New Years Owl

Another hospital trip last night.

New Years Steth

Mommy checking Sally’s lungs

New Years sleep

Sleeping upright in the stroller in her bedroom.

Hi all – if you aren’t able to follow Sally’s Facebook page, I just want to quickly recap the last couple days. On Sunday morning, Nicole brought Sally into Memorial Sloan-Kettering with a 102 degree fever and after she threw up a couple times. She was given an antibiotic and sent home, however on the way home Nicole received a call that Sally had tested postitive for Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This isn’t serious in adults or older children, but can be in infants or those suffering from heart or blood disease like Sally does. Although Sally’s fever broke on Monday, Nicole had to bring her in yet again Monday night as we noticed she had a wheeze and was struggling to keep food down. 

Last night she received an antibody that will hopefully help fight off the RSV, it may get worse before it gets better as it takes around 10 days to pass. In the meantime we need to monitor her closely and keep her hydrated by using her pump machine to deliver breast milk at a continuous and slow rate, as well as give her Pedialyte. Her blood counts should also be dropping from last weeks’ chemo, so they want us to bring her in every 2-3 days to get checked until this hopefully passes without incident.

It’s overwhelming to sit here and think back over the last year, what a roller coaster it has been. The last few weeks I’ve wrestled between whether I should hate 2013 or look at it as an opportunity. I think I’ve settled on C) all of the above.  I can’t ignore that 2013, well, sucked. Our 10 month old daughter was diagnosed with a cancer that gives her a 50/50 chance of surviving, causes her pain and is receiving outdated treatment that may be slowly killing her body while saving it. We’ve spent weeks and weeks in the hospital seeing and hearing things that no person should have to experience. We’ve learned that 7 kids die of cancer every day, and only 4% of national funding goes to research for them because most people think pediatric cancer is all smiling kids with bald heads. What they don’t know is that this is just a facade, the kids who survive go through an incredible amount of pain and suffering. Just visit the clinic and hear the kids screaming in pain, or watch a 2 year old girl vomit all over the floor as the chemo enters her body.  These are the sad truths and 2013 opened our eyes to them.

New Years Hospital20130916_14114620130923_193758


However 2013 also opened our eyes to the amazing spirit and kindness of people. Friends who have never met each other coming together to plan a fundraiser for Sally, a group of strangers in our neighborhood planning a fundraiser and organizing meal trains and rides to the hospital for us, the neighborhood moms winning a prize and donating to Sally with the awarders matching the gift, a 5 year old in North Carolina cutting off her hair because she wanted to give it to Sally, triathletes wearing yellow tutus in a race, Bills fans from all over the world sending love and support, Kearney high school alum taking care of their own, a group of students in the Bronx with learning disabilities writing get well letters to Sally, a school adopting our kids for Christmas, a stranger giving the boys tickets to Disney, countless errands run. There are so many acts of good will that I could go on and on, and every one of them meant the world to our family and brought tears of joy and sadness. We have met so many wonderful people and have made friends with several of them who we otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths with.

New Years BRC




There’s a story that when President Kennedy was visiting NASA, he asked a janitor what his job was. The man replied, “I’m putting a man on the moon.” We have been blessed with an incredible team of doctors, nurses and staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, where every person on the 9th floor has an amazing spirit and passion for the kids being treated there. One of the cleaning women at MSK, Karen, knows her job is just as important as our team of doctors as germs are so dangerous for kids with cancer and considers each of the children there one of her own. We see this in so many people there, Sally isn’t just a patient, she’s their little girl and care about her greatly. We’ve seen this especially in Sally’s nurses, who are the cornerstone to her getting through this.

New Years Nurse


We’ve seen the extremes of good and evil in 2013. We’ve learned the horrors of pediatric cancer and have watched kids suffer and die. We’ve also seen the incredible strength of kids and their families like Scarlett, Cami, GiGi, Cannon and Ariane who beat the odds with strength most adults can’t fathom. To say it was a good year or a bad one wouldn’t do it justice. However, we’re heading into 2014 with our gloves raised and ready to keep punching. We’ve been knocked down and will continue to get knocked down time and time again. But we’ll bleed a little and get up to fight again to the end. To all who have supported Sally, we love and thank you.

Bring it on 2014, Sally owns you, and she has an army of supporters with her.


New Years type

As I type this…

Please keep Sally in your thoughts and prayers.


23 Responses

  1. Dorothy Hurt
    Dorothy Hurt December 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm | | Reply

    I will be thinking about Sweet Little Sally Sunshine at midnight tonight and will raise my glass to her and all her family for a great 2014! You all are always in my prayers.

  2. Colleen Jasinski
    Colleen Jasinski December 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm | | Reply

    Matt, You and Nicole are such an inspiration. And Sally is a tough little fighter. A Happy New Year to you all!

    Love, cj

  3. Missy Quigg
    Missy Quigg December 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm | | Reply

    Praying for Sally…. always!

  4. Sarah McCafferty
    Sarah McCafferty December 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm | | Reply

    Well written. Thank you for allowing all of us to be part of this journey. Here is to 2014, a year that will find the unending support for Sally, Nicole, Thomas, William, and you to continue, spreading the word and educating so many on the truths to pediatric cancer, and to changes being found in treatment. Finally, of course, here is to 2014 to giving you positive news and milestones with Sally’s fight and giving you a constant charge of strength to fight it. Love you all.

  5. Brad Kohler
    Brad Kohler December 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm | | Reply

    I will continue to pray for Sally & you guys. Here’s to 2014 being a better year. I wish there was more we could do here from south-central PA, but a lot of prayer will work.

  6. Sister Virginia
    Sister Virginia December 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm | | Reply

    Matt and Nicole, I can only hope and pray that 2014 brings you a great deal of strength and hope and that Sally continues to win her war against this ugly enemy. God bless all of you!!!

  7. Donna Frasca-Brady
    Donna Frasca-Brady December 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm | | Reply

    You rock Sweet Sally Sunshine!!! We think and pray for you, your mommy, daddy and brothers all the time!!!!

  8. Daisy
    Daisy December 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm | | Reply

    Continuing to lift Sally up in my prayers. 2013 had many ups and downs. Charging into 2104 with a New hope.

  9. Jim and Ronda Tomczak
    Jim and Ronda Tomczak December 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm | | Reply

    Our love and prayers go out to Sally and your family. May 2014 bring a miracle to you. Praying for you all

  10. shannon aronson
    shannon aronson December 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm | | Reply

    beautifully said Matt. love you guys. happy new year. hoping 2014 brings health, joy and happiness to all of us. xoxo

  11. Tom Miller
    Tom Miller December 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm | | Reply

    Matt and Family,
    Please know you have the Bills Backers of Portland Oregon in Sallys’ corner.

    Our thanks to the Bills for the Facebook posting about Sally. Many of our members were aware of her needs before coming to the game Sunday. We dedicated the proceeds from our raffle to Sally and the check will be along soon. I believe many of our folks will follow Sallys’ BLOG.

    So, Kabel Family, hang in there during 2014. There are a bunch of crazy Bills fans in the upper left corner of America pulling for Sally and your family.

  12. Iliana
    Iliana December 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm | | Reply


  13. Sandra
    Sandra December 31, 2013 at 6:48 pm | | Reply

    I pray that 2014 is a really good year for Sally and all the children who are suffering this horrible disease. I continue to pray for Sally and all of you to give you the strength to continue to fight and win. Sally is a gorgeous child and her smile is indescribable. Stay POSITIVE and keep BELIEVING. Remember MIRACLES do happen. God Bless Sally and all of you.

  14. DK Holland
    DK Holland December 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm | | Reply

    Hi Matt and Nicole

    I am so moved by your family’s joys and sorrows, your courage and love. And I get the message about the perception people might have of smiling kids who are actually suffering. I want to donate some money to research for pediatric cancers. I started to go to MSC then I hesitated since I thought you might know better how to direct a donation… Do you have a recommendation?

    My thoughts and prayers are always you and Sally. DK

  15. Janice
    Janice December 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm | | Reply

    Stay strong, you have an army of friends and strangers rooting for you. Sending thoughts and prayers your way for 2014.

  16. Chrissie Vieira
    Chrissie Vieira December 31, 2013 at 9:46 pm | | Reply

    You are an amazing little girl sweet Sally. And you have the best family looking out for you. Know that there are others that think and pray hard for you everyday. You will beat this!

  17. Liz Corso
    Liz Corso January 1, 2014 at 8:47 am | | Reply

    God Bless!

  18. Mariam Ariane's mum
    Mariam Ariane's mum January 1, 2014 at 10:17 am | | Reply

    Well said Matt. Thank you again & again for thinking for our children. We love our baby Sally & our best friends and home at MSK 9th floor for all they have given us this 2013 – support, smiles and hope. Wishing for a better 2014. Prayers are with you all. Kisses forSally hope she gets better quickly.

  19. Tucker Farley
    Tucker Farley January 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm | | Reply

    I will reinvent myself in prayer
    for you all in caring for Sally.
    Thank you for that powerful example,
    for communicating,
    for your love
    sustaining hope.

  20. marie sidoti
    marie sidoti January 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm | | Reply

    Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year…my love to Sally and the boys…you are always in my heart and prayers. ..havent taken the yellow bracelet off yet…xoxo

  21. Margerite
    Margerite January 3, 2014 at 9:09 am | | Reply

    I know the feeling all to well , I had pediatric cancer as well and it continued with me through life ,but im still here and a fighter . Sally will be awesome and succeed to great heights !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! god is great 🙂

  22. Katie Witzleben-DeCoux
    Katie Witzleben-DeCoux January 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm | | Reply

    Matt, I’m soo sorry you are going through this!! Many prayers will be sent to Sally, you and your family!! May God bless everyone with strength, courage and LOTS of love! Heart and prayers!

  23. Ty Miller
    Ty Miller January 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm | | Reply

    Very well put. My eyes were opened to the world of pediatric cancer this year as well, and had no idea about the 4%, the outdated treatments, or the ordeals that these kids have to go through. Now I’m living this too and am looking at doing whatever it takes to get the word out and get some attention to this cause!

    In the meantime, continue to love and take care of that Sweet Sally Sunshine, she is so stink in’ cute! We’re praying for you and thinking about your entire family!

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