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Mattie's Life of Service

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Greetings and salutations!

As many of you are aware, we experienced a tremendous loss recently. After five and a half years of battling various cancer diagnoses (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and cholangiocarcinoma), we said goodbye to our beloved Matilde Cruz, affectionately known as Grandma Bean, on Friday, February 16, 2024. She was in the company of her two amazing children, Adella Colvin and Charles Lynch, as she closed her eyes and made her transition to the other side.

Matilde lived a life of service. From her time spent in the US Air Force to teaching in underserved communities, she left an indelible mark on the lives of so many. Despite going through aggressive chemotherapy sessions and facing incredible odds, she still found a way to serve and take care of others.

She would often cook and bring food to other patients undergoing treatment and the staff of the Oncology Department at the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Bronx (Bronx VA). This brought her immense joy and satisfaction to know that she was fueling those that are responsible for taking care of so many others and those answered the call to service of our nation.

I was personally amazed to see how she managed to control her destiny in her final days by dictating to her daughter and her best friend, Victoria, the details of how she wanted to be laid to rest. There was one thing that she did find challenging and that was what she wanted her last act of service to be. That’s when the universe did, what the universe does….

It was during one of the last visits that Matilde’s Oncology Team made at her bedside that the idea was birthed. Adella asked the team if she were to help raise money, how could she ensure that the funds would go directly to their department. It was at that point that Matilde perked up and was overcome with joy as this would be a great way to support the team that provided the best care and comfort that they could for her.

After a meeting of the minds, which consisted of multiple email exchanges between doctors, a patient, and the Executive Director of the Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation (BVMRF), a plan was put together to support the BVMRF and the Oncology Department at the Bronx VA.

The underlying mission of the BVMRF is to ensure that more Veterans receive the best quality of care possible as a way of thanking them for their selfless service to our country. They support these efforts by administering and supporting research, educational and quality improvement projects at the VA so that Veterans can benefit from new treatments, technology, and unique health education opportunities.

As part of providing better quality of life for patients, and to honor Matilde’s life of service, a new program will be implemented called Mattie’s Meals. This program will provide hot meals for those undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the Bronx VA. Even in her absence, her legacy of taking care of others will live on.

If you have read this far, thank you!

There are three ways that you can donate to this cause:

1. Check payments made out to the following:

Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation
130 West Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, New York 10468
Memo/ref: Oncology-MCruz Giving

2. Online donations:

Direct gift to: Oncology-MCruz Giving

3. The “Mattie’s Life of Service” GoFundMe campaign.

Every quarter, the LBYC Team typically announces a “Cause of the Quarter” (COTQ) where we select a campaign and/or organization that aligns with our overall goal of making things better for EVERYONE. We like to keep track of and provide receipts for all the causes that we announce. This allows us to highlight how much the community that we’ve helped to build shows up for worthy causes. Rather than a COTQ, we are making this our only cause for 2024, which is why we created the GoFundMe campaign for this effort. As a Veteran, I cannot think of a better way to memorialize my mother-in-law and to continue her life’s work of taking care of others.

We want to thank you all for your words of comfort and support during our time of bereavement. As always, please be kind to yourselves, check in on your loved ones and try to not take this opportunity that we call life for granted. - Jimmy


  • Jill Frey
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Flavia Costa
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Tamara Morgan
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Gwen Buttke McGannon
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $125 
    • 2 mos


Adella Colvin
Grovetown, GA

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