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. We will use this website to keep friends and family updated, celebrate the time we have left with him, and to try to help others who receive similar heart-breaking news.

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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

Everything has been moving so fast. We are researching treatment options, scheduling doctor's visits, looking into palliative care, and above all else, trying to make Tony, Sam, and Leanne as happy and comfortable as we can during this trying time. The amount of support from family, friends, and strangers is enormous and overwhelming. As we are still in the first days of this journey this website will be fairly limited. As we adjust to our new reality and have time to update it we will add a blog section and post updates there. We will also provide links to the resources we've found in hopes they help others.

Visit Tony's GoFundMe Site

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Thanks

We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support as we go through these events. 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