Prayers for Zachary, David, Matthew & Molly
Sometimes I browse fundraising sites like GiveForward and GoFundMe so that I can give a bit of money to families who need it so much. That’s how I found Zachary. He was diagnosed with an inoperable, malignant tumor on his brain stem last May. This type of tumor is one of the deadliest childhood cancers, but research for its treatment is underfunded. So Zachary’s father, David, took it upon himself to seek out every single expert in this rare tumor – going as far to connect with the FDA and the National Institute of Health to enroll Zachary in clinical trials that were the first-ever of their kind.
I had been following Zachary’s story for months and I finally reached out to David via email last week (prior to Ana’s visit at Columbia) to let him know how amazing and inspirational his updates have been for me, but also that I was out here hoping the best for Zachary. David emailed me back immediately and asked me to call him, so I did. We had a long conversation – and this stranger who I had been silently reading about for months became a real person. We talked for a long time. I was glad for that phone call – it helps parents of sick children when we connect with other parents because then this scary journey feels less lonely.
After our call, I got another update on Zachary from GiveForward. This was on Friday while Ana was getting her scan – they had moved from a Cure to a Care phase in Zachary’s treatment. Basically, they had done everything they could and wanted to keep Zachary as comfortable as possible. Then this morning when I woke up I got the worst update possible. Zachary passed away peacefully this morning at 6 a.m. My heart which has broken so many times over the last two years just broke a little more. Zachary was about Ana’s age – maybe a year younger. His time on this planet was far too short. You can read about his journey on his GiveForward page – the updates are truly worth reading. David, Zachary’s dad, is amazing.
Please send prayers and healing thoughts to this family – David, Molly and Matthew (Zachary’s brother) who no longer have this sweet child in their lives. And prayers for Zachary too – a child who was so brave, and fought so hard – may he rest in peace now that his suffering is over.
And one more note in honor of Zachary. Childhood Cancer Research is extremely important. Take a few minutes to watch (and share) this video from St. Baldric’s. They’re doing good work in the field of cancer research – consider donating some money to the cause.