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What Is and What Should Never Be

Posted by on January 26, 2009
Catie OBrien

Catie O'Brien

A parent should never have to watch their child die, but that’s exactly what has happened to Christine and Kevin O’Brien.


Mary Catherine O’Brien (Catie) was born on April 23, 2001 and was first diagnosed with a spinal tumor on June 17, 2008.  Catie had surgery to remove a 6cm tumor on June 19, 2008. The tumor is an extremely rare form of cancer called an ATRT (Atypical Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor).

Catie was treated with radiation to the entire brain-spinal column and aggressive chemotherapy and stem-cell recovery at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  Treatment was suspended on November 25th as the tumor had not responded.  Catie remained at St. Jude until the second week of December and was then reunited with her four sisters, Maggie (10), Mia (6), Molly (4) and M.E. (2), and her brother, Max (9) at home in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Catie passed away January 25, 2009. I can’t – and don’t wish to – imagine the kind of pain the O’Briens be suffering through. Please drop by Catie’s Story and offer your prayers, condolences, and donations to cover medical expenses.


Anthony Maleski

Anthony Maleski

The Maleskis have not lost a child. Nevertheless, they are facing a great deal of adversity.

On October 23, 2008 during his lunch break, Anthony was struck by a freight train in McKees Rocks, PA. After being rushed to the hospital the doctors determined that he had several serious injuries, the worst of which is a spinal cord injury that has paralyzed him from the waist down.

Anthony’s wife, Anna, and four children ages 3, 2, 9 months, and one on the way are grateful for the tremendous prayers and support of people around the world during this difficult time.

With three little mouths to feed, a fourth on the way, and paraplegic bread winner, life’s going to be increasingly difficult for the Maleskis. You can follow Anna’s updates at Maleski Family Fund. Prayers and donations are greatly appreciated.