The Maas Children's Fund

Matthew’s Cancer Journey

Matthews’s story began October, 2013:  My mother, daughter and I were coming home from a cheer competition when the phone call came in, it was Matthew.  We were on our way to visit him at Parkridge Hospital because I had not heard anything from him yet, he went in for a terrible headache. There were those words ANNETTE I HAVE TERMINAL CANCER ITS IN THE LUNGS AND THE BRAIN. 

Imagine this while you are driving and the phone is on Bluetooth and your daughter is in the backseat hearing this. I am surprised I did not crash the car. I said we are almost at Parkridge,

That’s exactly how they told Matthew as well. The world at that point changed for us, they had given him 8 months to a year to survive. I am writing this 13 months later, and yes the time has come where he is at the point where life is not fair for any human being to be put through the pain and suffering of this horrible disease. I have watched this strong gentleman grow weak and it broke his heart and mine. He would do anything for anyone and now I have to do things for him. I always remember him saying to my father Eddo I will change your diapers for you when you get old.  Who would have thought the rolls would have changed, that was one of the hardest thing my father had to face.

Over the course of the last year we plugged through endless chemo and radiation sometimes combined to be more aggressive in hopes to give Matthew more time.  Then he had more chemo and radiation. It just seemed like every time we tried another setback would occur. More cancer just kept coming and coming with a vengeance, the leg, the eye, the bones, and the brain especially Tumors after tumors.

Against, all odds, we did take a Cruise to the Bahamas with Matthew’s sister’s and her family, although, not    all fun for Matthew that’s where the cancer ate through his leg, but he made the most of it. We wheeled him around drunk a little fun for us. The next trip we took was with my family which was to Maine that was fun and relaxing and the most beautiful weather ever.

I can say we did connect with old friends, which was great for Matthew which he most enjoyed the gatherings, the stories, the last year even though it has been rough, Matthew got through it all,  made the year the most of it, enjoyed himself, did things he wanted to, crossed things off his bucket list.

I am now on disability trying to cope with this all, focusing on Matthew, the kids, and trying to make the most peaceful days I can for Matthew in his final time here.  I am unsure what we will do without him, God must have a plan for all of us. 

As strong as I am I have come to a point of realization that life without Matthew will be a hard one, yes we have had many hard times, but have also have had lots of laughter and great times together and I think he may be the only one that could possibly of put up with my bad jokes, bad cooking, bad house cleaning and horrible sense of humor. I think we just worked together and lasted 20 years because we were just who we were. We did not put up with one another’s bullshit and we said it like it was.

I am writing this to ask for support for the kids, myself, Matthew’s legacy of his kindness to everyone he touched to help with the costs of everyday living expenses, the medical expenses, the kid’s therapy, the kid’s college. I will have to except the fact that life has now changed only my income and not Matthew’s this will be hard. I won’t have Matthew there to say Matt why is the dishwasher making that noise, it’s cold outside please go snowplow, please go mow the lawn, please go clean the pool, the dog poop. Nope it’s all me.

Matthew did everything and I hope he knows I appreciate everything he ever did.

His time on this earth was cut short, and that’s not fair, I hope up in heaven he will see his children graduate High School and see them marry and go on with their future.

I wrote this the morning prior to his passing, Matthew passed away this afternoon November 9th, 2014 at 1:20 pm at home where he wanted to be with his family.

He will be always loved and missed.


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Annette Jorolemon Maas 
Rochester, NY
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