Bats For Matt Softball Tournament

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IT’S NOT THE PEOPLE WHO BENCH PRESS A THOUSAND POUNDS THAT ARE THE STRONGEST IN THE WORLD, OR THE ONES WHO PULL CARS WITH THEIR BODIES, OR THE PEOPLE WHO CAN DO A MARATHON IN LESS THAN AN HOUR, BUT THE ONES WHO HAVE THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT CANCER, AND NEVER EVER GIVE UP ARE THE STRONGEST EVER!


 

 

Matts Story

Matthew had just graduated high school in June of 2007.   He was always the picture of health.  Active in high school baseball, it was one of his three loves, the other two being girls and hunting. He didn’t know what he wanted to do after graduating, like most kids so he decided to try his hand at landscaping.  He landed a job with Brickman Landscaping, a well known top national landscaping company.  He loved working with his hands and being outdoors.  Within three months, he had been promoted to supervisor and had his own crew.  He was the youngest in the company’s history to hold this position. In October of that same year, Matthew started getting sick and loosing weight.  He would throw up several times a week.  By December he had lost 45 pounds.  We knew by then something was wrong. He started seeing specialists and having countless blood draws done.  On December 17th, Matthew was diagnosed with leukemia. The next day, he was admitted to The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The following day he had surgery on his head to have a port placed on his scull so that chemotherapy could be administered through the port. 
And so the saga began…
Matthew went through rigorous bouts of chemo treatments with most of them lasting for days in the hospital. He would get a few days off and then back to the hospital again for another stay. We spent countless days back and forth to the hospital day after day after day. A search began for a bone marrow donor.  This was Matthew’s only hope for recovery. It took several weeks but a match was found.  His transplant was scheduled for June 12. After his stem cell transplant, Matthew was quarantined for 30 days.  This was to prevent any germs from getting to him.  Unfortunately, Matthew picked up several “bugs” in the hospital.  One of them being a very deadly fungus, aspergillus.  This fungus attached to his lungs and made it almost impossible for him to recover.  The fungus eventually spread and took his life. Matthew survived for seven months after his transplant.  We were ever so grateful to his anonymous donor. He succumbed to this dreadful horrible disease on January 9, 2009. Since his death a softball tournament has been played every year in July to honor Matthew and keep his memory alive.  On average, 200 people sign up to play. The monies raised have been put back into the community to help other families struggling with the ordeals of cancer.    A $2000 memorial scholarship has been established and given to a graduating baseball player and softball from his high school.  We also help send a child with a lift threatening illness on their dream “Hunt of a Lifetime”. Matthew leaves behind his mother Rose, father Michael, older brothers Bubba and Danny, younger sister Deanna, sister in law Allison and nephews Landon and Blake Ciarlone.


 

Thank you for letting me laugh and letting me cry.

 

Thank you for your cheerful hellos and tearful good byes.

 

Thank you for asking me questions and saying his name.

 

Thank you for not understanding but for sharing my pain.

 


God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.


Eightfold Key to My Life

By Matt Ciarlone

  • I will always be trustworthy and loyal
  • I will always respect my elders
  • I will give everything I do 110% effort
  • I will have a positive attitude towards life
  • I will never take anything or anyone for granted
  • I will always forgive but never forget
  • I will love people for who they are
  • I will keep my friends close but my enemies closer

 

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