In order to understand the purpose and meaning behind the Matthias Parke Maloof Scholarship, it's important to know his story, as told by his mother, Danielle:
In January of 2016, My Husband, Jonathan, and I found out we were expecting another baby. After having a child with CHD and troubles carrying pregnancies in the past, our reaction to this news wasn't that of your typical expecting parents. We feared miscarriage and We feared another baby being born with CHD. Jonathan and I waited to hear that we had a heart-healthy baby at our 22-week fetal echocardiogram before celebrating. it was confirmed at that appointment that this baby had a perfect heart.
To know we were finally going to get that moment to Hold a Healthy baby, and not have Him stripped from our arms to undergo life-saving procedures, meant everything to us.
But despite all that Our Family had been through with Remington and previous miscarriages, we would not get that moment. God had a different plan. On August 28th, 2016, just three weeks shy of his due date, Our perfectly healthy baby had an unpredictable and unpreventable accident in my womb and god called him home. We named him Matthias Parke Maloof, choosing "matthias" for its meaning: Gift from God. This perfect baby boy weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Matthias looked just like his oldest brother, Elwood.
Life here on earth will never be the same, we miss him every minute of every day, but we look forward to the day we get to hold him in our arms again.
The Scholarship: Shortly after Matthias' funeral, Danielle and Jonathan had dinner with their close friends Ryan and Tasha Wines. Like so many others, they vowed to keep Matthias' memory alive. They came up with the idea of establishing a scholarship fund in his honor.
One thing the Maloofs discussed with ryan and Tasha is that when a family is hit with a crisis or tragedy, the ones who can often get overlooked are the siblings. Siblings are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the family crisis. They are the ones getting carted from place to place, woken up at odd hours, left with family members or babysitters, or they themselves have to be the ones in charge. Yet with everything they go through, they don't complain because there's no room for it or simply because it's all they've ever known. They go with the flow because their sibling's survival depends on it, they step up when called upon and often don't even understand the importance of their role in everything. Through all of the chaos and heartache, they hurt just as much, all while taking on the burden for the entire family.
"Whenever we are in the hospital with Remington, I think about my Healthy boy Elwood at home and I just have to assume he is okay, because all I can focus on is my other baby who is sick. I assume elwood is safe and being loved by family and friends, but if I take a step back, I know he misses us. he misses being together as a family, he wonders where his brother is and how he is doing."
In realizing the crucial role of siblings in CHD Families, The maloofs and Wines set up the Matthias Parke Maloof Scholarship fund to honor siblings who sacrifice so much for their families. Although Matthias isn't here with us physically, he is just as much a brother to Remington as Elwood is, which is why we want to use his memory to help other brothers and sisters of CHD warriors.
This scholarship will serve to honor siblings who represent love of family, unity, strength, courage, resilience, perseverance, sacrifice, honor and hope. Each year we will select a sibling, or group of siblings, who represent all of the above. Save the Heartbeat will present them with a monetary reward in honor of our precious angel, Matthias Parke Maloof.
Inaugural Recipients: Colton, Gavin, Dylan and Nixon
Save the Heartbeat had the Absolute Honor of making the Fien brothers the first ever recipients of the Matthias Scholarship at our charity gala on February 4th, 2017. the entire CHD community thinks about and prays for these boys all the time. We felt the need to recognize the sacrifices they have made, and the courageous way in which they have handled themselves in the face of unimaginable pain. read more about these amazing brothers and their CHD warrior sibling, Lawson, at our blog.