Honored Kid

Mattis V.

Age 7
Mattis V. Kid Photo


DeKalb, IL, US


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

February 2018


In remission

Treated At

Central DuPage Hospital

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My Story

Hi, I’m Mattis! Some people call me Mattie. I’m 3 years old, but on Christmas Eve, I’ll be 4. I love my mom, dad, and two big sisters, Yaya (Caitlyn) and Rara (Rachel).I  have leukemia. My mom and dad first noticed something was wrong one week before my official diagnosis because I started having trouble sleeping, and my lower back hurt really badly. On Thursday, February 22, my parents brought me to Central DuPage Hospital. The nurses and doctors wanted my pee and my blood to send to the lab, and I had an X-ray of my spine to make sure it wasn’t hurt. Everything was ok with my pee and my X-ray, but my blood wasn’t ok. One of the doctors thought I had cancer in my blood. I had to go upstairs with my mom and dad and spend the night in the hospital.In the morning, one of my favorite nurses, Nurse Casey, fed me my breakfast while my new doctors told my mom and dad that I have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.I really liked being at Central DuPage Hospital because they have a really fun playroom and a wagon for kids just like me. I loved playing in the playroom, but after being awake for a few hours, it got really hard for me to walk and stand up. A little while later, I couldn’t even sit up or move my legs very well.My doctors were really confused. They kept checking to see if I could stand and checking my legs and feet. Then I had to get an MRI of my spine to see what was wrong. I had a 5 centimeter tumor growing along the outside of my spinal column in the upper middle of my back. The tumor pressed into my spinal cord so that my spinal fluid couldn’t flow and I couldn’t use my legs anymore.If I wasn’t so sick, it would’ve been really fun to ride in an ambulance all the way to Lurie’s Hospital in Chicago. I spent a lot of time there so some more doctors from Children’s Oncology Group could work together to decide how to help me since I have a very special case. It’s extremely rare for a kid with ALL to get a leukemic tumor.I’m so lucky that my tumor is all gone! After it disappeared, I was very, very sick for a very, very long time. When I started getting better, I couldn’t use my body anymore. My mom says it was like I was a newborn baby all over again. My mom and I stayed at Marianjoy Rehabilitaion Hospital for three weeks, and I had different kinds of therapy six days a week!When it was time to finally go home, I could hold up my head and sit up all by myself again! I still go to Marianjoy twice a week for different kinds of therapy. So far, I learned how to crawl, pull myself up to stand, cruise the furniture, and walk all by myself! It was so hard to learn all of those things all over again as a three year old, but I did it because I’m so strong! I can’t wait to learn how to run, jump, and climb again just like I used to do before!

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