“My name is: Garrett Michael Boofias. My birthday is: I am 5 years old. My address is: I am a Bulldog!”
Those are the first words of Garrett Matthias’ obituary. Like he told us, he was five, and a boy so filled with energy and light that his spirit has captivated the world.
Garrett’s favourite people included Batman and “the grandparents with the new house” (he was quite fond of “the grandparents with the camper”, too). In his final goodbye, the little boy spoke of wanting to become a professional boxer one day, how much he loved playing with his sister Delphina, and his favourite blue bunny.
“Things I hate: Pants!, dirty stupid cancer, when they access my port, needles, and the monkey nose that smells like cherry farts.”
That second hatred – dirty stupid cancer – is what took Garrett away from his mother Emilie and father Ryan, who live in Iowa, United States.
“The left side of his face looked like it was paralysed when he smiled,” Emilie told the New York Times on Saturday of the first red flag something was awry. It took a number of doctors to pass the oddity off as Bell’s palsy before one doctor arrived at a far more sinister – and crushingly accurate – diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma.
The dirty, stupid reality was that little Garrett, then four, had an inoperable tumour snaking its way between his temporal lobe and inner ear.
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