Matty's Journey

Matthew Thibadeau, Jr. was born a healthy 10 lb 2 oz boy on February 19, 2006. He was a happy and smart baby, learning to walk at just 10 months old. Just a few months after that, the unthinkable happened. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  On his 19 month birthday he had surgery to have a port-o-cath line put into his chest to begin his first battle with cancer. Throughout his toddler years he went through a tough and trying 3 ½ year treatment encountering many obstacles along the way. He received multiple rounds of chemotherapy, 8 days of brain radiation, transfusions, therapy, and countless visits to the hospital and clinic. In the spring of 2011 the family thought the battle was over when he had surgery to remove his port and celebrate the end of his treatment! He was 4 years old and attending Pre-K at the elementary school where his mom teaches. Despite some struggles he and his family knew that he would have delayed lifelong effects from all of the medications given to him. The road ahead was going to be long. The years of treatment had put Matty behind his peers socially, emotionally, and psychologically. With hard work and a wonderful support system, he was able to catch up and return to playing baseball and riding dirt bikes. On August 7, 2014, 4 days before he was to start his 3rd grade year, his family’s worst nightmare became a reality. Matty had a lymph node that had been bothering him throughout the summer. It never really went away despite several rounds of antibiotics. A blood test revealed the horrible news. His leukemia had returned! He was admitted to the hospital and had surgery on August 12 to have his second port put in to begin leukemia treatment once again. Sarah took leave from work to be with Matty throughout his treatments.This time his treatments are much more intense. He is currently hospitalized and has been since August 12. He will have a bone marrow aspirate soon to determine if the leukemia is still present and if so, he will need a bone marrow transplant AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Results are still pending to determine is his little sister is a match. This treatment will be for the next two years. As you can imagine this has been a physical, mental, emotional, and financial drain on the family. Thoughts, prayers, and any help would be appreciated. God helped Matty beat leukemia once and He will give him the strength to beat it again!


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JM Ell 
Alpharetta, GA
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