Matthew Melena is a sweet 6 year old kindergartner. At age 3, he fell off of a swing. His parents thought he had a concussion, so they took him to the doctor.
What they found was Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer typically found in men aged 65 or older. Unfortunately, a small percentage of this type of tumors are found in children. His was located near his brain stem.
After successful surgery, and countless radiation and chemo therapy sessions, everyone, include his doctors, were pleased with his very positive response to therapies, which actively ended in April, 2012. Click here for more info on Matt's previous battle with this awful disease.
During a routine MRI in December 2013, another tumor was found. Matthew underwent his second surgery to remove that tumor on January 14th, 2014, just 4 days after his action packed 6th birthday. He made remarkable improvements, including returning to school just two weeks after undergoing brain surgery. His post-op pathology results were encouraging, considering the alternative. His doctors were nearly certain that he again had another GBM, however this time he has been diagnosed with a Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA). An MRI in late February would help them decide what steps were next.
Unfortunately, during that MRI appointment, Matthew’s doctors discovered yet another tumor. This tumor was not present on Matthew’s post-surgery MRI from January, which means this tumor has grown fast. Matthew will be undergoing his third surgery on March 13th 2014 to remove this tumor, and will need to undergo radiation after he has recovered some from surgery.
This little cutie pie needs our love and support, and so does his family. The medical bills, as I'm sure you can imagine, are astronomical. Once Matthew gets home, he will be on medications, need additional treatments, and tests, and of course, will be having radiation treatments. Insurance doesn't cover all of the costs that the family is going to have. Matthew hasn't been approved for Medicaid yet, so it's all insurance and out of pocket expenses for them right now. Even with help from family, Mike and Carol will be on unpaid Family Medical Leave during Matt's recovery, and it's very difficult to make ends meet when you don't have a paycheck coming in.
Please donate to help him and his family get through this very difficult time.
Please follow Matthew's story on Facebook . Also, if you don't want to donate online, we have also established an account at FirstBank (any FirstBank will take your donation) - below is where you can mail a donation - Please make checks payable to The Matthew Melena Benefit Fund:
The Matthew Melena Benefit Fund
5125 S. Kipling St.
Littleton, CO 80127
The following are other ways you can help:
- The shirt that Matthew is wearing in his picture posted here is available for sale for $20.00 including shipping. The shirts were designed especially with Matthew in mind. 100% of the proceeds from every tee are being donated to the family. The shirts can be purchased at www.matthewstroops.bigcartel.com. This is an awesome way to show your support for Matthew and his family both visually and financially.
- Gift cards to Walmart, Sam's Club, Safeway, Jiffy Lube, gas, Netflix, Comcast Credits, Excel Credits, Target, Housekeeping services. For more information on how to contribute this way, including the address where these gift cards can be mailed, please email Jeana Simpson.
- We will be having a silent auction at Skate City on April 6th 2014 from 6:00-8:00pm. 50% of the admission of all paid skaters will be donated to the family, and 100% of all funds collected during the silent auction will be donated to the family as well.
We sincerely appreicate your very generous contribution. Please understand that we are just a group of friends and family raising money for the Melenas, and are not a non-profit organization recognized by the IRS, therefore your donation is likely not a tax deductable item. Thank you for your understanding.