Centennial is proud to support cancer warrior Matthew Holmes and the fight against kids cancer through Matthew’s Mud Dogs at this year’s Great Canadian Run organized by Sears Canada on October 4.
This story is best told In the words of Matthew’s father Daril.
Matthew’s Road To Recovery
My name is Daril Holmes. I am the father of Matthew who is overcoming a life threatening disease. I am also a proud friend and work colleague of my teammates running in this year’s Sears Run. I would like to share a good news story about Matthew’s progress and also to thank all of you for considering supporting our team in raising funds to support the fight against childhood cancer.
It has been 3 years since a normal, healthy 8 year old named Matthew found out he has Acute Myeloid Leukemia. This is an aggressive form of blood cancer in which a bone marrow transplant offers the only hope for a cure. In that time Matthew has had to spend close to 2 years in a hospital. His journey to a cure has been long and very challenging. After numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Matthew went into remission. He underwent a bone marrow transplant which ultimately failed. He received a second transplant but again this treatment did not succeed and in November of 2012 he relapsed. The cancer had return. This was the low point of Matthew’s journey as the doctor’s gave us the grave news that he had only single digit chances of survival.
As parents, we were met with a horrible decision to consider palliative care for Matthew in order to have 3 remaining months with him or to consider continuing with further chemotherapy and radiation making him extremely susceptible in order to continue a fight in which we knew the odds were not in his favour.
But Matthew wanted to continue to fight, as did we, so we were very fortunate to receive a third bone marrow transplant in January of 2013.
I am beyond thrilled to announce that some 20 months later Matthew is well on his way in his recovery. He has been home for some time now and has had a chance to enjoy his first summer doing most normal things an 11 year old would be doing. He is still on certain anti-rejection medications which make him immune compromised. This means that we still take measures to protect him from infection. We are hopeful that Matthew will be able to return to a school setting this upcoming January.
The list of people and organizations that I am indebted is large and wide ranging. As a parent of a child who is surviving cancer, I would like to stress to you my sincere appreciation to all of the people who have helped us along our journey.
In closing, I would humbly ask you to consider supporting the fight against childhood cancer by offering a pledge for this year’s Sears Great Canadian Run. The proceeds go directly toward this ongoing battle in which many kids continue to fight.