Posted by Steve Lettau on Dec 17, 2018

Back Story:

Earlier this year Lynn Streeter introduced us to an exceptional young man by the name of Matthew Ceelen. Matt's story began with a letter to our club requesting financial support for his Eagle Scout project of building two bat houses to be placed in the Mequon Nature Preserve. With the request approved, we heard what Paul Harvey used to call "The rest of the story".

Matthew was diagnosed with bone cancer just weeks shy of his 15th birthday. In medical terms it is a high grade sclerosing subtype of osteosarcoma. Approximately 450 children in North America are diagnosed with osteosarcoma each year. He is 1 of approximately 4 children who will be diagnosed with his subtype of osteosarcoma in 2017. 


Matthew is having surgery on Wednesday, December 19 to address the problems he has been experiencing with his left arm. The donor bone that was implanted last year to replace his cancerous left humerus has showed no signs of healing. After many tests, the bone scan results showed that a portion of his native bone at the shoulder has remained "alive” despite the damage caused by the loose surgical screws and resulting collapse of his native bone.

The surgery on Wednesday will be very extensive and delicate. A decision was made to go ahead with the surgery that will give him the best option for regaining the most function of his left arm. The plan is to remove part of the fibula and it’s blood supply from his right leg and put it in his left arm. The donor bone will be hollowed out and the fibula will be placed inside it. Microscopic surgery will then connect the blood vessels to keep the fibula “alive” and promote healing at his shoulder and near the elbow. A skin graft will also be taken from Matthew’s upper leg to cover the area on his leg that they won’t be able to sew together. His orthopedic surgeon and a plastic surgeon will work together during his case. If things do not go as expected, plan B and C have also been discussed and will be ready to implement if necessary. I will post more updates than normal this week to keep you all informed.

Please keep Matthew in your thoughts and prayers during his surgery and extensive recovery.

Just in this morning:

Matthew’s surgery is finally finished. He went to the operating room at 8:30 am and made it to recovery around 7:15 pm. Everything we’ve heard from the surgeons and anesthesiologist has been very positive. He is able to move his fingers so that’s a great sign. 

Thank you all for your support! You truly make a difference.