Children Given Hope

The Mattie Talley Foundation is able to provide prostheses for young cancer patients because of many generous contributors.

D.M.

D.M. is a twelve-year old boy who lost his left leg due to a fast growing, highly malignant soft tissue sarcoma when he was four years old. He underwent ten rounds of chemotherapy, and has been cancer-free ever since.

He has been an active participant in the Children’s Amputee and Limb Deficiency Program, attending the winter ski trips and summer camps.

Two years later, D.M. outgrew his first prosthesis. The family’s insurance again declined to cover any portion of the $ 11,834 expense for the replacement prosthesis. Realizing that D.M. will also outgrow this prosthesis and require a third, the Mattie Talley Foundation covered the cost of the prosthesis.

Rebecca

Rebecca, known as Becca to her family and friends, is a bright, articulate 5 ½ year old girl. She always has a smile on her face. She likes princesses, flower fairies, and American Girl dolls and books. She loves to dance, especially to high energy music.

Becca began waking up at night with pain in her leg. It would subside, and all would be well the next day. One day, she woke up with more significant pain, and was limping. A trip to the doctor revealed no visible problem, but the results of the x-ray came back “abnormal”and that was the beginning of a long journey.

After Becca went through more diagnostic testing, doctors diagnosed her with metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma, she had a tumor in her leg, and tumors in her lung. After a few rounds of chemotherapy, Becca’s lung tumors had completely disappeared, and the tumor in her leg had shrunk considerably. However, the tumor in her leg was surrounding an artery and vein, and it was sitting on a growth plate. The only viable option to get rid of the tumor was through a knee amputation.

Since her surgery, Becca has grown stronger every day, and she has been fitted with a prosthetic. When she realized that she could dance again, Becca said that this was the happiest time in her life. Becca said of her surgery, “I am sad that I had to lose my leg, but I won’t let anything slow me down. She has lived that way every day. She has never lost her smile or optimism, and her strength, and positive attitude inspire those around her.

The Mattie Talley Foundation provided the expense of securing Becca’s prosthetic leg that Rebecca’s family and insurance could not provide.

M.Z.

M.Z. is a 14 year old girl, diagnosed with cancer in 1997. She had chemotherapy, and has been cancer free ever since. Unfortunately, her right leg was amputated above the knee in May 1999.

M.Z. has attended many of the summer and winter camps of the Children’s Amputee and Limb Deficiency Program. She is very active in drama, radio broadcasting and many other activities. In 2002, M.Z. was the subject of a profile prepared by Chicago television news program. The program focused on her efforts to educate her peers about disabilities. She has matured greatly and is respected by her peers.

M.Z. is now able to walk independently to and from her classes with her friends, and her self-esteem, so important to growing adolescents is greatly improved. M.Z. and her family are greatly appreciative of all the help from the Mattie Talley Foundation, providing new prostheses as she outgrows older ones.

Miguel

Shawon is a 4 year old with a diagnosis of retinoblastoma. This is a very aggressive eye cancer that affects children at a very young age. Shawon had surgery to remove his left eye at age 2. He was fitted with a left ocular prosthesis.

Cost: $ 2,000

Carmen

Age 11. Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma of palate

Procedure: Interim obturator to restore speech and eating

Cost: $ 2,500

Charlie

Age 10, Diagnosis: Leukemia

Procedure: Interim nasal prostheses

Cost: $ 4,000

Lucas

Age 4, Diagnosis: retinoblastoma left eye

Procedure: Left ocular prosthesis

Cost: $ 2,000

Maya

Age 10, Diagnosis: Retinoblastoma right eye

Procedure: Right ocular prosthesis

Cost: $ 2,000

Jamie

Age 6, Diagnosis: retinoblastoma left eye

Procedure: Left ocular prosthesis

Cost: $ 2,000