my heart area). This port makes it easier for me to recive treatment and get my blood drawn when needed.
The blessing in all this is that the pathology report came back confirming that the type of tumor is a Wilm’s Tumor, and the prognosis is the best in regards to child cancer due to the embryonic tissues cells this type of cancer is made of being highly receptive to treatment.
I began treatment on 9/14/14. My treatment plan thus far will take me through 40 weeks. I will initially receive chemo once a week through my subcutaneous port; I will also receive 15 days of radiation in the weeks to come, all in hopes to shrink the tumor so that I can have it safely removed. Around the 11th week (near Thanksgiving), the specialists/surgeons will reevaluate the tumor in hopes it will be small enough and manageable enough to remove. Once the tumor is removed, I will continue to receive treatment to ensure all the cancer cells are dead and gone.
I am saying all this because my family needs your help. I did not have insurance for the month of September, nor will I have insurance for the month of October. The reasoning behind this lapse in insurance is due to payment error and despite my mother’s diligent fight to resolve the issue and have it reinstated, she has had no success. We are in the process of appeals, but at this point, we are taking action in other ways to help offset the acquired costs thus far.
We have decided to use the Go Fund Me to assist with medical expenses that have reached nearly $20,000 dollars (but we havent received all the bills). There are so many different entities to pay: Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, Lab, Pathologist, Sunrise, Pharmacist, etc. If anyone would rather call and pay directly to the biller, I can provide any addition information needed for you to do so. You can email us through Go Fund Me if you rather make a direct donation to the billing department.
My mother will be off work for as long as my treatment takes. I will have to do all my school in the home. To offset lost wages and to allow for me to participate in non-impact classes/social activities such as golf lessons, singing lessons, piano, or dance, we will be taking a $5 donation for “TeamMalachi” Child Cancer Awareness Bracelets. These will be available in October. The money donated for the bracelets will be used for non-medical expenses and an informational website will follow, including a blog so that all my supporters can follow me as I embark on this journey! Today is September 29th, 2014 and it is my 7th birthday! Thank you for helping make this year the most memorable year of my life. And...Thank you for your continued healing energy,
prayers, love, and support..Malachi Briggs
365 days ago today I took my happy go lucky 2nd grader to a Doctors appointment that forever changed my life. .. when the doctor came back into the room after evaluating his sonogram he informed me in front of Malachi that he had a very large tumor on his right kidney, which resembled a malignant cancerous Wilms tumor and that we needed CT scan. I broke out into tears, felt like I was going to vomit and nearly fainted before calling Ahmad and Maryam to come rescue me from this nightmare. I tried to hold it together, as I paced that 6×6 box of a room awaiting someone's, anyone's, arrival, hoping to wake up from this nightmare. ... Malachi seeing my face, my fear, my worry. ..his strong confident mother lost in the abyss of all the "what if's" raised his level of consciousness, thinking, subconscious worry. .. he asked me what cancer was and surprised by my inability to explain it to him because i couldnt find the words, my breath, my strength...I pace more, I need air, need to run, need to scream, need an escape.....my thoughts are scattered, my words fragmented, i choose silence. ...He is watching, waiting for daddy, then proceed to comfort me and possibly himself in those brief moments, in that box of a room, "mommy it's ok, it's not like I am going to die!"...devastatingly saddened by his comment, the thought, the possibility, I wanted to hold onto his words, hoping it was God speaking through him...my mind now telling me "GET IT TOGETHER SKARLET".... I smiled, grabbed him, hugged him so tight and said, "BABY OF COURSE YOUR NOT GOING TO DIE, SILLY...Mommy just doesn't like the fact anything could possibly wrong with you, your my baby, I love you and I am very protective of you".. He proceeded to tell me I was being too dramatic..I thought I was holding it in, holding out together. ...but Malachi was my smartest child, he knew me so well, read me well!
His words echoed over and over....haunting my thoughts in the days and months following "mommy, its not like i am going to die".... somewhere deep within me that day, September 10, 2014, I knew differently, knew the tsunami was upon us, knew the hurricane was approaching, knew September 11th was near, felt the planes approaching my world tower, knew the earthquake was going to produce life changing devastation. ..hoping I was wrong, hoping it was my fear, my pessimistic voice reel... praying for Divine intervention...hoping/praying/begging to the universe he was right and I wrong! Not my baby, God Please don't take my Malachi!
I miss you Malachi, I wish I had the power to protect you, save you, heal you. ...I wish I had favor in the Heavens, but for now I will trust that God doesn't make mistakes and that you are where you need to be for reasons unbeknownst to me (us)...
Family and Friends,
Yesterday marked 60 days since Malachi's Celebration of Life and 75 days since his passing. I have attempted to write a thank you note many times over, but the words “Thank You” didn’t seem to be enough, yet I did not know exactly what I was looking to say and up until today I haven’t been able to put my thoughts into words!
So this is my thank you letter, with some reflecting thoughts because it wouldn’t be me without sharing from my heart in an authentic raw way and my place of putting closure on the pieces that are lingering as I (we) continue to move forward. Although this is coming from me, I am sure my words are a collected reflection of the universal experience of all those in my immediate family, therefore I am writing on our behalf.
8/28/15: I was awakened at the time of Malachi's last breath, as I am many mornings since his passing.
My mind playing a familiar anxiety filled reel of rapid fired thoughts….Ahmad and I just got back from an amazing 10 day Florida Vacation/Cruise full of love, adventure, fearlessness and much needed relaxation. A cruise we were expected to embark on last year to celebrate Malachi's 7th b-day just days prior to Shaq's game in Miami. A reminder September 10th was approaching, the day on which 365 days prior I took Malachi to an appointment that forever changed the trajectory of our life. With tears now flowing, I become encouraged by the thought we will be on a plane in just three days flying to New Orleans eagerly anticipating Duke's season opener. Reminding self, wow this will be Shaquille Powell's first game of his senior year at Duke, potentially his last football season. Where did the time go? What a blessing Duke has been!
As I am standing at this 4 am intersection of life, thought, reflection, I realize I am amongst many somewhat conflicting emotions/thoughts/feelings: Anger, excitement, anticipation, sadness, gratitude, happiness, pain, beginning, endings, fear, fearlessness, tears, laughter, faith, disappointment, loneliness, support, birth, death, rebirth, hope LOVE....! Amused that they are all in one place together at the same time, absent of conflict, full of compassion, acceptance, and understanding…..the unspoken knowing of the unique powerful role they each play, equally needed, equally respected….BALANCED! Balance is something I have been reflecting on a lot lately. The fact that laughter and tears can occupy the same thought without the judgement of “what is wrong with me?” The awareness of the fact I am still feeling such a plethora of emotions, despite the wreckage that surrounds me, is a good sign! This 4 am intersection reminding me that I are doing better than I thought!
There is no denying the fact, losing Malachi has been thee most devastating experience our family has faced with individually or as a unit. Many have asked directly or indirectly, “how is Skarlet, Ahmad, Shaq and Maurisha?” because we have never been one to show anything other than strength and courage in the face of others. It was really hard to put into words what was happening internally despite what was projected externally. We are not a super human family, so I found the words to answer this question. (See prior update on 75 day reflection)
Right now is a time of reflection..deep reflection. It's a quiet time, a time of solitude, a time of healing, patience, self-preservation, self-exploration, spiritual-transformation, SELF-LOVE
It's a time of fearlessness, creativity, adventure….
and It's also a time to say "Thank You" to our FOUNDATION, that place beneath the rubble that despite the devastation, REMAINS Solid, Stront, Intact, and ever so supporting.... because of all those who lifted us up as we faced and endured our greatest devastation..our greatest fears. ALL THOSE who provided for us physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually….our family (immediate and extended), friends (known and unknown)....our Spiritual Family, our Duke Family, our Bishop Gorman Family, our Childhood Cancer Community (medical and non medical), DJJS, NMHS....THANK YOU!!!
My hope is for Malachi to never be forgotten....For each person he has touched to always hear his voice, his whisper in the midst of fear, self doubt, obscurity "You can do it, Never give up, keep going, one step at a time!",
To hear his laughter and imagine his playfulness when life gets you down..a reminder that LOVE is the best medicine... self love and the love of others, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, Agape Love!.
When life gets dull or monotonous, to hear him whisper "be adventurous, the time is now, GO BOLDLY without fear or excuse, the universe supports you 100%”
Thank you, each of you, for everything...and remember that despite what you think you contributed..in moments like this even silence and simple acknowledgement is a gift! AND….
LOVE is the only thing that transcends time and space, destruction, devastation, death, the ages, theories, the mighty dollar. ...so BUILD all your foundation on LOVE and you will always find your footing, despite occasionally losing BALANCE!
Thank you again for loving us, supporting us!
I have made a copy of Malachi’s service and a new video of his short life, his fight against cancer, his LIGHT, LAUGHTER and LOVE! If you did not receive one, but would like one, please email me at
I have many copies to share.
I hope you watch one or both videos many times over….on his birthday 9/29/07 every year, on the anniversary of his passing 6/13/15, or whenever you need a good cry, laugh, or change in perspective!
Malachi is powerful and I believe these videos will help you overcome any obstacle you are facing! Just push play. .. and allow him, HIS LIFE, to insight whatever you are needing in the moment.
Be mindful Malachi shows up often and in many forms…. feathers, Orbs, butterflies, sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, and music…
Remember to LIVE FULLY, LIVE FREELY, & LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY -
Sincerely -MALACHI, Ahmad, Skarlet, Maurisha and Shaq
REFLECTION: The 75 days following your passing!
Our world was shaken to the core, resembling a storm, tsunami, earth rattling jolt, in which the Universe shifted, everything shifted….A PARADIGM shifting experience! Constructs I (we) had built, created.... Fallen! Walls came crashing down; pieces everywhere….Everything that was is no more..mentally, physically, spiritually! Control is surrendered...fear consumes us. The whole world feels unstable, unpredictable, unsafe, unsure..fearfully bracing ourselves for another unpredictable jolt...the question passes our mind “can we survive individually after such devastation? Can we survive as a unit?” So many unknowns....
The world keeps spinning...nights turn into days, and days into nights. My head is spinning... I look around at the rubble knowing we must rebuild, but not knowing exactly where to begin, not sure I have the strength to go on, not clear of the magnitude of destruction, still trying to make meaning of the devastation, of our loss...still absent of The Blueprint, still void of the architectural design.
Overwhelmed by emotion, we set out to explore the rubble…. we take our first step, place one foot down, SOLID, realizing that despite the devastation of our landscape, the FOUNDATION upon which we were built remains untouched, strong, intact…..ENCOURAGING! Trying to maintain our balance with each passing day, we begin to take a few steps, walking through the rubble, exploring, scared, yet growingly fearless, yet frequently reminded that it's still easy to lose footing...SLOW DOWN, Be Still, No rush, Take Your Time!...LISTEN, FEEL, LIVE FULLY even in the discomfort of this moment, space, time...
TEARS FALL hard like hail on a cold dark winter night....in the morning the winds of "Faith, Love, Hope" breeze by encouraging another step....these two dance day after day….a FAMILIAR VOICE WHISPERS, reminding us that despite what our world looks like in this moment, with all the devastation we feel and destruction we see, our foundation is strong and we still have so much to be grateful for, to look forward too! I know that voice...We MUST GO ON, BE HAPPY…...it’s HIS VOICE....MALACHI!
Vivid memories flash before us of a once beautiful landscape full of laughter, adventure, hope, dreams, and love….those memories CLOSE, yet FAR AWAY….despite the distance, THE MEMORY encourages us…. “if we keep walking, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, we will find our way….we will find that Blueprint...We will REBUILD, growing even deeper, stronger, wiser!” So we keep stepping, now more BOLDLY, COURAGEOUSLY...without excuse! Navigating this foreign terrain, ONE STEP at a TIME..., slow, paced, without fear, without judgement...Keeping our eyes and ears open….attuned to HIS whisper, HIS laughter, HIS love..HIS PRESENCE….MALACHI
Skarlet, sending you prayers and love! I'm so very sorry.
I just love this little guy... I am so sorry for your loss... He was a great patient and an absolutely amazing little boy!!! My heart aches for u!!! If there is anything that I can do please don't hesitate to ask!!! Love your family!!! Sincerely, Shelly
I pray for Love, peace that surpasses all understanding, strength, healing, hope, happiness and peace!! Love you
Praying for strength & healing in the name of Jesus
My prayers are with you Malachi, Mommie, Daddy and family.. my little cousin passed away from this same form of cancer December 2008.. Lord we need a cure fast and in a hurry
Skarlet, Shaq & family - Prayers for Malachi and his valiant fight continue. Prayers for you, as his family, continue as well to find comfort and strength in your faith and in each other. Our hearts, thoughts and blessings go out to you all. God Bless Malachi.
We have been praying for you, day and night!
The Guida family is praying for Malachi and your family . We cannot begin to image the pain you are feeling , but just wanted to let you know that we are praying for a miracle and are thinking of you. May God bless you and give you peace . ❤️
We love you all! You are in our hearts and prayers always!
Skarlet, I am one of Malachi's silent warriors. You and your beautiful boy are in my prayers. I can't wait for the day that your update says things have turned for the better.
Hi Malachi! I'm Haris' Mom, he's your friend from Conners. I just wanted to let you know he misses you and you are always in our thoughts and prayers. Please have your mom email me your home address, as Haris has something we would love to mail to you! hope to hear from you soon! firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing to pray for you Malachi!
Such an Amazing Incredibly young boy then again why wouldn't he be ??? Look who his Mama is !!!
I am praying for you. Please share your present status.
My family is praying for you Malachi!! Stay is good spirits buddy that's a big part of the battle. He'll work it out.
Praying for you all...so glad Shaq was able to go home for a few days! Malachi and his kitten is too sweet! where can the dukegang purchase the bracelets? Please let us know. GO DUKE!!!
It's important that people understand that Western medicine kills people. African medicine cures cancer. Please research Dr. Sebi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw1ON0CslB8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzVqEfXJHVc
Laura Hansen thank you for that encouraging word! Kris Engelstad McGarry I hope you received my Thank You Cards and Bracelets!
My brother had wilms tumor. He was 5 when diagnosed. He's now 36 years old. (And still annoying