When people meet Matthias, they see a cute, tall, and happy full of life four-year-old. He makes people smile. They eventually notice something is a little different about him; then they realize he can’t see. People are amazed at how well he gets around and how realistic his prosthetic eyes are.
What’s even more amazing is what they don’t see – that he is a three-year cancer survivor.
Matthias was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in both eyes at 3 ½ months old. He had six months of chemotherapy, monthly laser- and cryo-therapies, and Exams Under Anesthesia. Near the end of treatment, his main tumors started growing again and there were more seed tumors – too many to count. Matthias’s eyes were both removed before his first birthday.
Matthias is now happy and healthy, and being blind hasn’t slowed him down much. When asked, “What is cancer?” his reply was, “I don’t know.” He sees his oncologist for monitoring every six months. He doesn’t think about cancer, he thinks about Thomas the Tank Engine, or pestering his big brother, or eating cookies, or whatever four year olds contemplate. That’s the way it should be for all kids.
Matthias is a smart, goofy kid who loves to sing, read, dance, talk, and laugh. He was diagnosed with cancer when he was just three months old and spent the majority of his first year fighting for his life. Six months of chemo were unsuccessful, and he lost both of his eyes to the cancer before his first birthday. He is currently cancer free but totally blind. His cancer was caused by a genetic mutation which may make him predisposed to developing other cancers, so he will be under the treatment of an oncologist for the rest of his life.
All of this drama hasn’t slowed him down much. He is now 3 years old and attends preschool with sighted peers. He loves to play with his older brother and other kids in the neighborhood, and he is learning to keep up with them. He is absolutely awesome, and we appreciate every day we have with him.
Organizations like the St. Baldrick’s Foundation strive to fundraise money for childhood cancer research. Click the link below to donate to the St. Baldrick’s foundation and help them help kids like Matthias every single day.