Being told that your child has cancer is one of the worst experiences that you can imagine. The more that you learn, you find solace in the fact that childhood Leukemia has a good prognosis and that your child has a good chance for survival. However, you also quickly realize that the three year battle that your child is about to endure is going to take everything that you have; physically, emotionally and financially. Most likely, either you or your spouse is going to have to take off work for an extended period of time and personally I thanked God that I wasn’t a single parent.
There are a lot of factors that stack against you right away and the minimum needs that your child requires could be compromised if you don’t have the financial means to attend to them. In a sense, I was lucky because I was in a financial situation to give Matthew the best chance possible. What I am trying to do with The Matthews Foundation is give every child with Leukemia the same fighting chance that Matthew had.”
John Valenti, Co-Founder of The Matthews Foundation
The Matthews Foundation’s main mission is to provide financial assistance to families with children diagnosed with (ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. TMF will provide assistance to deal with the burden of financial hardship during the initial treatment phase. TMF will also provide information about resources and support services available to patients and families of patients.
The Matthews Foundation was founded in 2008 by Jennifer Daly, John Valenti and Lisa Russell. In 2006, Jennifer’s son Matthew was diagnosed with ALL. John Valenti’s son, Matthew, was also diagnosed with ALL a few months later. Shortly thereafter, the families (and the two Matthews) met in the playroom at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and became great friends. Both of the Matthew’s treatments lasted until 2010 and they are now cancer free. TMF’s last co-founder, Lisa Russell, witnessed her father-in-law’s battle with Leukemia. Because of those experiences, The Matthews Foundation was formed in honor of the survivors and in memory of those who have lost their battle to Leukemia. The Matthews Foundation was created to give back to the community by helping children and their families in the same situation.