Nine-year old Matthew Ashley of Freetown was running at his aunt’s house when he tripped and fell and hit his elbow. From a simple, uncomplicated elbow bump, the test results came back with very complicated and life-altering diagnosis of osteosarcoma cancer.

For his parents, their whole world changed forever, and a thousand unanswerable questions appeared abruptly; however, one question that can be answered is, will you send Matthew a birthday card?

Paula Franco of Acushnet spoke with affection about her idea to accumulate a mountain of birthday cards for Matthew.

”I’m just hoping to get as many birthday cards and wishes to him as we can to show him how much love there is for him," she said.

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In a blink of the eye, this athletic little boy turned from running to first base to sitting out while receiving chemotherapy or having surgery, such as this coming Friday, July 9, when doctors will begin replacing bones in his elbow.

Courtesy Paula Franco
Courtesy Paula Franco

“I’ve been doing fundraisers, off and on, spaghetti dinners, drive-by parades, but I figured I needed to do something else to show him and his family how much love there is in the community," Franco said. "His birthday is coming up. He’ll be 10 on August 15.”

Franco is hoping the SouthCoast community will take the time to either drop a card off in the special box placed at Nephews Restaurant in Freetown, or just mail them to: Paula Franco, 6 Mason Street, Acushnet, MA 02743.

"Their whole world just flipped upside down," Franco said, noting that the cards are just a small gesture of love and support for the Ashleys and their battle against cancer.

Let’s show Matthew that there are plenty of hands around the SouthCoast to turn things right side up.

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