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Today is day 817 – our first Thanksgiving without Ezra. We are thankful for so many things. For 800 days of being given the incredible gift of caring for a beautiful and unforgettable son who has changed our lives forever, as well as many others. For God’s grace and hope which gives us strength to cry together and know that we will be ok. For Charley, another son with an incredible story whose smiles and laughs are already beginning to fill our home. For the hundreds (probably thousands) of pictures and video we all took of Ezra which remind us always of his smile, laugh, and personality. For the friends and family which these past few weeks have filled our life with their shoulders, arms, and love. We are thankful for family which will surround us today with smiles, cranberry sauce, and turkey with great stuffing. We are thankful for you – you who have been reading our story, commenting to us, emailing in, sharing your pains and joys as deep as ours with us. You who opened your heart to tell us how our past year has reminded you, instilled in you, challenged you, or changed you in some way.

Today is day 817, and we are thankful.

I wanted to also share with you about the status of our foundation. Things are moving very quick, and we are super excited. The foundation is called Because of Ezra. Above you can see our logo and a bit of our splash page. We are in the process of designing the website now and also doing all that legal mumbo jumbo that comes when setting up a new foundation – getting the tax-exempt status, writing by-laws, consulting with drs and legal folk about HOW best to assist in a goal of curing pediatric cancer… it’s all sorts of fun. 😉 I’ve been running around like a headless chicken working on how this foundation will work, look, and affect.

In all seriousness – Robyn and I feel strongly we can all affect pediatric cancer. Ezra’s story has opened our eyes to a world we barely knew existed outside of cute St Jude’s commercials and random charity letter mailing blasts that hit our mailbox. We have seen the battle in the sleepless puffy eyes of parents on the oncology floors. We have seen it in mothers sitting quietly watching their children sleep. We have seen them fiercely advocating for their children in pain. We have seen it in the stubbly faces of fathers traipsing to the family fridge in the PICU. We have seen these things in ourselves as well.

I know I’ve mentioned this before… I know I’m being a bit redundant. This is stuff that’s burned in us, though, and we know we can make a difference here, with a ton of help of course. Robyn and I know this is something which CAN be fixed. It takes time, awareness, and research. But families don’t have to go through this forever – a cure can be found.

From the Matthews Family,
Happy Thanksgiving.

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  1. And a Happy Thanksgiving to you guys too! Excited for how “Because of Ezra” is going to change this world and how God is going to work through you guys in it. Let us know how we can help!

  2. Thank you for reminding me of the things I have to be thankful for today… I’ve been feeling the blues thinking of our loss and that Daxton won’t be with us this year either but I know I am not alone in that. We do have so much to be thankful for…
    I am thankful I got to meet you, Robyn and Ezra and how your family has touched my heart.
    I hope today and the rest of the holidays ahead are filled with loving memories, laughter and hope.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    Have a blessed day.


  3. I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your family has reminded me of everything I have to be thankful for everyday!

    Have a great day!

    Katie Wagner

  4. turning pain into gain for the Kingdom. God honoring. Love you, Matthews family. We’re here for you through all your ‘firsts’ and we rejoice in the difference you will make and have already made in the lives of so many.

  5. May you be blessed today with the love and comfort of family and friends. So excited to hear the “Because of Ezra” foundation is off & running. Your family’s story has deeply touched my heart, as it has thousands of others, and your post this morning has reminded me of so much I have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, and each and every day. Blessings & Happy Thanksgiving to you, Robyn & Charley.

  6. Today we are thankful for your family and for how you have turned sorrow into strength. Our hearts hurt but yet are encouraged by your resolve, and we cannot wait to help as the foundation moves forward. May God continue to strengthen and keep you. And may little Charley fill your days with more smiles and laughter.

  7. Happy THanksgiving to you guys as well. I know for our family, when we go around the table today, the name Matthews and especially Ezra, will be on the short list of who we are thankful for this year. We are thankful that we can be part of the cure for childhood cancer. We are thankful most of all for a Savior Who loves us and gave His life so that we can know the hope of heaven and that Ezra and Price are safe in the arms of Love this Thanksgiving. God bless you, Robyn & Charley. We love you all!

  8. Happy Thanksgiving to such a strong, loving family. We still pray for your family and are glad little Charley brings smiles and laughter bless his little soul!

    We are thankful for your story and Ezra!

  9. Many blessings today and I am thankful for you and your family. I am thankful that you and Robyn shared your heart and that we are now thankful for Ezra and Price. Looking forward to seeing how we can play a role in your foundation. ♥

  10. Blessings, love, and Happy Thanksgiving to the whole Matthews family. I am thankful for your story, and Gods strength that is so apparent, you’re an inspiration. Looking forward to seeing what will come forth from Ezra’s legacy and the foundation! Much Love from Western NY. <3

  11. Happy Thanksgiving to your precious family. You have had many emotions to experience in the past 817 days, but today’s is brought to you by the emotion Thankful. Undoubtedly you can find a million smiles, laughs, moments, hands, and hearts to be thankful for. I am thankful for your strength and willing to share your story and bear a little of your soul for blog readers.
    I am a photographer and I want to offer you a free photo shoot, the Lord has laid it on my heart to give you a new celebration, Please allow me to photograph you and Charley- it would be my honor to obey the Lord and give you this small token.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your precious family.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing everything that you have with us, and for continuing to do so!
    When Because of Ezra is launched, I hope you’ll consider registering it with Mission Fish; if anyone wants to hold an ebay auction to benefit Because of Ezra, they can only do it if its registered that way. And I would be honored to hold an auction or two (or 3,4….)myself!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving!!! You are loved by thousands of people you dont even know!!! Sending God’s Amazing Love to your family today and every day!!! Love, Lorrie

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! Please keep us updated on the foundation and it’s progress, and especially how we can help. There are thousands of people behind you on ‘Because of Ezra’, and we can’t wait to help in ANY way we can. You’re right- together, we CAN find a cure! Much love and blessings to your family on this day.

  15. You have said in earlier posts that if by sharing your story it helps one person then it will be worth it, well you have done that for me, I have become closer to the Lord because of little Ezra’s and your familys story and tribulations, so please know that you have accomplished that goal, and thankyou, and I have been praying and will continue to do so for your family and please do so for me. You, your wife and babies have been an inspiration to me and have made me realize the important things in life. Have a healing day with your families and friends and God has blessed you.

  16. Dear Kyle and Robyn,
    We think of you kid’s so much, pray for you daily. I’m thankful for this update. I have had some some personal challanges of my own these past few months, but no comparison to yours but painful all the same. Your faith and trust in the Lord and your always giving thanks has taught me another lesson of how important remaining grateful is. Not meaning grateful for what is happening, but that we have a God who has promised He will carry us through EVERYTHING.

    I can only imagin the joy Charley is bringing you he’s a little doll with checks you just want to kiss and a smile that steals one’s heart. My God richly bless your little family this Thanksgiving.

    We’ll be watching for the “Because of Ezra” foundation so we can help too.

  17. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Robyn, Charley and your families. Thank you for your boldness and honesty and for being willing to share your story with all of us. I am very excited about the start-up of Because of Ezra and am already working on ways to be involved, to help find a way to defeat cancer. I cannot wait to see all of the things that God has in store for your family, your foundation, your future.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! May God continue to bless your family. We are thankful for your generosity of sharing your life with us. I love your logo where Ezra’s name lies on the shape of a guitar pick 🙂

  19. Hey guys. Happy Thanksgiving!! So glad Charley is filling the house with laughter. A child’s laughter is God’s gift to parents. We are looking forward to assisting in any way we can with the Ezra foundation. Let’s go and kick some cancer booty!! My 16 year old daughter has a form of colon cancer and goes to MD Anderson in Houston once a year. We are kicking cancer bootie for her too!!!
    God Bless!!!

  20. I am thankful to your and Layla’s families for opening my eyes to what is really important in life. Thinking of you especially today.

  21. Thankful also for Ezra’s life. His life has renewed a passion for prayer and reading the bible that even being in Master’s Commission did not ignite in me. May your family be blessed during this holiday season and know that your family has been a blessing in ours. Be blessed.

  22. Excited to see all the amazing things that happen because of Ezra. Excited to help, because of Ezra. Thankful to you and your family to opening my eyes to the pain and suffering that I was unaware of because of Ezra. I am thankful today, that Ezra is no longer in pain and thankful for his family for being so brave and showing all the rest of us what is important in life. To be Christ-like and live with grace.
    I hope your family enjoys this day as you adjust to a new normal way of life.

  23. i am thankful that a little boy, who i never got to met, changed my whole outlook. i will continue to fight for you guys and spread the word because i do believe we as parents can help beat this. If not us, who? when i learned of ezras story i saw my son in him, and i will continue to see my son in every sick child that i see. ezra so humbly came into soo many peoples lives and changed them forever. and he is still doing that, his work in heaven is more important then we know. he will continue to change lives.

  24. i am thankful for my family, we pulled together for our firsts as well. knowing that brian is in God’s hands has made it easier, but only as time passes by…

  25. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Robyn and Charley

    My life has been blessed this year by knowing you, Robyn, Ezra, Price and Charley. Your story and your faith has been such an inspiration to me.

    I am thrilled to hear the news about “Because of Ezra”. I will keep praying for all of you and for this foundation and all the ‘red tape’ you are going through to get it set up. I know that you guys are going to make a difference in the world of pediatric cancer! God will use ‘Because of Ezra”; I can say that with certainty.

    May you feel God close to you each and every moment.

    Hugs to all of you from me.


  26. I come here everyday (probably 7 times a day) to check to see how you all are doing. You are like family to me and I so desperately want to know that your hearts are filled – filled with love, blessings, a joy and a peace that can only come from God when a tragedy like this strikes. You have changed my life, Ezra has changed my life – in subtle little ways that only my savoir and I can see right now but its coming – the FIX and my heart leaps – Because of Ezra…

    Know you are loved – May Happiness and Thanksgiving surround you… Thank you for your updates, I get to hear how my family is doing…

    Love, Gena Clark

  27. Dear Kyle, Robyn, & Charley,

    Thank you for the update… We are excited about the new project and know Because of Ezra will affect many! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. I keep a picture of all of you right beside me on the end table so you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that God will continue to comfort you and give you strength.


  28. Dear Robyn & Kyle,
    Because of Ezra…we are extra grateful this Thanksgiving…and we will continue to hold you and your family in our hearts.

    We vow to take up the sword with you in this battle against childhood cancer.

    You are loved.

    The Dneaster family

  29. So happy to hear about the foundation… Because of Ezra. I cannot wait to see what we can all do together… Because of Ezra.
    And I know we “all” can make a difference. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Love to you all….

  30. You made a difference to me.

    I’m a nurse, and since reading your story, not only has something inside me changed, but I want to be different at work every day. I working in a radiology department, and a lot of our patients are oncology (adults)- reading your story has made me realise how important time is to these people – if they can spend one less hour in my department, that’s one more hour they are at home with their family.

    Ezra was such a beautiful little man, and life was stolen from him by a nasty, nasty disease. I can’t wait for the foundation so I can make a donation. I just wish I could have given him a kiss and a cuddle – but I know you all never missed an opportunity to do that. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

    Katie xx

  31. I am soo happy to hear that Ezra’s foundation is coming along so well!!! His story has changed me forever. I have made the transition from pre med to full on medical school and have decided to put all my focus into pediatric oncology. There are days when I see these kids in so much pain and wonder how I can walk into the hospital another day and then I think of Ezra’s story and remind myself that I am doing this for him, for other children like him, and for families like yours who bless me with their strength every single day. I am not only thankful for my children and my family but I am eternally thankful for your family. Your story has pointed me in the right direction. There WILL be a cure!!! You guys are amazing and I am in awe of your strength and composure. If I can be half the parent to my girls that you have been then I will consider myself a success. Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled with love and happiness.

  32. Hi Matthews, I am thankful for you. You’ve been such an inspiration to me and example of how to live a faith-filled life. Not a night goes by that I don’t rock my own son to sleep and think of Ezra. I’m anxious to learn more about your foundation. Keep on keeping on.

  33. Hi Kyle and Robyn, happy thanksgiving. If you need any help with the website, please let me know. I will be happy to help. We are in our thoughs and prayers.

    jennifer (Jessye’s Sister)

  34. It is exciting to me to see you guys take your experiences and run with them. You both are an inspiration to all of us to take whatever our live gives us and turn the sorrow of it into determination to create a better place. Ezra’s live is continue to effect me and probably a lot of others like me. Thank you for your transparency and the gift you are to this world.

  35. Now it is day 824. I look forward to knowing more about Because of Ezra as the new chapter in your lives as well as ours rolls out. There is no doubt change is underway. I look forward to finding out the things we can do here in Georgia to help benefit the goals Because of Ezra and what your foundation is doing to help find a cure. My life as well as my family’s lives have been forever changed. We will ROAR LIKE DINOSAURS against childhood cancer in any way we can!!! God bless!!! Enjoy your break and time rebonding as a couple.

  36. I have quietly been watching your story unfold as a friend of a friend of yours told me about you. As you were experiencing Ezra’s final days, we were going through our own sort of hell which resulted in a speedy move from Hawaii to California. Seeing your strength in your storm helped me to have strength in mine. I know, ultimately, that it all comes from the Lord and I don’t know how anyone goes through life without Him. So thank you for encouraging me and for sharing your son and your story with us. And I loved the song you sang at the end of the celebration service. Great job.


  • Tweets that mention thankful | The Matthews Story -- December 5, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicole Spence, Ezra Matthews. Ezra Matthews said: thankful: Today is day 817 – our first Thanksgiving without Ezra. We are thankful for so many things. For 800 da… […]