Together With Tony

On October 12th, 2016, Anthony (“Tony”) Maschino, our amazing 3 year-old and brother to Samuel (“Sam”), 4, and Leanne, 8, was diagnosed with an inoperable, terminal brain cancer. Thanks to friends, family, and local and online communities, we were able to squeeze a lifetime of memories into the remaining time we had. Tony lost his fight with the aggressive, very rare cancer, just weeks later on December 9th, 2016.

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Leading Up To Diagnosis

On October 11th, Tony was trying to walk down the few stairs from our porch to our driveway, something he has been able to do on his own for some time. This time, he fell and scraped his head on the ground. Worried about the fall we brought him to the local hospital where a CT scan showed nothing of concern from the fall, but did find a mass. They quickly transferred us to the larger regional hospital for a MRI

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Diagnosis

The day of the MRI was, and still is, a blur. Words and phrases like “brainstem glioma”, “tumor”, “cancer”, “high grade”, and “aggressive” all summed up to be the worst news a parent could receive. Our little boy was given an estimate of 6 months to be with us, without much confidence in that number. Further, they said there was no cure nor could typical cancer treatments work. Due to the location in the brainstem, the pons, a critical area used to pass messages from the brain to the body and to support things like balance, there was no way to surgically remove the tumor and without surgery there is little that radiation could achieve beyond potentially extending his time with us for a couple of months

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Today

Since Tony's passing our family has worked to stay active helping others who find themselves having to face brainstem gliomas, DIPG, and other forms of childhood cancer. We continue to celebrate his life within our family, and volunteer, donate, and raise money in his name for childhood cancer causes. The GoFundMe site that was created for Tony remains active, and any donations received are put into these efforts

Visit Tony's GoFundMe Site

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Thanks

We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received since Tony’s diagnosis. We will leave you with a copy of our post to Facebook to announce this to our close friends and family, as the words still ring true:

“Dear friends and family, this week our amazing little Tony was diagnosed with a brainstem glioma, a terminal brain cancer. We’ve started to receive thoughts and prayers and appreciate them all. Please know that while we may be unable to reply to all your messages they mean so much to us. We will try to be in touch as much as possible as we work through this trying time. Our world has been turned upside down, but we are going to surround Tony with as much love and support as possible to make the remaining time we have with him the best he could ask for. We appreciate your support and patience with us, I’m sure we won’t be the most stable or reliable for a while, but trust that we love you and will be in touch as we can.”
– Love – Shawn, Stephanie, Leanne, Sam, & Tony