The Stephen Austin Maszczak Foundation For A Cure
Stephen Austin Maszczak
May 30th, 2003 - March 14th, 2011
Stephen Austin is a beautiful, energetic 7 year old boy who loves spending every moment he can with his mom, dad, 3 beautiful sisters, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. He loves anything that involves being with the ones he loves, especially games, laughing and being outside!
In Mid January Stephen started to have headaches frequently and began to tilt his head to focus better. Unfortunately knowing what had happened with my brother Austin 15 years ago (who has passed from a metastasized brain tumor), I was very aware that frequent headaches are not a good thing with children. Less than two weeks later I noticed that one of his eyes was not moving as it should. I then made an appointment that same day to have him examined by our family Pediatrician. After a basic exam, she referred us to a Neurologist that we saw the following Monday. The Neurologist told us Stephen needed an MRI which he had the next morning. Before big Stephen and little Stephen walked through the door after the appointment, I had two doctors call me. The one doctor asked me if I was sitting down and if not, to please sit. She said Stephen's MRI showed what looked like a tumor in his brain stem and that it was in a very bad location, she also said it looked to be cancer. We were told we needed to move very quickly. My pediatrician worked very hard to get us an appointment with a neurosurgeon. When we arrived at the neurosurgeon's office she said to us "This does not look like a pontine glioma to me at all. This looks like it may be basilar meningitis or an abscess". Stephen was then admitted to Morristown Memorial Hospital on February 1st, 2011 to be treated for the possible infection & to perform more tests to continue to rule out cancer. After many tests including a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), sinus culture, multiple MRI's and a brain biopsy, Stephen was diagnosed on February 15, 2011 with a High Grade Diffuse Pontine Glioma. (Click here for more information about Gliomas). On March 14th, 2011 Stephen Austin Maszczak walked hand-in-hand with Jesus into eternal life.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
1 Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And Faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
Stephen's 1st Year In Heaven
Oh Stephen, my precious Stephen, tomorrow will be 1 year from the worst day of my life and the best day of your life, your Easter Day. Tomorrow marks such an important day in our lives. A day when you went home, to your real home with Jesus, where you have no more pain, no more tears, no more sorrows. Yet I, still have them all. Everyday without you my heart just aches. Everyday without you is just so so hard. I long for the day when my heart which is missing a piece that you hold with you now, will be whole again. Jesus will make my heart whole again when I reach those celestial shores, meet him there and carries me home. My heart that holds so much pain. You, my heart, my love are worth every bit of this pain I carry with me daily. I feel myself as though I could actually have a conversation with my pain say "bring it, bring it on pain" cause you, YOU are worth every tear I cry and every ache my heart feels for you. I miss you just as much as I did the day you left this cruel world. Tomorrow will be just as hard as everyday leading up to it. People say to me, "it's coming up soon". What? What does that even mean? Do they not know that everyday is the same. Everyday I wake up to you not being here. Actually, today is one of the hardest for me. Today is that last day that I played a game with you and the last day you really spoke to me. I still think how did that happen? How did you go from wanting to still play all those games that evening and wanting to win those tickets for all those prizes and catching a fish with pop pop earlier to not being here tomorrow? Your strength my love is such an inspiration to me. Your hope to succeed in those games and your determination to win them are such an amazing testimony to who you are. Not knowing that you would take your last breaths less than a day later is crazy to me. You still wanted to win and didn't ever give up. This day is so hard as you lost your ability to swallow and still tried so hard to eat. This day kills me. Oh Stephen, my Stephen I still can't believe you are gone. It still seems like you were just here. You were just here buddy. Just dancing with me. You were just fine. You were just perfect. I still don't know how this happened. I feel so torn and crazy. I feel like you were tortured and it was so cruel to you and you were so innocent and it's not fair and I know life is not meant to be easy, but I struggle with the pain you had to endure as such a young child. I struggle with the things you had to endure. And then, I know you are healed, I know you are riding your bike and happy and nothing from this world matters anymore. I know if I asked, begged and pleaded you would not come back to me, you would not want to come back to me. I know this. I know you would choose heaven over me and this world everyday, every second. I know you are perfect and happy and you are in the arms of Jesus, but I hurt so bad, so unbelievably bad without you. I miss everything about you. I miss your face and your smile and your laugh and your absolute LOVE for life. You just loved life and living it so much. I miss that so bad. I find things joyful again my buzzy when I do things for you. I find doing the things you loved so joyful and so happy. For awhile I didn't want to do things and were afraid of them, since you weren't here, I didn't want to do them. But now when I do them, I feel as though you are with me. I want to do everything you loved, everything. I want to even catch little chipmunks now. I love you. You hold the first moment of when I realized what unconditional love truly meant on the day you were born. My love for you only grows stronger. You carry a piece of my heart. I hear a song alot on the radio now and I so picture you shouting and singing that chorus those moments before Jesus welcomed you into his kingdom "all I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong. Take this world and give me JESUS, this is not where I belong". You are home, my sweet sweet boy. You are home, my love. You are home hoola hooping, riding your bike, playing soccer, fishing, catching butterflies, frogs, snakes, spiders and all of God's creations, eating tons of food, swinging, dancing, playing games, on God's shore. The best beach EVER. You are home with all of your crazy collections. You are home, you are home, you are home. I still wish you were with me at home though. I wish I could just wrap my arms around you and hold you and never let go. I wish I could feel your tiny hands on my face. I listen to your voice daily on your messages and I wish I could hear you in person. I love you. I will celebrate your life everyday. I am so blessed, unbelievably blessed to be your mom. God lent you to me for almost 8 years. I am blessed that God chose me. You have blessed my life more than anyone could ask for. Mommy loves you more. I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the grains of sand on the shore. I love you more than the tallest tree, and the deepest ocean, I LOVE YOU MORE... I can't imagine the party up in heaven they are having for you tomorrow. Happy Easter Day my Stephen Austin, Happy Easter Day.
Psalm 71:20-21 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
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We are walking in honor of our sweet Stephen and to raise money to find a cure that will help others who are diagnosed with brain tumors, with hope that they will not have to endure the pain and loss that has affected all of us
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