Matthew has experienced more than most at age 15 as he is fighting a strong battle against a brain tumor. Matthew had always been a loving child but at age 10, his demeanor changed over the course of months. As his jovial self turned to unsettling actions, he underwent hospital and doctor visits only to be classified as having behavioral problems. After multiple visits to the ER, his dad did not accept the fact that this was behavioral related and requested the attending ER doctor bring the head ER doctor into the room and also evaluate Matthew's status. It was that persistence that led to a CT scan. That night forever changed Matthew and his family's lives because a mass in his brain was identified and his actions were a result of obstructive hydrocephalus and a brain tumor. What's Hydrocephalus you may ask, well it's the build up of fluid in his head that was crushing his brain. Emergency surgery was immediately scheduled as the pediatric Neurosurgeon told us he had only days to weeks to live.
Matthew's endoscopic third ventriculoatomy (ETV) surgery was a success, Matthew spent over a month recovering and rebuilding his motor skills and working to simply be able to walk again.
While the Hydrocephalus was medically treated by the pediatric neurosurgeon, his brain tumor was deemed inoperable because it resided on his brain stem.
Doctors advised to watch the tumor hoping that it would not grow. In some cases, doctors have seen these types of brain tumors not grow after the Hydrocephalus was addressed; unfortunately Matthew's situation was an exception to that. An ongoing regiment of MRIs every 3 to 6 months was prescribed and it was a waiting game. Matthew's dad spent hundreds of hours researching doctors, taking Matthew to specialists and Matthew's tumor was slowly growing. Outside of that 2 inch scar on Matthew's head, which he was able to cover by his hair, Matthew was seen by his friends and family as any other boy his age. Fast forward to an October 2020 scan that showed his brain tumor has now doubled in size. Matthew's pediatric neuro-oncologist confirmed Matthew's tumor now requires open brain surgery, followed by 10+ months of chemotherapy 5 days a week, additional inhibitor medicines, and possibly more.
Matthew's dad was quick to engage a second opinion and after additional consultations, Matthew's open brain surgery is now scheduled for January of 2021 at Boston Children's Hospital.
As Matthew's stepmom, I've seen all he'd had to endure, always with a smile on his face and I've watched his father, my husband, spend night-after-night, day-after-day over the past several years do everything he can possibly do.
Through it all, Matthew's dad continues to ensure his son has medical coverage and pays most all the incoming medical bills. As the stepmother to an amazing boy and a wife to an amazing dad, I feel it's my duty to create this GoFundMe page because Matthew's dad, Matthew, all his 5 siblings, especially those closest to his age, Luke and Gavin, and our entire family need to focus on Matthew's health and happiness.
The donations raised from this will go towards Matthew's medical bills and everyday expenditures not covered by insurance. Any amount of money you could donate would be greatly appreciated.
With all my heart, I thank you for your kindness and truly appreciate your generosity during these heartfelt and most difficult time.
- Corey Stankovic
- Laurie Sullivan
Organizer and beneficiary
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