Garrett Matthias’ parents, Emilie and Ryan, knew that their son was going to die. They also knew that a traditional obituary would do little to describe their five-year-old son. So, they gave him the pen and let him write one all by himself.
The Van Meter, Iowa-based Matthias family had little indication that their youngest child, Garrett, was sick. His mom shared a photo of her grinning son that she took just before they found out he had a life-threatening disease. “This is what stage four cancer looks like,” Emilie wrote as the caption to the unsuspecting image.
Five-year-old Garrett – younger brother to Delphina, six – had an aggressive, rare form of cancer called Alveolar Fusion Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma, or ARMS. By the time doctors diagnosed him, Garrett’s cancer had reached stage four, the most advanced stage of the disease.