Honored Kid

Matthew J Zeilman

Matthew J Zeilman Kid Photo

Location

Attica, NY, US

Diagnosis

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Date of Diagnosis

November 2005

Status

Passed away

Treated At

Strong Memorial Hospital

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My Story

Matthew was a energetic, loving little boy who was an inspiration to all, especially to his Mommy and Daddy. Matthew touched the lives of many with his beautiful smile that radiated, and the amazing strength, courage and determination that he showed every day of his life, which will never be forgotten and that taught us so many lessons. Matthew enjoyed playing with his "Bob the Builder" toys, "Thomas the Train" cars, Lincoln Logs, Play-Doh, crafts and being our "Little Helper". Matthew also loved going for car rides to see the cows and milk trucks, visiting the parks on sunny days and going for bike rides through town in his carriage. Our world turned upside down when the preoperative blood work for Matthew's scheduled tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy showed an abnormal white cell count. Matthew was admitted to Children's Hospital at Buffalo and diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on 11/14/05, just shortly after his 2nd Birthday. The Leukemia infiltrated Matthew's tonsils and adenoids and made him very sick and with sleepless nights. Matthew achieved remission after the induction phase of Chemotherapy in 12/05. After returning home from a 3 week hospital stay, Matthew had a relapse in 4/06. Matthew was transferred to Strong Memorial Hospital for Chemotherapy in 5/06 and had a Unrelated Stem Cell Transplant in 7/06. Matthew returned home in 8/06 and the Leukemia was in remission. Matthew's day consisted of several medications and he had several side affects from the transplant but he never complained. Matthew's strength continued to improve and we were able to do more as a family. However, on 12/4/06 Matthew's blood work showed abnormal white cells. The Bone Marrow Biopsy showed that the Leukemia again was back. We came home that day and celebrated our Christmas and Santa Claus visited Matthew. Then, we had to return to the hospital 12/07/06 for Matthew's second Stem Cell Transplant. Matthew had Chemotherapy and this time Radiation, as well, before the transplant. Matthew had so many complications from graft versus host, all of the medications he was on and from his compromised immune system. Matthew continued to fight every day and always manage to show us love with gestures or his kind touch because he was too weak to talk. Matthew passed away on March 11, 2007, just 3 years old, from an Aspergillus (fungal ) infection in his lungs, because his body couldn't fight anything anymore. Matthew will always be in our hearts and he was truly our gift from God, but it was hard coming home without our little boy.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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Children who are fighting or have fought cancer inspire others to be part of the Foundation's mission — to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

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