BLUEMONT, Va. - It was the first day of school in Loudoun County; however, one high school freshman will be entering the school halls without his brother.
“We try to make it as normal as possible," said Roya Giordano. "We’ll always think about ‘what if.’”
“This is the reality of childhood cancer. This is where my son is resting. He should be here, he deserves to be here, starting school today” she said.
Mathias was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, an extremely aggressive form of bone cancer, at age 11. For 29 months, he fought a brutal battle.
“So many rounds of chemo, he had to have so many rounds of radiation, so many surgeries, he had to have his legs amputated.”
At age 13, he passed away.
“Live a full life, go to college, get married, have kids," said Roya. "Mathias will never do that. I mean, he didn’t make it to high school.”
Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes. Only 4 percent of U.S. federal funding for cancer research goes towards pediatric cancer.
For years she has fought to have the White House “go gold,” or be illuminated gold for one September evening in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Roughly 130,000 people have signed her petition.