Late Chicopee teen’s sixteenth birthday remembered with cancer patient support bags
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A local mom is remembering her son who passed away from a form of cancer on what would’ve been his sixteenth birthday.
“He was the sweetest most laid-back kid you could ever imagine. And I remember the doctors when he went on steroids said he’s going to develop road rage and I was actually excited to see him angry and it never came,” said Dawn Mattoon, mother of Dominik Neto.
Dominik Neto was just under eight months shy of his sixteenth birthday when he passed away from leukemia.
Losing a child is an indescribable pain a mother would never want to face. But for Dawn Mattoon this is her reality.
When Dominik was getting ready to head back to school post pandemic learning, he was rushed to the er with a severe bloody nose.
“I remember seeing a sea of doctors and I said ‘oh somebody’s gonna get bad news’ we were those bad (news) people,” Mattoon said.
Shortly after, Dominik was diagnosed with a type of leukemia with a 90 percent survival rate. But despite the statistics, Dominik still lost his battle with the disease.
Now, Dawn said she and her loved ones will still be commemorating Dominik’s milestone birthday, by giving back.
“During our stays and procedures, Dominik got a lot of gifts and a lot of generosity and so this is our way to also give back to these children,” Mattoon said.
With the help of donations, Dominik’s family is donating 90 treatment support bags for other patients battling cancer.
In the canvas bags, patients can find items like a fleece blanket, hand sanitizer, heating pads for leg cramps fidget toys and candy to help ease the saline tastes they experience during chemotherapy.
The bags will be dropped off at Baystate Hematology and Oncology Clinic on the morning of Friday September 23rd.
That date marks not only Dominik’s birthday but also the five-month anniversary of his death.
Neto said she hopes that through this act of kindness, she can show support for families weathering the same storm and spread awareness on childhood cancers.
“People don’t even know about the stuff until it’s too late that makes it like heartbreaking…Whatever you can do donate blood write we need more funding we need more awareness it’s not fair,” Mattoon said.
She added that she knows her son would be proud of the work his family is doing in his honor.
“He would be excited he would be so excited he would go and drop these off Dominik was so loving and so caring,” Mattoon said.
Mattoon told Western Mass News that she hopes to continue remember Dominik’s birthday every year with something special like this.
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