Birthday cards requested for child with leukemia
By Carrie A. Mizell
Bridget Mathis is not like most birthday girls.
It’s unlikely that Bridget will celebrate her 3rd birthday on December 19 with a princess theme party; instead she will be recovering from another round of chemotherapy to treat her leukemia.
Bridget’s grandmother, Lisa Mathis, would like to ask everyone who has prayed for, and are continuing to pray for Bridget since she was diagnosed with leukemia at 20-months-old to please send the little girl a birthday card this year with a prayer written inside.
“We would like to do something very special for her this year,” Lisa said. “ She will have chemo on December 15 and a spinal tap with chemo on December 16, so we are not sure how she will be feeling on her birthday.”
Icing Smiles has volunteered to make Bridget a birthday cake, and Lisa said she hopes the little girl will get tons of birthday cards to make the big day special.
“We would like for Bridget to sit down someday when all the treatments are done and read all the special prayers that so many people have sent her to help her make it through this journey,” Lisa said. “I want her to have a little glimpse into how much she was loved and how many people prayed for her without even knowing her. Thank you to everyone in advance for helping us fulfill this wish for our baby.”
Since the Gilchrist County Journal first ran an article on October 14, 2010, letting the community know that little Bridget Mathis had been diagnosed with leukemia, she has undergone numerous chemo treatments; and her leukemia is now in remission.
Because of the serious nature of Bridget’s leukemia, she will have to continue treatment until January 25, 2013.
“As Dr. Slanton explained it to us, all it takes is for one cancer cell to be hiding and if they quit treating her now that one cell can become billions of cells and then it would be too late for Bridget, so we will continue treatment for another year,” Lisa said. “She takes a daily chemo pill, and her once brown hair is now coming back in blonde. She has regained her weight and is becoming Miss Chatty Kathy…we love each and every moment of it!”
Throughout her battle with a disease that has ravaged her little body, Bridget’s family, including her parents Edward and Heather Mathis, have kept their faith in God and feel strongly that He will cure her.
“She is a fighter and she will conquer the cancer that has invaded her little body,” Lisa said. “Bridget has lost all of those beautiful brown curls, but it just makes her blue eyes shine even more. She is so brave; she does each treatment with little fuss, as now she knows what is going to happen on each clinic visit.”
The Mathis family has watched Bridget cry from being in so much pain that she sometimes needed morphine. They have seen her throw up continually, have high fevers, mouth sores and blisters on her little feet from the chemo. They have witnessed her receive blood transfusions and platelets as a result of her cancer.
“Bridget has made many friends this year and has lost many friends due to cancer,” Lisa said, “Her last little friend to pass away was named Journey. She and Bridget were around the same age. Journey would come to visit Bridget at the door of her room because Bridget was in isolation and could not leave her room. Journey would go to the playroom and bring Bridget toys and they would throw a ball back and forth and she would rub Bridget’s baldhead and Bridget would rub hers and whey would just laugh, as if that was the funniest thing ever….”
“We have to raise money to do whatever we can to save these children,” Lisa said. “Too many have lost their lives this year.”
Bridget’s grandmother recalls the day her family was told the devastating news that Bridget had leukemia.
“Cancer, I thought. We don’t get cancer; that is for other people, not us and especially not our 20-month-old baby,” Lisa said. “Boy, was I wrong.”
Bridget is like any other little girl; she likes to dress up in high heel shoes, have her nails painted and put on makeup. She’s like any other 3-year-old…except that she has cancer.
Please mail birthday cards to Miss Bridget Mathis at 6698 South State Road Hwy. 349, Branford, FL 32008.