Matthew's Fight

Matthew is a bright, articulate 12 year old, from Largo, Florida. He has straight A’s and is a 7th grader at Madiera Beach Fundamental School. His little brother describes him as imaginative, intelligent, sensitive and clever.  Like many kids, he enjoys reading, technology, and comedies; he plays the clarinet in school and loves music- especially big band scores.

  Matthew has just recently been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I had just a few months prior cancelled his insurance. They no longer can have just the boys on  a plan they had to have an adult with them. Which skyrocketed the premium. I couldn’t put them on mine because I have Medicare due to my disability of Multiple Sclerosis and my husband felt at the time that he could not add the boys to his insurance at work. So,  I figured I had two healthy boys I could cancel their insurance and  save some money until we could figure something out. Little did I know what was to come in the near future! Matthew started having dizzy spells and he even blacked out and collapsed  a couple times. It’s amazing he didn’t hurt himself! Then his eating habits changed. He went from finishing his meals and asking for more to taking a couple bites and pushing it away. I thought he was being bullied in school about his weight . Not that he was overweight or anything. But he swore up and down that wasn’t it. Then I started thinking he might have what I have. That was my worst fear at the time! So,  my husband decided to take him to his pediatrician. Even though we were now cash patients we felt we needed to do something. His doctor did many tests and couldn’t find anything! He then ordered blood work. Then all hell broke loose! They noticed his white blood cell count was down and they wanted to take his blood again and make sure. It came back the same! The doctor then made phone calls to an Oncologist Dr. Shaw who saw us the next day. After taking his blood and looking at it himself and everything we had told him about what happened he did not want to take any chances. I’m sure he had a good idea then but he couldn’t tell us until he was sure. He put an IV in and sent us next door to John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. After a CT Scan, where they didn’t see anything. Then they did a bone biopsy! They knew now what we were dealing with. Now my  perfect  healthy little boy was now diagnosed with Leukemia! He had to have a PICC line put in and then removed, spinal taps and then a very painful surgery to put a port in. Our hearts were broken our life was shattered! Our worst nightmare was now a reality! We then  began our two week stay at the hospital 3/21/2018 and the following day my youngest boy Bryce would turn eight. We had to cancel all our party arrangements for that weekend. How do you tell an eight year old that we can’t celebrate his special day? I think he took it as well as can be expected. All we wanted to do at that point was help Matthew live and hopefully get back to a somewhat normal life. To do that I’m going to need help from God and you. Please help!
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Melissa D Halling 
Seminole, FL
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