The Matthews Foundation

The Matthews Foundation
Donation Goal For This Project is $100,000
10% Donated/$90,000 To Go
Donate Now

Most children who are diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) are 2-4 years old; really just babies. ALL is a long treatment path; usually three and a half years. There are four main phases of treatment; Induction, Consolidation, Delayed Intensification and Maintenance.

Induction Phase

Most of the Induction phase is spent in a hospital while the child is given daily heavy doses of chemo, spinal taps with chemo, transfusions, radiation or bone marrow transplants, if needed, and various other medicines to fight infections. The goal of induction is to kill 99% of the Leukemia cells in the body and this phase is usually one to two months.

Consolidation Phase

The Consolidation phase which seeks to rid the body entirely of cancer cells requires the child to spend several days a week at the hospital for more chemotherapy, steroids, antibiotics, spinal taps, etc… This phase lasts four to eight months..

Delayed Intensification Phase

The Delayed Intensification phase is a very “intense” phase of treatment which combines many different types of chemotherapy to attempt to completely eradicate the body of cancer cells. During these phases, the chemotherapy leaves the body depleted of the ability to fight infection, which is a major cause of death. This phase can last two weeks to several months.

Maintenance Phase

When a child with ALL makes it to the Maintenance phase, they most likely have been battling cancer for over a year. This includes daily oral chemo for over 3 years, intensive chemo, spinal taps and more. The daily chemo lasts for so long because Leukemia is a blood cancer and it likes to hide in the body and return. This phase seeks to keep the cancer in remission until cancer cells are no longer produced. This phase lasts two to three years.

For a parent or legal guardian caring for a child with ALL, the reality is that they will spend most of the first year with their child in a hospital. This almost always requires the caretaker to take a leave of absence or quit their jobs. In fact, this is exactly when they will need extra income. Fighting cancer is not easy or inexpensive. The cost of out-of-pocket hospital and doctors’ visits, co-pays, and prescriptions are several thousand dollars. Many of these families have other children, household expenses, mortgages…

We want to help these children by giving them every chance possible and that includes their caretaker being able to pay for doctors’ visits, prescriptions, pay their mortgage, and having a stable and clean home environment. Without these basic necessities, the child doesn’t have much of a fighting chance.