BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Like most six year olds, Matthew Eggers is bursting with energy, and joy. But a year ago, he didn’t have enough strength to make it through one of his baseball games.
“He just could not stand through the inning in the baseball game,” his mom, Tracy, told News 4. “We were like ‘you gotta stand up, you’re going to get hit by a ball.’ He said, ‘I’m just to weak, I just can’t.'”
Days later, doctors diagnosed Matthew with Burkitt lymphoma. He went through eight months of treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He’s been back home since January, is going to school, and has his hair back. But for his parents, the worry never goes away.
“We came up on the 3 months where we were doing all the scans, and you don’t want it to be back, but you also want them to catch it if it does come back,” explained his father, Eric.
“You don’t want your child on chemo, or on the drug, but being on those drugs is what’s keeping that cancer away,” Tracy said. “So now that we’re off of that stuff, every time leading up to those tests, to those scans, you get worried that it’s coming back.”
Even though this has been the hardest year of Matthew’s life, and the fight’s not ever, he has made a lot of new friends and memories. He developed a close connection with hockey star Jack Eichel, and even dropped the puck at the Sabres “Hockey Fights Cancer” game in the fall.
“People have said to him, so how’s your buddy doing, he’s playing pretty good,” his mom said. Matthew usually replies, “Yeah, he’s my buddy, we’re best friends.”
Another new friend, Bridget, is a volunteer from Make-A-Wish of Western New York. She’s helping Matthew plan his dream trip to California. Next month, Matthew, his sister Chelsea, and his parents will visit Disneyland, Legoland, and his cousins, who he has never met.
“Being on the plane, going to Disney, going to Legoland, meeting his cousins, it’s all going to be first, new things,” Tracy said when asked what she thinks her son is looking forward to the most about their trip. “Actually being at the ocean, because he’s never seen it. It’s going to be a really truly wonderful experience, can’t wait for it to happen.”
On Saturday, April 23rd, Make-A-Wish of Western New York will host their annual Evening of Wishes at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Funds raised will stay in Western New York to help grant the wishes of children in our region who are fighting life threatening illnesses, like Matthew. If you would like to purchase tickets to attend, click here.