I decided I would post the posting from Mitchell's family. They have shown such courage, strength, and love, and I want as many people as possible to know of them and how hard they live, understand, and love.
Here is the posting on Caring Bridge for Mitchell by his mother, father, and brother, Rhonda, Dave, and Adam. May our awareness help ease their pain.
Born Feb 25, 1992, Gone to Heaven Nov 12, 2007
Glioblastoma Multiforme (aka GBM) is the type of cancer that Mitchell was diagnosed with on Jan 30, 2007. GBM is a type IV aggressive malignant cancer usually found in elderly people and usually in the brain. Mitchell had the rarest of all, GBM in the spinal cord. We tried to confirm the prognosis from a multitude of specialists across the US. On each phone call or face to face meeting we received a very somber “Oh, that’s what he has… I’m sorry. They all agreed with the course of action our oncologist recommended, and also agreed that basically there was no cure for GBM. It was the rarity of GBM in the spinal cord (1 or 2 a year in the entire US) that provided a limited knowledge base. In addition, GBM’s ability to change/adapt according to the type of chemo introduced, make it impossible to eliminate.
Oncologists that we spoke with, have seen only a handful of kids with GBM in the spinal cord over the last twenty years and none ever lived past a year. None of the kids ever walked, they lived on respirators, and their quality of life is dismal. In the months following the surgery Mitchell overcame all of the obstacles set before him. The doctors said he may never breathe on his own again, he did. They said he will never eat on his own again, he did. They said he will never walk again, he did. He overcame all of those physical obstacles and at the same time taught all of us so many lessons.
We never told Mitchell, family, or friends of the type of cancer because we were always hoping that Mitchell would be the ONE and that we would find a miracle to keep him close to us. We didn’t want Mitchell to have an easy out just because the other kids didn’t make it. We didn’t want people to feel sorry for Mitchell each time you saw him. We wanted to keep Mitchell upbeat and positive throughout this journey. We wanted the doctors to learn from Mitchell that with strength and determination, kids could have a thriving life during their time with the disease.
We have kept our focus on the goodness of God and to find blessings in all situations. Four weeks ago, we had a close call and had to call 911. During these past weeks, Mitchell gave us the opportunity as a family to sit down and talk about a subject that is taboo. Dying which is part of living. Mitchell went from being angry and frustrated to finding inner peace and wanting to live again. Each day, we would read restaurant menus that described in details the items that Mitchell would eat once he was able to swallow again. Mitchell told us that he didn’t want to die because he had so much to live for, wanted to make more good memories, and wanted to be with us. Mitchell went to sleep last night and some time after midnight he surrendered himself to God as I lay near his bed.
Mitchell, my sunshine, you will always be in our hearts every moment of every day. The cancer is gone along with all it’s pain. Your heart is not hurting anymore. The angels have come to carry you away so you can be with God and Jesus. Time is an illusion and soon we will all be together again.
Sunday, November 11th was the last time that Mitchell saw daylight. We were able to bring him out to a rock fountain on the GMCH grounds for some sunshine and fresh air. We jumped at the opportunity to take a few pictures. We removed mask that had kept him breathing for the past couple of weeks so we could see his face. Mitchell knew that his time with us was very short, yet he gave us a smile that could light up the sky. That was Mitchell’s way, he was always thinking of others before himself.
As difficult as it is to say goodbye, we are comforted to see Mitchell at rest. He isn’t suffering anymore. We are all going to carry Mitchell in our hearts forever. We are planning on having a celebration of his life on December 1st. It will be open for all of you to share the gifts that the past 15 ½ years have brought us. We are working out the details and will update the site as soon as they are available.
Thank you all for being our pillars of strength for us.
With great love,
Mitchell, Adam, Rhonda, Dave