There are a million and one things wrong with this photo. It’s a photo taken by Roya Giordano at the graveside of her son, Mathias. The day Roya posted this photo, it had been 1,085 days without her precious son on this earth. Mathias passed on December 7th, 2014 after a 29-month long battle with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer diagnosed mostly in boys, mostly whom are under the age of 25. Mathias was just 11 years old when he and his family were given the devastating diagnosis. Mom’s should never, ever have to post a photo like this, or count the number of days it has been since their little one was last kissed or hugged by them.
We wanted to share Mathias’ story with you and have again selected the foundation set up in his name, Team Mathias, as our December Community Outreach Partner as it is our hope that one day, there will be a cure for all childhood cancers. Spreading Mathias’ story is one way we can honor him, remember him, and spread awareness about childhood cancer.
Mathias had an amazing smile. Our bet is lots of 11 year old girls were smitten with him! He was funny and giving of himself, always looking for ways to serve others while he himself was battling an awful disease. Mathias, Roya, and Jay Coakley, founder of Ellie’s Hats, worked together toward the end of Mathias’ battle to create a Childhood Cancer specialty plate in Virginia, after learning one did not yet exist. (We urge you to order a CC plate through the DMV.) We posted last year about the tremendous LOVE for Mathias that is so apparent when looking through photos on the Team Mathias Facebook page. Since that post, more beautiful photos have been published of people coming together in Mathias’ memory to do good for others. Sorrowfully, another photo posted was the one above, whose realization smacks you in the face that childhood cancer is not rare, is desperately underfunded, and sadly not spoken of enough in our society. It’s a harsh reality, but one that will not be changed by looking the other way or avoiding the topic.
We urge you to please learn more about the facts of childhood cancer. Then we urge you to do something. There are some amazing ideas on the Team Mathias site, on their Take Action page. Register with Be the Match, donate blood, sponsor a Team Mathias Care package, volunteer at an event, share facts on your Facebook page.
This December, Salon Khouri will be sharing Mathias’ story with our community. We are also donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Loudoun locations to Team Mathias.