Matthias’ story…

In April 2010 Our 9 year old son Matthias (known as Thi) was diagnosed with a rare prostatic tumour. We spent the next 6 months undergoing rigorous treatment at The Royal Marsden.

He was an amazing young man who, despite being scared at the new challenges that were thrown at him, accepted all that was to be. We were offered the opportunity to travel to America to receive treatment known as Proton therapy which is a form of radiation but which is meant to be less invasive on surrounding tissue. Thi and one adult were funded to take this opportunity up, leaving behind his other parent and three younger brothers. For us as a family to be split under such circumstances for three months was unthinkable. Thankfully we had, and still have, a wonderful network of people and friends around us who were prepared to make sure we would all be travelling together to America, allowing us to support each other through the next phase of the journey. An amazing amount of money was raised allowing us to all be together. For that we will be eternally grateful.

On our return from America we lived for a few months with Matthias in remission and we truly believed we would still have many more years with our beautiful boy. Unfortunately, the tumour began to grow again. We had to return to The Royal Marsden where he started treatment again with the view to major mutilating surgery. This was our last chance to save him. The tumour and chemotherapy were now running a race and it was becoming evident that the chemo wasn’t winning. The surgery was going to take place in October 2011 and we would learn to live life in a very different way but we would still have our boy with us. We were prepared to take on anything that was thrown at us in order to still be able to touch him.

By the end of October 2011 the tumour had become inoperable and there was no more curative treatment possible for Matthias. Initially, just my husband and I had to realise that we would be kissing him goodbye. We had our final extended family holiday at East Wittering and all the children loved being together, sharing each others love (at this point they were unaware that there was no more treatment and that this would be the last time they would holiday together – only the adults were aware). The appropriate time would come to tell the children.

pudseyIn November 2011 we entered Chase Children’s Hospice to complete the last few weeks of Matthias’ life. As we entered CHASE my husband and I knew what we were to face and we believed strongly that there needed to be something left for his brothers and all those young children who loved Thi and were loved by Thi. We purchased 26 Pudsey Bears, which were given from Matthias saying I WILL LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

Matthias’s symptoms continued to worsen to the point where he was unable to keep any food down, and was only able to hold down small quantities of water, and on 28th November Thi looked at me and said “Mummy if I don’t eat or drink I will die wont I?” where upon I sat with him for a precious hour saying “yes my darling”. He responded with “but I am only 10 years old” and I said ”and you have given us the best 10 years of our lives”,  to which he responded with complete acceptance and requested what he required to give his much loved brothers.

A nurse was with us in this rather priviledged moment and she asked if there was any request that they as a charity could fulfill. I looked at her and said “There is only one thing that Thi would like and that is to meet Steven Gerrard”. With that she said “leave it with me”. A few days later an email was sent from Steven himself saying he was grateful for Thi’s support and that he was thinking of him. I pursued further e-mails with Steven in an attempt to see if he would be able to visit Thi. For my husband and I this was now about trying to complete a ten year old’s life by fulfilling every dream and desire before he died.

Football and Steven Gerrard were his passion – laptops and ipads were wonderful gifts, but nothing could compare to the moment when our boy realised Steven Gerrard had taken the time to travel from Liverpool to Guildford to be by his side. Matthias, who was three days away from dying, opened his eyes and smiled a smile that is etched on all our hearts forever. On leaving, Thi managed to say “thank you Steven” and then proceeded to clench hold of Steven’s hand.  Steven said “He wont let go of my hand!”, well… you wouldn’t would you?! Steven and his wonderful PA Anna Matthews completed our beautiful, strong, brave and incredibly accepting boy’s journey. The sense of completion was immense and we will remain thankful to Steven and Anna forever.  Matthias died 23rd December 2011. We will never stop loving Matthias as he will never stop loving us… ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

Our first event raised £44,621 in aid of Steven Gerrard Foundation helping disadvantaged children. We held a sit down meal for 410 people at Mercedes Benz world. Mercedes Benz World means more to us as a family than simply a wonderful venue. It was the last family outing we had altogether – and a glorious experience it was too, where Matthias drove a car independently and travelled at high speed in the SLS.

Our aim is to raise money to say ‘thank you’ to Steven Gerrard, to help other children through SGF (Steven Gerrard Foundation) and to Shooting Star Chase for allowing us to spend our final days as a family together. Most importantly we aim to carry on spreading just a little bit more of Matthias’ inspirational character and love around. With Red Thi Do, our first event SGF have offered to donate a percentage to Shooting Star Chase.

Our boys

Matthias and his brothers…The Fab 4! Jos Jonas Xav Thi.