Our son, Mattie, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) when he was six years old. Mattie endured 14 months of treatment including high dosage chemotherapies, experimental immunotherapy, three limb salvaging surgeries, and a sternotomy. Treatment has psychological consequences, and in Mattie’s case he was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety, and medical trauma stress. As parents, we faced many losses throughout Mattie’s cancer battle, but the most profound was his death on September 8, 2009.
Childhood cancer is not just about the medicine. Research shows that psychosocial support enhances adherence with medical treatment, helps to manage pain symptoms, and improves overall quality of life. In Mattie’s memory, we established the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation to address this psychosocial need. For more information read a blog about Mattie or visit the Mattie Miracle website.