UPDATED: Oct. 28, 2014 2:30 p.m.
LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — A 13-year-old boy in Leesburg, Virginia has a big team surrounding him with support during his battle with cancer.
They call him MVP #12. They call him courageous. Beyond strong. And they call themselves Team Mathias, a network of thousands of family, friends, and famous athletes supporting the 13-year-old boy who is in a fierce fight with cancer.
In July of 2012, Mathias Giordano was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, cancer of the bone. Over the past two years, he has endured biopsies, port placement, 29 rounds of chemo, 27 rounds of radiation, three major lung surgeries and an amputation of his right leg.
“They have been told at this time that there are no more options for him to help him fight osteosarcoma,” says Adrianna Duggan, a friend of the Giordano family.
Team Mathias has a goal of 5,000 letters of support and encouragement to Mathias. His prosthetics doctor, Dr. John Hattingh, will donate $1 to the charity of Mathias’ choice for each letter sent.
Mathias’ team says time is of the essence.
You can send letters to:
c/o Prosthetic Care Facility of VA
44115 Woodridge Parkway
Leesburg VA 20176
A second initiative for Mathias involves applications for “Cure Childhood Cancer” license plates in Virginia.
Team Mathias has designed a proposed “special interest” license plate and are going through the process required by DMV to bring this new plate to life. Part of that approval process requires the submission of 450 prepaid applications for the new plate.
The process is not a short one — it can take up to two years start to finish and generally takes about nine months to develop the new plate once the 450 applications have been submitted.
As of Oct. 23, the team is slightly over half way there for the required number with about 250 applications. It cost $10 for a license plate, and $20 for a customize license plate.
The team hopes that with getting the license plates out there, it will bring recognition and get the word out about childhood cancer.
“With recognition will hopefully start coming the funding and with the funding can come research to help find proper treatments for children as there is only 2 percent of cancer money yearly goes towards trying to fund and research childhood cancer,” Duggan says. “Children receive adult chemo treatments and adult cancer treatments that do terrible things to their bodies. Even if they do survive there are still life-long issues that they can possibly face one they are in remission.”
The team says there is a chance they can get the bill passed if they receive 450 applications by the time the General Assembly meets next month.
The bill is being drafted so that they can move quickly after those applications are complete. If they do not receive 450 applications in time, they will have to wait until January.
On Oct. 28, Team Mathias announced they reached the needed number of applications to get the bill passed.
Duggan says Mathias has been an inspiration to the community ever since he has been diagnosed with this disease.
“He has been very adamant about spreading the word about childhood cancer, not just his cancer,” Duggan says. “It’s the least we can do as a community to let him know that we are all with him in his struggle and in his fight”