Matthew Melena Benefit Fund

For: Matthew Melena
Organizer: Friends and Family of the Melena Family and the Mount Carbon Elementary Community
$12,435
of $20,000 goal.
Raised by 77 donors
62% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Matthew Melena is a sweet 6 year old kindergartner. At age 3, he fell off of a swing. His parents thought he had a concussion, so they took him to the doctor.

What they found was Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer typically found in men aged 65 or older. Unfortunately, a small percentage of this type of tumors are found in children. His was located near his brain stem.

After successful surgery, and countless radiation and chemo therapy sessions, everyone, include his doctors, were pleased with his very positive response to therapies, which actively ended in April, 2012. Click here for more info on Matt's previous battle with this awful disease.

During a routine MRI in December 2013, another tumor was found. Matthew underwent his second surgery to remove that tumor on January 14th, 2014, just 4 days after his action packed 6th birthday. He made remarkable improvements, including returning to school just two weeks after undergoing brain surgery.  His post-op pathology results were encouraging, considering the alternative. His doctors were nearly certain that he again had another GBM, however this time he has been diagnosed with a Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA). An MRI in late February would help them decide what steps were next.

Unfortunately, during that MRI appointment, Matthew’s doctors discovered yet another tumor. This tumor was not present on Matthew’s post-surgery MRI from January, which means this tumor has grown fast. Matthew will be undergoing his third surgery on March 13th 2014 to remove this tumor, and will need to undergo radiation after he has recovered some from surgery.

This little cutie pie needs our love and support, and so does his family. The medical bills, as I'm sure you can imagine, are astronomical.  Once Matthew gets home, he will be on medications, need additional treatments, and tests, and of course, will be having radiation treatments. Insurance doesn't cover all of the costs that the family is going to have. Matthew hasn't been approved for Medicaid yet, so it's all insurance and out of pocket expenses for them right now. Even with help from family, Mike and Carol will be on unpaid Family Medical Leave during Matt's recovery, and it's very difficult to make ends meet when you don't have a paycheck coming in. 


Please donate to help him and his family get through this very difficult time.

If you don't want to donate online, we have also established an account at FirstBank (any FirstBank will take your donation) - below is where you can mail a donation - Please make checks payable to The Matthew Melena Benefit Fund:

FirstBank
The Matthew Melena Benefit Fund
5125 S. Kipling St.
Littleton, CO 80127

The following are other ways you can help:

  • The shirt that Matthew is wearing in his picture posted here is available for sale for $20.00 including shipping. The shirts were designed especially with Matthew in mind. 100% of the proceeds from every tee are being donated to the family. The shirts can be purchased at www.matthewstroops.bigcartel.com. This is an awesome way to show your support for Matthew and his family both visually and financially.
  • Gift cards to Walmart, Sam's Club, Safeway, Jiffy Lube, gas, Netflix, Comcast Credits, Excel Credits, Target, Housekeeping services. For more information on how to contribute this way, including the address where these gift cards can be mailed, please email Jeana Simpson.
  • We will be having a silent auction at Skate City on April 6th 2014 from 6:00-8:00pm. 50% of the admission of all paid skaters will be donated to the family, and 100% of all funds collected during the silent auction will be donated to the family as well.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 17, 2014

Posted on March 17, 2014

Hi all! 
Just wanted to give you a quick update on Matthew.
HE'S HOME!!!!! 
He got home today (Sunday) around 3:00. He's really tired, but otherwise doing well. He has some right sided weakness and has some minor vision impairment on his right side, but considering the alternatives or other possibilities when going through brain surgery, this is minimal. Future treatments will include additional Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, and he will of course be facing radiation soon. The doctors removed as much of the tumor as they could, but there is a tiny bit left that was too close to the brain stem to risk surgically removing. Radiation should zap the rest of it. It will probably take a few weeks before the pathology results are available to know what kind of tumor this one was and if other treatments will be necessary.
The family isn't sure when he will be returning to school, yet, as he will be undergoing radiation as soon as he's able to. Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day - I will be wearing my Imagine For Matthew tee - maybe you will wear yours too? :)
Also, please mark your calendars for April 6th from 6:00-8:00 pm at Skate City. This will be the night of the silent auction at Skate City. We have a TON of great stuff so far (autographed Broncos football, Rockies tickets, Gift Card Bouquet, Coach purse and MUCH MORE!), and all of the funds raised during the auction will go directly to the family. ;) Additionally, Skate City will be donating 50% of all paid admissions to the family. Even if you don't skate, please come, pay admission and hang out - you'll get a free slice of pizza with your paid admission, and 50% of that admission goes to the family, even if you don't skate. Wear your green that night too, AND PLEASE SHARE THIS INFO WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!!
If you didn't catch the video from 9News, you can watch it here (you don't need to login to Facebook to watch it) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=600986966661048&set=vb.571281949631550&type=2&theater.
Here is the link to the story on 9news.com: http://www.9news.com/story/news/education/2014/03/14/school-goes-green-for-cancer/6421697/
As a reminder, ways to help are below:
  • www.youcaring.com/matthewmelena
  • www.matthewstroops.bigcartel.com
  • www.facebook.com/matthewstroops
  • FirstBank locations - checks payable to the Matthew Melena Benefit Fund
Mike and Carol and the entire Melena family are so incredibly grateful for your help and support during this difficult time. The kind words and meals and offers to help have been so appreciated. :)
I will of course continue to keep you all updated. 
Thanks again for all of your love and support!!
Jeana

Posted on March 15, 2014

Posted on March 15, 2014

Watching Monster's U. He laughs then suddenly says "Take it easy on Gramma", then laughed his head off. What does THAT mean? Who cares. Great to hear him laughing! He's doing so good. He was a hungry mister. Scarfing up some crackers and juice earlier. Hoping to get out of ICU tonight! Thank you for all of your prayers and support!!!!


Posted on March 13, 2014

Posted on March 13, 2014

Hello all! Matthew got out of surgery around 2:00 today. It went much faster than expected! The doctors were very aggressive removing the tumor, and got out as much as they could. Matthew is recovering well. Now we wait for the pathology reports....

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